As hard as I try to use to-do apps, I can’t tear myself away from the calendar on my Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Whenever people ask me about apps to organize projects and tasks, I always recommend something like Reminders, Todoist or Things. The GTD method and well-classified tasks are the best way to manage our time, or at least a good first step to test the terrain.

But there is a saying that makes perfect sense here: In the blacksmith’s house, wooden spoons. One of my 2023 resolutions was to adopt one of these task managers to help me get organized and get out of my calendar “addiction”, but it was impossible for me.

More minimalism or more classification, that’s the dilemma

mac apple calendar

For me this is a task manager.

I’ve been an avid user of various task managers over the years. Things, Doo, and Workflowy were my most used options, but over time I’ve gotten used to managing my whole life in the calendar.

This has brought me several advantages: I can make phone calls block timeconsisting of estimate the time it takes me to complete a task and schedule the day accordingly. It also allows me to color code each group of tasks, resulting in multiple different calendars in iCloud.

This is particularly interesting in a case like mine where I am multiple collaborators, as it allows me to see exactly what I have to do for each project and block travel time between one task and the other when I leave home got to. And with the smallest unforeseen event, it is enough to move these tasks on the calendar to redate them. Very convenient.

But there came a time when my calendar was packed with events, so I thought of splitting it between events as such and tasks I might have in a more traditional manager. I migrated these tasks to Reminders, made a list for each project, and set time limits for each task.

Smart Lists in Reminders.  This allows us to organize our tasks using labels

And everything went fine for a few days, but I realized that I was missing an important benefit of having everything on the calendar: You didn’t have to switch between apps to manage these tasks. Everything was concentrated in one place. For me that is the key.

iPhone Memories

I do not underestimate the capabilities of Reminders: for me it is a task manager that has nothing to envy to the main paid alternatives. A little tweak and it can be your best productivity ally.

But in my specific case, I’ve found that I prefer to have everything in one place and mixed in with the classic events on the calendar. There are certain things I have to adjust to, but I always end up feeling better on these calendars than on any to-do list.. I suppose every head has its way of working.

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