Posts by: Matt

Why I Almost Bought and iPhone

It’s that time of the year again, in fact it’s a little over due. Time to buy a new phone.

I’ve been using Android phones for over 5 years now and I’ve been very happy. I’m currently using a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and looking for my upgrade. The LG G4 was almost the phone for me however the stuff Apple are doing with the iPhone and Mac OS is really interesting to me.

It is the continuity stuff that is swaying me. That and what seems like the lack of care from Google. More on that another day but lets just say there are a number of bugs in many Google services they are aware of and are showing no signs of fixing. Unless it is search it is starting to seem like Google simply don’t care.

So am I going to buy the iPhone. Well it’s currently looking that way but I’m going to wait and see what gets announced at Google I/O and Apple’s WWDC in the coming weeks.

For some things I will be staying with Google, Google Drive, Gmail and Photos. I have over 3TB of data there and nobody else is offering that kind of storage for £33 per month.

Todoist: How I use Priorities

I’ve explained this a little before but I wanted to go into a little more detail as this may be something other people will find useful.

I work and live in the Philippines however most of my customer base is in the UK. Like most start up business owners I work between 10 and 12 hours a day been 8 hours ahead gives me an advantage as I often start working 5 hours before the UK.

My last job at night is to structure my to do list for the next day and then in the morning my first job is update that with what came in over night.

I use all 4 priorities in Todoist in the following way.

Red: This is simple. I use red for work at has to be complete before 9am UK time.

Dark Blue: This is also a simple one. This is for work that has to be complete before 5pm UK time today.

Light Blue: This is a little more complex. Light blue for me symbols work that needs doing for 9am UK Time tomorrow. I include this on today’s list as ideally it should be done before close of business (again UK time) today but as long as it is ready for 9am the next day I can get away with it.

White: This one is another simple priority. Anything that is white need completing in the next few days but does not fit into any other priority above. A lot of internal work tends to get marked with this priority as I am the only one disappointed and upset when it is not done.

As a web developer it is important I have the ability to write good content as clients often forget they need content when they are considering a new website. As part of restarting this blog I aim to write something every week and over time as I continue to do so I will naturally improve my writing skills.

Writing content is a scary task even for some of the professional SEO writers I employ. Often they recommend to me I should go somewhere else for writing. I was told to segment things into locations, coding at home, admin in the office and go to a coffee shop when I need to get a lot of writing done. As I don’t have a Macbook anymore (long story there) I haven’t tried this yet as I am tied to the iMac’s at home and in the office.

Another writer told me if I struggle to start I should have a few beers first, ‘write tippsy, edit sober’ they said. I have tried this and while it works I tend to waffle on a lot and end up back at square 1.

So here we are. writing content at least once a week for my blog. I thought it would be a good idea to keep the topics varied as I need to write about many different things for work so you will see some technical stuff (my interests) and some really left wing stuff that I have spent a little time researching (aimed at pushing my writing confidence).

I have got a rough plan laid out going a few weeks into the future about what to write about each week and hopefully as I see myself getting better at this I will start posting more often.

Todoist Tip: Filter Urgent Today

In Todoist i use priorities as a way of managing what takes need doing before I break for lunch (red), before the end of the day (dark blue) and general today (light blue). Anything in white is something that needs doing or is a regular task and can be done tomorrow if needed.

A useful filter I created is Urgent Today. This filter only shows takes that are due today with a red or dark blue priority level. This comes in very useful with the widget for Android as I can have these tasks and only these tasks on my home screen at all times.

Add_New_Post_‹_Matthew_Temple_—_WordPressTo setup this filter go to filters on the sidebar of Todoist for Web or Desktop and click ‘Add New’ at the bottom. Then simply name your filter and use the following as your query.

(today, overdue) & (p1, p2)

Over the coming weeks I’ll be posting more tips and articles about Todoist and how I use it to make myself more productive then I have ever been.

Review: Todoist

For those that know me you will know I lead a very busy life, from personal life to running 3 companies. All this can be hard to keep track of and a big worry when trying to mentally remember what needs doing and when.

I have tried many task management apps in the past and have some strict criteria an app must meet before I even consider giving it a try; the app must sync to Mac, Windows, Web and Android as well as allow for nested projects, recurring tasks and keep a full task history.

I use and practice Getting Things Done by David Allen on all apps I have tried as I find his system suits me and my working style perfectly. I often jump between the different companies I manage as work requires it, I don’t have fixed work times for any business, I work on all 3 at the same time.

Todoist is the latest in a long line of task management apps I have tried and the only one I have stuck with for over 6 months.

I first started using Todoist on November 13, 2014 and signed up for premium less than 1 month later. It didn’t take long for me to discover this was the task management app for me.

First thing first, Todoist is everywhere, they have apps and plugins for 13 different platforms, an API for me to do some really nice and complex things and sync across all apps is almost real time.

The Mac and Windows apps are only really web wrappers for the website but I don’t mind. The website is fast and elegant with all the shortcuts and features you’d expect from a desktop app. Plus the wrapper means I can have it in my dock and not taking up an extra tab.

On Android the app follows Google’s Material Design language (in beta, anyway) and also features a fast fluid UI with near real time sync.

For free Todoist is very full featured for most people with a maximum of 80 active projects and 150 tasks per project, even I comfortably fit within these limits. The reason I upgraded to premium was the powerful reminder system and project templates.

Reminders in Todoist Premium can be either a time or a location for example I can set a reminder to buy milk from the local shop and the next time I go near the shop Todoist will drop me a message to buy milk. Todoist has also replaced a lot of the events I used to have on my calendar with its time based reminders. Anything I had to do at a certain time used to go on my calendar however now it becomes a task in Todoist with a popup telling me 10 minutes before its due.

Todoist is as full featured or as simple as you want. I have recommended this to friends that know nothing about GTB (Getting Things Done) and they manage lists and projects in a completely different way for myself and Todoist is flexible enough to do this. It doesn’t force GTD on you like some other task managers and that is something I like.

It has the basics for projects for anybody to start using the system and then neatly stored away are the labels (context) and filters (a powerful way to sort through a lot of tasks across all projects at once). I will discuss a few filters I have and ways I use Todoist at a later date.

Overall for me Todoist is the best task management app around and I have used a lot.

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