Todoist and Workflow and Checklists

Image Copied on 2017 03 10 at 11 19 am

I have a long history with todo list managers and iOS. I started off with a jail brake todo list written by Erica Sadun long before the app store. Later I started a multiyear love affair with Things by Cultured Code. Unfortunately, that ended poorly. The app was glorious as far as it went, but it never got updated. We have now been waiting 3+ years for version 3 of the app. I’m not sure what these guys are doing on a day to day basis. Eventually I got fed up and moved to the powerhouse that is Omnifocus. I still love this app. It’s native, stable and packed with features. Unfortunately it’s macOS / iOS only and it has no API and what I really wanted to do was automate.

To be fair, Omni are working hard on adding automation features, but the simple fact that Omnifocus is an app not a service means that what can be done will be limited and collaboration will always be problematic.

My latest move is to Todoist. So far I am very happy. The apps they provide are not native and they’re not as nice as Things or Omnifocus, but they are good enough. And it is everywhere, iOS, macOS, Android, Windows and the web. The functionality is great. I can tag, and filter to my hearts content in a manner similar to Things and far more easily that Omnifocus. And it has an API! This opens up all sorts of possibilities. For me it means I can create repeating checklists using Workflow for iOS. You should try this app.

My first step was to make this simple workflow. It lets you write a list in any text editor that supports the share sheet. An example list might be…

This is an item
This is another item
This is yet another item 

You then hit the extension button, select the workflow extension and then the “List to Todoist” option. The todos get pushed into you inbox, with each line a separate todo. The Todoist app is then opening in the correct location.

So far so good. This is perfect for brainstorming. You can also use a similar kind of workflow for creating checklists. Here’s an example workflow for a packing checklist. This one takes some pre-canned todos and adds them to an existing Todoist project, then opens the Todoist app at that project.

 

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