Joining a Todoist project

This is a quick reference for people joining a project set up by me in Todoist.

1. You’ll get an invitation from me

You’ll get an invitation by email to join the project. After you accept it, tasks can be assigned to you.

You can email tasks to the Board

One of the great strengths of Todoist is that each project (in fact each card) has both a URL and an email address. You can email tasks to a project and comments to a card.

When you email a task to a project,

  • the subject line becomes the task
  • the body of the email (and any attachments) become Comments
  • You indicate due dates in the subject using the syntax <date Monday>. Todoist understands natural language dates: Nov. 17, Next Monday, next week, every workday until November 17, every Monday, etc.
  • You can assign the task to somebody in the subject line by adding +FirstNameLastName
  • You assign a priority by putting p1, p2, p3, or p4 in the subject line (p4 is the default)
  • You can assign a tag using tag where tag is the name of the tag. Common ones I use are process oriented: contact, schedule, awaitresponse, @review, etc.

2. We use the following conventions

We assign due dates deadlines to the date things end rather than when they start

Assign deadlines that reflect the last day things can be worked on/when they are due (if a due date exists). If we also need to record a start date, we use a separate task (e.g. “Start x”) with the “due date” = the day things need to be started by.

Priorities are set by how time-sensitive something is in relation to the assigned deadline

  1. p1 (Priority 1): Task becomes irrelevant within two days of the assigned deadline (i.e. you certainly can’t do this more than two days after the assigned date).
  2. p2 (Priority 2): Task becomes irrelevant within a week of the assigned deadline
  3. p3 (Priority 3): Task becomes irrelevant within a a month of the assigned deadline
  4. p4 (Priority 4): Task can be carried over if necessary for more than a month

We are using a Kanban method. Tasks are more complete the further right (or further down) they are on the board.

We are using the “Kanban” project management system. This means that tasks enter the workflow at the left and move to the right as they are completed.

In our particular implementation, there is no “Todo” column: because we email mail so many tasks to the board and in Todoist you can’t email a specific section, the “Todo” column is the left-most “(No section)”. Here’s the list of the sections on the board:

  • (No section): Where tasks enter (= “Todo” in traditional Kanban)
  • Backlogged: For tasks that fall behind, keep getting skipped
  • Doing: For tasks you are working on: Move tasks here as soon as you decide to start working on them so other know they are being taken care of
  • Recurring: For tasks that reoccur and have automatic reminders (when you complete a recurring task you check it off in this column rather than moving it to “Doing” or “Done”
  • Under Review: This is where things go when you are awaiting an answer, asking others to do something, and so on.
  • Agendas: This is where you put things that need to be discussed at some future meeting
  • Done: This is where cards go when you are finished. Please also check the radio button so it is marked complete.
  • Deprecated: This is where cards go when the task is no longer relevant but hasn’t been done or we decided not to do it. Please change the Priority to 4 and remove the due date.

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