##Simple but effective use of TickTick keeps me on task.

I have recently switched to TickTick from Apple Reminders due to accessibility issues on non-Apple devices and availability at work. All tasks added through Siri on my Apple Watch go into Apple Reminders and synchronise across to TickTick (a feature still missing in Todoist).

Luckily, TickTick has a nice import feature to transfer tasks and their attributes from Apple Reminders, including the location reminders and recurring settings.

The colours I use in TickTick for tags are the same colours I use across my folder system (Apple Finder / Windows Explorer). The same for my Twos app setup and book referencing system. I like the consistency because I understand what each colour represents.

  • Blue for personal endeavours.
  • Green for home, including family-related items.
  • Yellow for website/blogging.
  • Purple for work-related items.
  • Grey for side-hustle items like Medium.

There are some slight differences with my book referencing system, but the colours chosen for book referencing system correspond to what area they effect from the above list.

Anyway, I digress.

Priority flags

My priority system in TickTick.

I know from the priority flagging system in TickTick, I am not using it as intended for the Eisenhower Matrix to work properly. I don’t intend to use it this way. I use Carl Pullein’s Time Sector System, so my tasks are organised by time anyway.

Priorities are set up in a way that puts others at the forefront. Yes, I have my own important tasks. However, I like to make sure my actions do not impact others. I don’t believe it is fair on them. I must stress; however, I will not drop everything for others over my most significant tasks.

An example of a high priority happened this week. I had to get something written up for work and my son needed medicine for his chest infection. Traveling for the medicine was set to high (red) and the work task was set to medium (orange) priority. Both were highly significant. However, prioritising my son’s health was more important. By rearranging things around, I was able to write up my document for work later in the evening. I had to stay up later than I wanted to, but I managed to get both tasks completed.

Low-priority tasks are jobs I need to do within the week. Ideally, they need to be done on the days I have assigned them. If I have to move them to another day in the week, I will do so as long as the task is completed during the given week. Having this kind of flexibility is nice to have because I would have previously panicked when I had not completed a task on the same day. All of my weekly routine tasks have a blue flag assigned to them. This helps me distinguish my unique tasks from my routine tasks.

Tasks with no flag have their own importance, but they are not a priority. I will slip these in when I can. Occasionally, when I have low energy, I will start with one of these tasks because they are easy wins. The momentum will drive me to start on one of the harder tasks. I will have to be desperate to [Eat the Frog].

Tags

I use tags sparingly. At one point in the past, I did not use them at all. Now I use they to group my tasks into areas. In TickTick, I use the Time Sector System with the Kanban view for my Routines and This Week lists. Both lists are grouped into personal, work and side hustle. In theory, this should be enough for me to not have to use tags. The problem occurs when I look at the Today view where all of my calendar, habits, tasks, and routines appear in one place.

Tags used in Kanban view.

In Apple Reminders, I limited the number of tags to reduce the overwhelming options viewable to me. The plan is to keep the same setup in TickTick. I use the following tags:

  • Personal
    • As the name suggests, anything to do with me is set to personal. I use the blue that reminds me of the infamous blue bubble in iMessages. My personal tag can be accompanied by the finance or course tags.
  • Course
    • Anything to do with self-directed learning, college or work-related CPD will be given the course tag. I could rename it learning, but I am always learning, so being direct with the type of learning makes sense to me.
  • Finance
    • Anything that impacts me financially goes in here. House bills, utilities, car fuel, insurance, etc. I also assign this tag to routine check-ups of my bank and saving accounts. I have recently added planned purchases to the tag.
  • Home
    • Home is a mixture of home-related chores, specific family members and reminders of where the task needs to be completed (see GTD). I originally had individual tags for my wife, son, and other family members. As you can imagine, the tagging list got overwhelming. Now I make sure the person’s name is in the task title.
  • Side hustle (not real name)
    • Anything that is earning me money and is not related to my main work will be tagged with side hustle, including anything I sell, like clothing and books. I usually use this tag with another like personal or finance. Reminders to get something prepared, planned or an errand will receive this tag for my side hustle.
  • Blog
    • My blog tag relates to my blogging, admin and media creation. The finance and side hustle tag can accompany this tag when appropriate. An example of this is paying for subscriptions like my Ulysses or micro.blog access. However, most tasks with the blog tag have something to do with writing a blog post or researching a topic.
  • Work
    • I was in two minds whether to have subtags with the work tag. I wondered if I should have different areas of my job under this tag. Instead, I use brackets at the end of each work-related task to specify what area it relates to. I chose purple for the tag colour because my workplace colour is purple. This colour stands out against all the other colours because it is bright.

###Final thoughts

My recent switch to TickTick has made me realise how much I have learnt about productivity, prioritisation, and task management over the past year. I am now proud to say I have so little tasks to complete each day because I am removed a lot of mental and physical clutter from my life.

Apple Reminders is still a great application to use if you are in the Apple ecosystem.

I plan to utilise TickTick further in 2024, especially the use of the Pomo timer and stopwatch features. I want to track how long I am taking with certain tasks to make informed decisions for my future tasks and projects.

I hope someone finds this information useful. Furthermore, I will review my configuration and update my blog if anything changes.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Mark @ [CodeMacLife] Follow me on [Mastodon (AllThingsTech)] Follow me on [Medium] Follow me on [Tumblr] Email me at [connect@codemaclife.net]