Todoist: how I stay focused using a custom start page

For the past few months, Todoist has been my task manager of choice. I’ve invested a lot of time in tweaking it to find a setup I’m happy with. This is the first post in a mini series I’ll be doing on Todoist.

First, I wanted to share my custom start page. In Todoist, the start page is what you see when you click on the logo in the top left corner. You can customise what appears on this page by going to Settings and selecting from the “start page” drop down.

I started by using complex queries to show my various priorities and projects and labels. But honestly, I didn’t find that particularly useful. Now I’ve opted for an incredibly simple start page and I use it multiple times a day.

Before I dive into the start page I use, I want to explain the problem I’m trying to solve. I start by searching through my Today view or perhaps use a Filter to find a task I want to work on next. I then start working on that task. But before I know it, I’ve been distracted and I’m no longer working on that task. It might be an incoming call, a knock at the door, or an interruption of my own making (Twitter or Slack most likely). I then forget what I was working on and start on something else. It’s not until later when I review Todoist again that I have that realisation: “Oh yeah, that’s what I was working on.”

This is a problem when you have a large degree of autonomy with your time. You can work on what you want, when you want. But jumping around tasks like this is hugely inefficient.

To get around this, I find the task I want to work on and then apply a label of “Now”. My start page uses a custom query to show the @Now label like this:

Todoist start page custom query

Now, when I lose track of what I’m working on, I jump straight to the start page which shows me the task I was working on. Once that task is done, I check it off, find another task to work on, add the @Now label, and off I go.

Todoist custom start page

I’m not sure if this is useful to anyone else but it seems to work for me.

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Marc Jenkins

I'm a freelance frontend & WordPress developer based in Birmingham, UK. I build fast & beautiful websites and work with businesses and agencies. More about me.

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