Looking for a free alternative to popular to-do list apps like Todoist and TickTick? Look no further! In this video, Scott Friesen introduces you to a task manager that not only provides all the basic features you need to manage your to-do list but also solves four big problems that are often faced by users of other task management apps.
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There seems to be a constant debate as to which is the better Task Manager. Todoist or TickTick. And while both of these apps are great, in this video, I'm going to show you a tool that does four things better than both of those apps. And best of all, it's free. Number one, let's take a look at the relationship between our notes and our tasks. For most of us, our tasks are generated from our notes. Either we are doing a brainstorming session or perhaps we're taking notes during a meeting and then we're generating our tasks and our to-dos from that collection of notes. But most of our task managers are not built around notes. Here within Todoist, the best that we can do is add a note within the description, but that's within the description of the task that actually seems kind of backward because chances are we are taking those notes first. This might force you to use another tool such as Evernote or Google Keep or some other scratch pad off of the side of your desk, and then converting it to a task. Now over in TickTick, they've gone one step further and they've given us the ability to create lists. And in this case, we can create things such as notes. Here I've created something titled a new note and I've jotted down some bullet points but that's essentially it. I can't quickly and easily convert anything here into a task. Now, I could come up here and set a reminder for the entire note but chances are there's only a few items or pieces of key information that I actually want to convert into a task. But here within AmpleNote, we have access to all of our notes, tasks, and calendar all in one centralized place. And best of all, there is a direct relationship between all three of these components. For example, I was taking down some quick notes, some quick thoughts earlier today. Here you can see I've got a few different bullet points here, and then I decided to add a task directly within my note. Now the best thing is that this task is not going to reside only here within my note area. If I switch over to my tasks, here you can see that research a new training to attend is now with all of my other tasks, which may be a combination of tasks that I've created as a one-off or tasks which I've created within other notes. So in this case, it follows a much more natural progression from brainstorming or note taking. And then if I do want to convert this, for example into a task, all I need to do is highlight it and suddenly it has become a task which I will now see on my task list and which I can now pull over onto my calendar as well. Number two, adding tasks directly to your calendar. Now, I've talked about time blocking and time batching for a long, long time and the importance of giving a time estimate and making sure that you're able to accomplish what you set out to do. And if you only keep your tasks in a list format, that is very, very difficult. You want to be able to see it in the context of all of your other meetings and all of your other events. Here within Todoist, we can view sort of a chronological view of all of our tasks but this isn't really a true calendar. Yes, Todoist does allow us to integrate and has an extension for other calendars, but there's certain pieces of functionality that you just can't do outside of Todoist. So you're going to find yourself going back and forth. TickTick on the other hand, does have a calendar view. However, you do need to upgrade to their premium version in order to make use of it. But here within AmpleNote, not only do we have direct access to our calendar and can easily toggle back and forth but we can drag and drop any of our tasks here on the right hand side directly onto our calendar so we can see the relationship between other things that are going on and the other tasks which perhaps we've dragged onto our day already. So for example here on the right hand side, I want to send out this invitation. I'm just going to drag it over and put it here for 10:00 AM. Meanwhile, maybe I'm going to drag this recording a podcast and put it over for tomorrow at 11:00 AM. So already I'm being that much more actionable as I put tasks directly on my calendar. Now you'll notice that the two tasks which I just added have different lengths, and that's because I set that up ahead of time. When I created those tasks, I gave them a time estimate so when I pull them onto my calendar, that stays with it. I don't need to recreate it or give it some type of default value, which you sometimes find with other calendar or to-do list extensions. Of course, if I want to change the details of any of my tasks, all I need to do is select it and I'll have access to everything here on the right-hand side, including changing the duration, choosing the ability to give it a custom reminder or adding any other details that I like. But I can also do that directly from my calendar. Maybe I know it's going to take me about two hours to record this podcast episode. All I need to do is drag it over like that and everything is set. As you've heard me teach before, I can't emphasize enough how valuable it is having your to-dos on the exact same screen as your calendar. Think of the following scenario. You've already planned out what your most important tasks are. Now you can plan out your entire week in advance making sure that you're making the best use of your time and all you need to do is drag and drop those tasks in the appropriate place on your calendar. Now speaking of deciding what's most important and what you should do next, let's take a look at priority. Now, of course, the ability to set the priority for your tasks is a basic feature of any task manager. Here within Todoist, we can come over here and select one of a number of different priority levels. So if red is high urgency priority level number one then maybe I'm going to set this to priority level number two and you can see the different color shading here. This also gives me the ability to filter or sort by these different options as well. Within TickTick, almost the exact same rules apply where I can quickly and easily set a number of different priority levels for any of the tasks which I've created. But just having a simple priority level is often not enough. How often have you applied the highest priority to dozens of your tasks? Now, which one should you tackle first? Well, here within AmpleNote they've created something called a task score which can be a great way when you're determining which of the next three, four or 10 tasks you should embark on next. And the great thing is, is that it's dynamic based on a variety of different factors, not just the length of time or due date, but also if it's important or urgent. Here's a task I created quite recently so it only has a task score of one. However, if I say that it's important suddenly that task score increases. If I say that it's urgent as well, well that task score jumps up as well. And if I base it on the start date, or how long it's going to take, that task score will continue to change. But if I scroll down here and let's say open up this task you can see that it has a task score of 12.5. What are the differences here? Well, it's also looking as to when I created this task which I think is really valuable. It's taking into account and assuming that I've been meaning to do something with this for a very long time, even though I have not given it a start date, even though I haven't chosen it as important or urgent, maybe this is something I need to revisit next. And best of all, that task score translates to other parts of AmpleNote. Here we are back in the calendar view where I have a number of my tasks listed on the right hand side and I've chosen to sort it by task score. So you can see these first three are red, the next one is yellow, then a number of blues and then a few that may not have a very high task score at all. Now I can identify which ones should I be looking at next, or which ones do I need to revise. Maybe the due date has changed, maybe something else has changed and I can edit that task. But this gives me so much more and better information than simply adding my own flags and my own priority level. And even though tasks with the same color may look very similar I don't even have to dive into them to know that this one has a higher task score than the one down below. So I can be more efficient and quickly make better decisions when it comes to planning my day. Next, let's take a look at something that continues to distract us whenever you are working with your to-do list. And that has to do with constantly seeing tasks or things that you don't need to engage with for some time in the future. Here within my Todoist account, I have a task that says it's very important but I don't really need to think about this for another six to nine months. However, there's no real great way for me to hide or minimize this task. It's always going to be visible to me and often very distracting. What if there was a way in which I could hide my tasks until I want to see them? Well hear within AmpleNote, we can do that for any single task. It may look like I have a very long list of tasks here but there's perhaps a number of things that I don't need to think about and therefore I don't even want to see it until sometime in the future. So here on the right hand side you can see that every single task has a little icon which allows me to hide until sometime in the future. So let's say, I don't want to engage with this for another week. Well, I don't want to see this. I don't want to see it in my calendar view, so I accidentally drag it onto this week. I don't want to see it here as I'm analyzing or grouping my other tasks together. I'm going to say one week and now it's gone. It's vanished. It's almost like hitting the snooze button. It will return in its normal state exactly at that time. Now, of course, at any time we can always choose and change our filtered settings and we can choose to show our hidden tasks if we want to go back and see what is waiting for us in the future. But this feature alone is a fantastic way to keep our focus and also keep us distraction free as we strive to be more efficient and more time effective with all of our to-dos. So if you'd like a more effective way to bring your notes, tasks and calendar all together in one place, and take advantage of all of the features which I showed you today absolutely free, go to amplenote.com or click the link in the description down below. And if you want to save even more time as a part of your day, be sure to watch this video next where I show you seven Google Drive tips and tricks so you can be more effective and spend more time on the things that you want.
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