A PhD needs a lot of organising and prioritising. A good task management tool is essential for any PhD student. When tasks start piling up you can easily get lost with everything you have to do, wasting time on tasks that are not as urgent. I realised that early into my PhD and was looking online for good task management tools. After trying a couple and reading about a few I decided to give “Todoist” (a word play with To-do list I presume) a go.

Almost 2 years later and I’m still using it daily. Todoist has a free version and a paid one (with some added features). But I’ve found that even the free, stripped-down version is quite useful and a good way to have all tasks organised and prioritised. It allows creation of different projects and then you can add tasks under these projects. For instance, I have a project called “Tests” and under there I include all tasks related to the tests that I’m running. I have another project called “Courses” and there I drag all tasks related to courses I take. And tasks can be prioritised on 4 levels (red flag, orange flag, yellow flag, white flag).Red flagged tasks show up above the other ones, as they are more urgent.

Another useful feature is the addition of time. If you have several tasks in the day with a specific time, then they will of course show up in time order. What’s more, you can easily transfer unfinished tasks to the next day (or any other date you want). There is also an app across all devices, so it is easy to have all your tasks synced with all your devices.

In the pro version you can add reminders and I also think it allows for having shared projects and tasks with other members of the team. These features are oriented more on project manager professionals. As a PhD the free version is just perfect.