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Todoist and Hit Lists for Freelance Writing Productivity – a Cure for Lost Projects?

productivityMy writing productivity where clients are concerned has always been pretty good. I’ve been far less productive is with my own writing projects. I wrote about this not long ago in Lost Projects, Todoist, and Tech Problems and things are getting better. Not perfect, you understand, but better.

As you might suspect I have more than one project I want to get done for myself. They range from updating this website – a huge project that scares me because there are something like 1700 posts now and if the site falls apart… you get the idea… to ebook marketing, and the video class I offered for awhile then took down.

After staring at particularly the class for awhile I remembered that I used to create what I call hit lists. I actually wrote about them several years ago in an article aimed at increasing productivity called Organizing Your Writing Project – Outline, Mind Map Or List. I quit them I think because they started to feel cumbersome.

Adding Todoist made the difference in productivity

Coupling these hit lists with Todoist is helping with both productivity and organizing my personal writing projects.

First, I’ve simplified the hit lists into just that, a list unless the project is truly complex. Because the class is complex, with 20 lessons, each with a video, the video run through Handbreak, a program that reduces the size nicely, upload to Amazon S3, a word document that is notes from each video written, edited and turned into a .pdf… well, you get the idea. I have all that information on a spread sheet. But the classes have to be accessible and I have to be able to collect a fee for them. So that’s where I am now. Testing a website I’ve created with the first 4 classes. If that works well, I’ll be in a position to offer the classes.

Most of my hit lists are just simple lists I do in Word. Then I refer to the list in a Todoist entry.

Instead of trying to get all 20 lessons into Todoist, I’ve got an entry that says “Get your book written every weekday until done.” It shows up every weekday so I don’t forget, and I ether get work done on it or not, depending.

Client’s work may or may not get a hit list, depending on how complex it is. Sometimes the entry on Todoist might read “Chris’s white paper until done.” I know I’m waiting for more information, but that tickler will lead me to call him again today.

Log everything!

The trick with Todoist is to list whatever project I need to remember just as soon as I think of it, even if there’s nothing to do. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll set up the actual scheduling later.

Then, at the end of every work day I make sure I’ve either done everything on Todoist, or moved it to another date – and that now includes all the hit list items.

Todoist plus simplified hit lists plus using both systems is helping me increase my productivity in a fairly painless way.

By the way, if you’d like notice of when the video class, Getting Your Book Written with Vision and Spirit is available, sign up here and you’ll be among the first to  know… and you’ll get a special price!

What about you and productivity? Got any hints for us?

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • My very first time to come across this word;Todoist

    • Ndemi, ‘todoist’ is not really a word, but the combination of the words ‘to do list’ with the l taken out to make up the name of the software. It applies only to that software. We do that sort of thing a lot in the U.S.

  • There are apps that help me in that. The app Color note is the best. Planning is key before you write anything

  • I don’t use ToDoist, but I do log everything I write (and all my assignments) in another tool. I think tracking is key, especially if you have multiple clients.

    • And I also track my hours – not every assignment since I’m usually paid a flat fee, but occasionally just to check myself – I use toggl.com for that.

  • Sue Chehrenegar

    I joined writers’ meet-up group, and I use my time there to work on my own projects. Yesterday I had to leave early, but at least I got started on a first chapter. Now I have something to revise and add to, as I find the time.

  • Absolutely love Todoist! I’m always running around during the day and sometimes its hard to remember some of the smaller things that I might not have done! Cheers!

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