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I use Evernote for almost everything. Plot ideas, research, character sketches, outlines, the list goes on and on, but there’s one thing I don’t use it for: Project management. Project management for authors is a big thing you need to have set up if you want to be publishing. For my project management, I use a tool called Todoist.
Todoist is really a task manager, and while there are “project management” apps, I use Todoist. Most of the others I’ve tried really feel like they’re based for multiple people, but Todoist still thrives with one person using it – perfect for the writer in all of us.
First, you’ll want to sign up for Todoist (todoist.com). You can get away with most things on a free account, though I do pay for premium. It’s about $29 a year, which is a steal for how much I use it (you can read about how I use it in my non-author life here).
Once you sign up, get started setting up some projects. Here’s the hierarchy of my todoist account for Laura Teagan things.
As you can see, I’ve broken it up into several different projects. Not only do I include my books, I include back end projects that you don’t always see happen. For instance, I’m working on retooling my Laura Teagan website, so I have a project for that. Social media also has a few tasks, specifically updating my cover photos now that I’ve debuted the cover for Double Played.
The marketing project has miscellaneous stuff that I need to get done – like set up a newsletter specifically for book reviewers to keep them updated, or to check Goodreads once a week. I’d like to stop here and say the biggest key for really using Todoist, at least for me is the due dates.
My default mode is set up as “Today.” So when I open up the app, it’ll show me everything I have assigned to do today. If I don’t assign a due date, I may never get it done (in fact, I saw a few things I needed to do a while ago because there was no due date).
Then the most obvious set of projects would be the books themselves. I have The Assassin in there, though I could probably archive it, and Double Played. Now that I’m working on the third book, Justice & Lies, I need to set up a project for that.
Typically in a book project, you’ll find a task for my #writechain daily goal of 500 words, a reminder to update my #writechain document, update a physical calendar, and whatever chapter I happen to be working on. All of those have to-do dates. The cool thing about Todoist is that I can add the due date in the box I write the task in, and the app automatically assigns a calendar date.
If I put in Monday, it’ll figure out what the next Monday is and assign it that date.
The key to really making the most of Todoist is to use it for everything. The more you use it, the more it becomes a part of your day, and then you don’t have to think about using it. If you’re working on a production schedule, Todoist can be a great addition to your work flow.There's one app that you should use to control project management for authors - @todoist Click To Tweet
Another trick that keeps me using Todoist is the Karma points. This is a premium only version, but honestly, this is what got me hooked. You set goals for how many tasks you want to accomplish every day and every week, and you create streaks. I have some aggressive goals set up because I use it for everything, but if you’re using it just for books and writer things, you can set it to something smaller.
The karma feature keeps you accountable, which is something you need when you’re a writer, especially if you’re a writer who doesn’t like to tell anyone. So, sign up for Todoist, give it a try, and let me know what you think. If you use a task manager already, what do you use?
P.S. – This post has been updated with “Project Management for Authors 2.0“