Ever have those moments when you think of something you need to do later... and you're nowhere near your to-do list?

Me too. All the time.

Maybe I'm in the kitchen. Maybe I'm in the car. And I'll think, "I need to do XYZ thing." And my brain can't hold any more XYZ things. If I don't write it on my to-do list, it doesn't exist.

I've used the app Todoist for years. More than 10 years, to be exact. To be fully transparent, I was a "meh" user for a long time. But now, it's an indispensable part of my day. I use it for both work and personal tasks, divided into different projects. But basically, One To-Do List To Rule Them All.

I also have a lot of Amazon Alexa devices in my house. Kind of an embarrassing number of devices. This means one is always at the ready for a voice command.

I have connected my Alexa app to Todoist so I can add to-do items from (practically) anywhere.

Step 1: Add the Todoist Skill in the Alexa App

You'll need to launch your Alexa app and search for the Todoist skill.

screenshot of the Todoist skill in the Alexa app

Within the Settings of the Skill, you'll need to connect your Todoist account.

The ratings of this Skill are low – 2.5 stars. I'm honestly not sure why. Reading some of the reviews, I think people aren't using it correctly. Or maybe they're trying to use more functionality than I am. But for getting to-do items from my brain to Todoist, it works perfectly.

Step 2: Use voice commands to add items to your to-do list

To add something to Todoist, all you need to do is say:

"Alexa, add _______ to my to-do list."

A screeshot of voice activity in the Alexa app

You can see here from my voice activity in the Alexa app, I said "Alexa, add call the dentist tomorrow to my to-do list."

In Todoist, this item shows up on a project called Alexa To-Do List with a tag of "Alexa."

A screenshot of the Alexa list in Todoist

Tip: Because Todoist recognizes smart dates, you can add a word like "tomorrow" to your voice command and Todoist will convert this to a date within the app.

I think this is why people struggle with the integration. If I hadn't added a date, this item would have been lost in Todoist (for me). Anything without a date doesn't exist in my world. I would forget to check the Alexa To-Do List, and could potentially miss something important.

If I don't have an exact date in mind, I'll always say "today" or "tomorrow" with my voice command. That way, at least I see it in Todoist. I can then change the date to the actual date. This is also easier for me than trying to verbally say some other date (like "next Monday") on the fly.

Step 3: Add to-dos from anywhere

Between Alexa and Todoist, there aren't a lot of situations where I can't add items to my to-do list. Yoga class is definitely one... 🤣 and it's unfortunate because my brain goes wild thinking of things I need to do. And then I have to frantically add them as soon as class is over.

But otherwise, if I'm not at home, the Todoist app is on my phone. If I'm driving, I have Amazon Echo Auto devices in the car, so I can use the same voice command to add items to my to-d0 list.

You can also use the Todoist skill to add items to your Shopping List in Todoist, but I use the built-in Amazon App shopping list for this.

Additional automation options

The hardest part is using a command that's simple enough for my Alexa devices to understand. Sometimes, I'll have a content idea like a blog post topic. I've tried detailing the topic with a voice command, but usually it gets lost in translation and I'll wonder what the heck I meant later.

I have to add just enough words to jog my memory. Then I'll move it from Todoist to Trello, which is where I do my content planning.

I've tried to get really fancy and add Zapier into the mix. By connecting Zapier to Todoist, I could set up a Zap that if the to-do item contained a word like "Blog Post" it would automatically move to Trello.

However, I've found that I'm not consistent enough with my voice commands. (Or Alexa doesn't understand me). But, if you're motivated, it's a way to take your to-dos to the next level.

More resources:

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