Task manages are most useful when they're actually used. That seems obvious at first glance, but when you really think about it, managing tasks needs to be an active process or it can devolve into merely postponing tasks in perpetuity.
Todoist is a popular task manager system that apparently agrees, because the developer has added some new functionality that gets better the more you actively use it to manage your time.
Today, Todoist is introducing Smart Schedule, which injects some machine intelligence to help you better plan your tasks. As you use Todoist, it learns your personal productivity habits and applies algorithms to help you better predict when you'll actually complete a task.
As the Todoist blog put it:
Smart Schedule uses predictive modeling to help you easily plan out your tasks for the day and week to come. It learns your personal productive habits, and takes into account patterns across all Todoist users, to predict the best possible due dates for your tasks.
That means those 50+ overdue tasks you have hanging around can be quickly rescheduled en masse, while new and unscheduled tasks can be easily assigned to the best due dates. In this way, Smart Schedule makes it much easier to stay on top of your to-do list and roll with the punches when your day doesn’t go as planned.
The process takes stock of a number of data points in determining when to suggest a task might be completed:
- Your habits – Usually catch up on emails on Monday morning? Is Saturday your reading day? Smart Schedule will learn your habits and suggest dates accordingly.
- Task urgency – Based on anonymous data from across all Todoist users, Smart Schedule estimates the urgency of any given task.
- Workdays vs. weekends – Smart Schedule learns which types of tasks can be done on weekends, and which should always be scheduled during the week (for example, “Finish draft” or “Check email”).
- Upcoming tasks – Have a full load for tomorrow, but a wide open Friday? Smart Schedule will try to balance your task load over the next 7 days accordingly.
- Your daily and weekly goals – Todoist lets you set and track goals for the number of tasks you want to complete every day and week. Smart Schedule will recommend due dates to help you meet your specific goals.
- And more…
You can accept the date suggested by Smart Schedule, or choose your own. If you want to give the new feature a try, you can create some new dates, reschedule an existing overdue task, or postpone a pending task. Smart Schedule can also be applied to all tasks when you select more than one.
Todoist makes a point of stressing that everything is private and secure. Any personal data is processed automatically by the algorithm and not accessed by any other services or any Todoist staff. And so, you can use the feature without worrying about anyone learning just how far behind you are on your task list.
Go update the app to get the new feature, or download from the link below. Let us know in the comments if Smart Schedule is helping you better manage your most pressing tasks.