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Second brain tool: MS Todo

There are a lot of options for a digital second brain, but today, I wanted to share one that I used for about a decade, and just stopped using a few months ago.

tl;dr: if you want the closest thing to a paper todolist you can get, MS Todo is fantastic.

Let’s dig in!

Most apps to do much.

I’ve tried a lot of todo apps over the years. They’re all too much.

You know how it is with an ADHD brain. The tool becomes a thing you play with and configure and do instead of the actual tasks on your todo list. Things like Todoist and Notion and Omnifocus… they’re too feature-rich.

MS Todo is a goldilocks app.

In MS Todo, you can…

  • Create lists.
  • Group lists into collections.
  • Add items to the lists, and add subtasks to those items.
  • Mark items as complete.
  • Add notes.
  • Search.

Using MS Todo is basically like pulling out a tiny notebook and jotting down a bulleted list of todo items. Except it’s digital and always with you on every device.

The real winning feature, though, is the “Today” smart list.

You can go through your lists (or all of your todos in one big list if you want) and swipe-or-click them into a special “stuff to do today” list. They remain in their original list, but show up in a special “focus on this” tab without all of the noise.

It’s where I would put my big rocks.

And at the end of the day, the list gets wiped out so you can start fresh the next day.

So why did I stop using it?

I wanted an app that would let me co-mingle todos and non-todo bulleted list journal items in one spot.

You can sort of do it in MS Todo, but it’s clunky. And I would often paste in code snippets as notes, but the formatting for that leaves a lot to be desired.

I still think MS Todo is fantastic, and would recommend to anyone in a heartbeat. But next week, I’ll share what I use now instead.