Why we love Todoist, and how they can make their email digests better

Keeping a team focused and organized is difficult. There’s an abundance of productivity apps in the market. How do you know which one is right for you?

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Here at Knowtify, we needed help staying organized with a few specific projects. And we tried many solutions, but for one reason for another, they didn’t fit our workflow - I felt like I was doing more work to try to get work done. No good. 

Enter Todoist

We heard good things about Todoist and decide to give it a shot. It’s been a few weeks… and we’re still using it! The ability to quickly create, assign, and complete tasks is amazing. Visually, the interface is simple and well organized. And we can start discussions about tasks in real-time - it fits great into our workflow! We love their delightful finishing touches too - for instance, when all tasks are completed, you see a different message based on the time:

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They also send a daily digest email to help users stay organized outside the app. 

Their daily digest email

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The completed tasks and productivity chart is great for keeping me engaged and motivated! The Karma chart underneath is a bit confusing, because as a new user I’m not sure it means. But I think they’re definitely on the right track here with these data-viz charts. 

What I’d also love to see is a snapshot of yesterday’s activity, speaking of which….

By default, I’d receive a notification about every action taken, which in theory is good for staying in the loop, but in reality you get something like this:

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Yup, that’s a lot of emails. I started ignoring them after a while.

Sure, I could go into settings and manually change my notifications, but the power of defaults are strong. Although I haven’t seen the numbers, I imagine many users going through the same experience will stick with it.

Jakob Nielsen writes,

"Users rely on defaults in many other areas of user interface design. For example, they rarely utilize fancy customization features, making it important to optimize the default user experience…"

Having smarter defaults and bundling related actions into fewer emails would definitely help. 

I would also offload some of this into their daily digest. 

Their daily digest could look like this:

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Seeing a summarized recap of yesterdays activity is a great way to stay motivated without being overwhelmed by a sudden barrage of emails, and knowing what tasks are due today keeps me focused. This is more concrete and actionable in comparison to their existing digest.

Actually, they could have 2 digests.

Two different digests

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While the new daily digests will cover the nitty-gritty and help me plan my day, the weekly digests (their existing emails) are great for higher level overviews of my productivity. These digests provide complementary information and I see it working great in tandem. 

If users find daily recaps and actionable tasks as useful as I think they will, their productivity should shoot straight up, which will then be reflected on the awesome charts in their weekly emails - this is an awesome way to keep users engaged in a positive feedback loop

Anyway, we love Todoist and will continue to use it for future projects. A more actionable daily digest would totally help us, and we think it’d help other users too. We’d love to see it happen!