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Whether your new work from home life has you managing your own time for the first time ever, or you’re just trying to start a new side hustle and not getting things done as you expected, personal productivity is a very difficult thing. In this video, I’m going to show you my own system to make sure I get stuff done, and I’ll be doing that with a tool called TickTick. Now, you can really use any sort of project management system you like. I happen to love TickTick. They have a very generous risk free plan, which you can do most of the stuff I’m going to discuss in this video.

However, if you want to grab their premium plan, it’s less than $3 a month per user. I’ll have a link to that down below. That’ll be the referral link for this channel. If you want to support this content, make sure you click on that before making a purchase. All right, so here’s what TickTick looks like on the desktop.

I will mention right out of the gates. They of course, have mobile apps as well. But this is a native Mac app that I’m going to be using throughout this video. Now, it does have kind of the standard project management checklist layout. So we have something called Lists.

I can add a new list here, and maybe this is my grocery list and I can add that and then of course, add items to it. But I’m going to take a slightly different approach to getting things done. And I’m using that phrase on purpose because my approach to personal productivity comes from the getting things done method. Now, I will say right out of the gates, I am not a GTD expert. In fact, I haven’t even read the book.

But I kind of know enough about it that I was able to find a system that works for me. And I thought maybe by discussing it, you could maybe get some ideas on ways that would work best for you. Step one is I want you to think about all of the different contexts in which you like to work for me. That makes a lot of sense to divide things up into devices. So I’m going to go ahead and add a list for each device that I do work on.

So maybe I’ll do my iPhone. A nice feature about Tick tick that I like is you can add emojis in and they’ll show up inside of the actual list. So this is a really nice visual way to kind of keep things organized. So here’s the phone over here. Let’s add some other devices that I use.

All right, so I’ve got my phone, my iPad, and my desktop computer added as lists inside of TickTick. Of course, I can drag these around to reorganize them if I want. You can also group them by dragging one on top of another, and that’ll create a folder. But for now, I’m going to ungroup. I’ll right click here and choose Ungroup now because I want to be able to manage all of my personal productivity in TickTick.

I’m also going to add a list for my home so that I can manage tasks that I want to do at home or maybe even exercise events with the kids, things like that. So I’ll go ahead and add a home task here. Once again, I can add an icon here to keep things kind of visually nice. Whoops. That went in the end.

I’m going to go ahead and copy and paste it over to the beginning. All right. Now I’ve got all the context added to TickTick. So whether I’m on my phone, on my tablet, or at my desk, I’ll know what tasks need to be done that I can actually accomplish at that moment. Of course, I’ve also got my home added, so if I’m just kind of sitting around thinking of, oh, there’s probably some things I need to be doing, but I’m not sure what, I can click on that home tab and I’ll be able to find them.

Now, of course, some tasks are not singular. There’s going to be several tasks, tasks related to each other that we want to group together. And for that, we’re going to use tags in TickTick. I’m going to click right over here where it says Tags, and I’m going to add a tag called Projects. So a project is really anything that has more than two tasks related to it.

So an example might be I’m going to build a new website. Well, I’m going to go ahead and add another tag for the website that I’m working on building. I’ll click add tag. I’m going to give this the tag PT website. So anytime I have a task related to building out the Profitable Tools website, I’ll give it this tag.

I’m also going to put it under the parent tag Projects so that I know that all of my projects are nested together. And you’ll see that over here on the left hand sidebar, I can see Projects. And my only project right now is the PT website. You’ll want to repeat that process and add a new tag for every project that you take on. But there’s one other way that I like to use tags, and that is to review how I’m spending my time in different areas of my work.

So I’m going to go ahead and add a new parent tag here and I call it Areas. Now, again, areas are ways that we can track how we’re spending our time. So, for example, I’m going to add a tag for family. That way I can track all of the family related tasks that I’m doing, making sure I’m not ignoring my family and working too hard on my business. I’ll also add a tag for writing because I write lots of copy.

And how about another one for web development? Great. So now I’ve got three areas web development, writing, and family that I can track where I’m spending my time. I’m going to go ahead and just right click on these edit and make sure that I choose the appropriate parent tag, which will be areas. So now we’ve got our basic layout complete.

We’re going to add a few more features as we go. But I want to give you an idea of how this system will work. So let’s jump back over to the screen here and you can see this item right here called Inbox. Now absolutely everything that you add to TickTick should go in the inbox first and then later on we process it to make sure that it gets the right tags and assignments to the right list. Let’s go ahead and add a new task.

Now I want to add a page to my website called Values. So I’m going to add Value page as a task. Now I could of course, add a description over here and I’ll say something like write copy for Values page. And I could even add, say, a list inside of this by clicking on this icon over here. So the first task is to write the copy.

The second task is to design the page. Now for this particular task, I don’t have a deadline that it has to be complete, but of course I could add a calendar date right here to make sure that it gets done on time. You can also set up reminders. For now, I’m just going to go ahead and leave that part off. So the inbox is critical because that’s where everything comes in.

The idea is while you’re working throughout the day, or maybe you’re just out at the supermarket and a great idea comes to you, you want to be able to easily add things to your inbox. At the end of the day, you process the items in your inbox so that your next day is scheduled. In the weeks to come, you know what you’re working on. So of course, this means that adding things to your inbox has to be dead simple or you probably won’t do it. Well, the good news is there’s integration with personal assistants like Siri.

I can simply toggle on Siri from my phone, talk to Siri and say, hey, add this to my tick tick. There’s also the Siri shortcuts where I can get things to be a little bit more specific if I want. But I’ve never really needed to do that. I can simply just tell Siri to add something and it goes right into my inbox. If you’re a Gmail user, you’ll be happy to know that there is an extended engine for Gmail.

I can go ahead and open up any email. And you see right here, I’ve got an add to TickTick option. This also shows up on the mobile phone apps, even the iOS versions. So if I wanted to add this email. Maybe I needed to do something about this email.

I could add it right to TickTick by clicking one button. I really like that it brings in all of the copy on the email. However, it does not bring in images. That’s one thing that’s actually kind of nice about TickTick. It’s very text based.

There’s not a lot of images going on here. If you’re using other platforms, click up is one that I’ve recommended for larger organizations before, and Click Up integrates with a lot of different cloud providers. You could use Dropbox or Google Drive with ClickUp, and you can even upload files directly to Click Up. That’s great. But then opening up Click Up starts to feel like work in and of itself.

Tick Tick, on the other hand, is something that just kind of runs in the background. I don’t really need to manage it or spend a great deal of time per day making sure that everything is in order. So I can see here that it’s going to bring in this email. It actually creates a link back to the email right in the subject line, and it’s going to go by default to my inbox. Let’s go ahead and add this and jumping back over to TickTick, you can see here is the item that has been added.

The entire title is a hot link. So if I click on this, it actually opens up that email for me and I don’t have to go digging through my Gmail. It’s kind of an extra way to tag things in Gmail, if you want to think of it that way. Of course, there’s also a Chrome extension for TickTick. So anytime I’m on a page and I find the content interesting, I can simply right click and hit Add to TickTick.

A new task pops open with a link to that page. I can assign a due date if I want. And again, the default destination is going to be the inbox. If I wanted to change that destination. It can see all of my links lists right here.

All right, so now we’ve got a few items added to our inbox. Let’s talk about how we process this inbox. Now, I like to do this at the end of the day, although I know some people like to do it at the beginning of the day. I’m not sure if there is an official stance from the GTD method on this, but basically the idea here is that you’re going to go through your inbox, and first thing is, anything that you can get done immediately, just do it. If it’s going to take under five minutes, under ten minutes, go ahead and knock that task out before you finish anything else.

You’re also going to be deleting things here because sometimes you’re going to say, oh man, this WordPress news and announcements. I thought that was going to be important to me, but it turns out it’s not. So I can go ahead and just right click it and hit the trash can. Other tasks are contextually important. For example, I like to do my writing at my iPad.

So for this task right here, which is writing copy for a page on my website, I’m just going to go ahead and drag it over to the iPad. Now, I also want to make sure that I tag it appropriately so I’ll right click here and let’s add some tags. This is going to be a writing task and it’s part of the Profitable Tools website. So I’ll also tag it as PT website. And let’s hit OK.

You can see that the tags were applied right here. So it makes it really easy to glance at the task list and know what’s in store for me for that day so I can kind of mentally prepare. Now what about those tasks that you know you’re not going to get to anytime soon, but you don’t want to forget about? Let’s go ahead and add a couple more lists to our system so that we’re capable of managing anything. I’m going to add three more lists here.

Let’s click Add list. I’m going to call this one Someday. We’ll edd a nice little emoji here. This someday list is for things that are important and they’re things that you might want to tackle, but they’re not urgent. They’re nothing that needs to be get done immediately in the next few weeks.

The next list I’m going to add is called Waiting, and this is for any task that you’re waiting on someone else to do their part before you can complete yours at a clock here as our emoji. An example of a waiting task would be if you’re a web developer and you can’t start development on a web page until the graphic designer gets you the design, you could put that in the waiting list. As soon as you get the design, you would move it to the appropriate context. The last list that I’m going to add is called reference. The idea here is that this is going to be a place where you can put anything that’s important to you in the future that you think you’re going to have to go back to as a reference.

All right, let’s go through and process a few more examples in the inbox so you get a good idea of how this system works. Now the first thing I’ve got here is edit tick Tick video. That’s this video. I need to make sure that after I’m done recording it, I go through and clean it up before I upload it to YouTube. So I’m going to go ahead and move this over to my desktop because that’s where I edit the videos.

And then I’m going to assign some tags to it. This is going to be a video project. Whoops. I don’t have a tag for video. Let’s go ahead and add that.

I’ll type video and then create the tag video. We’ll add that one and I’ll hit OK. Now, because it’s important to me that I get this video published tomorrow, I’m going to go ahead and sign a due date of tomorrow back over to the inbox. The next task is to add PayPal to a client’s funnel. I’m going to go ahead and move that over to my desk as well, and I’ll tag this as web development.

Now, of course, I could be tagging these things before I move them over. I can right click and tag at any time. For example, this one is related to my family. I need to clean up my basement. Let’s go ahead and move this over to the home list.

This next item is a link to a website that shows me how to correctly add chapters to my YouTube videos, something that I’ve been trying to do. So let’s go ahead and move this over to the reference area. I need to call my friend Dan about creating a podcast. So I’m going to add this to my iPhone list and let’s go ahead and give this a tag. Now, once again, I don’t have any tags that are appropriate here.

So I’m going to go ahead and add a podcast tag. Add that and only one more inbox item. And you know what? It turns out I don’t need this one at all. So I’m just going to go ahead and delete it.

All right. So the good news is that my inbox is completely processed. I know what tasks I have coming up tomorrow and what’s scheduled out for the next few days. But in the process of going through the inbox inbox, I added a few more tags. So let’s go ahead and organize those to make sure that things stay nice and tidy.

Let’s click back over on tags and you can see that I’ve got this podcast and video tag up here. Now, the podcast itself is a project. There’s going to be regular recurring tasks for the podcast. So I’m going to go ahead and put that under projects. The video is going to be an area that I want to measure how much time I’m spending editing and creating videos.

So for that, I’m going to put under areas. Now, that’s not to say that you might not have duplicate entries here, so maybe I want to put in something like audio editing and I can have that as an area of time that I’m tracking. The main point that I’m trying to get across to you is that areas are for tracking how you’re spending your time. And projects are items that have multiple recurring tasks that are ongoing. One other feature that I really like about TickTick is the ability to track habits.

So, for example, I want to start drinking more water. I can go ahead and add a habit inside a tick tick by clicking this plus button. And I’m going to call this drink water. I can give it a different little icon here. Here’s a glass of water.

Now, I want to make sure that I do this every single day, and I can set a specific goal. Well, I’ve got this kind of large water bottle that I like to drink out of, so I’m going to choose reach a certain amount, and I will choose three, and I’m going to say bottles. And when I check things off, I’m just going to do the auto record, which will knock off one bottle. All right, great. We’ve got that all set up.

But I want to make sure that I’m doing it throughout the day so that I don’t forget and get to the end of the day and have to chug three giant bottles of water. So I’ll set a reminder. The first one I’m going to set is for, let’s say 09:00 A.m.. Here we go. Here’s 09:00 A.m..

Then I want to have my second bottle with lunch. So I’ll set this to be at 12:00 p.m.. And the last one, I want to make sure that I start drinking it around dinnertime. So we’ll set this to be 06:00 p.m.. All right, great.

So I’ve got this habit set up, and now I can see these little boxes. So that for today. If I’ve drank all of my water, I can go ahead and check it off. Now, I just drank one. You can see that it’s not completely finished.

And you know what? It’s not quite 06:00 yet. I have not finished my second bottle yet, but if I had, I could click here, and then you can see that it’s two thirds of the way. Now, this is going to be for each day of the week. And you can see you’re running total of the habits you’re trying to develop.

This could be anything from making sure that you make your bed to making sure that you check all of your email and reply to all your email contacts. Oh, I did that one day. All right, great. I can check this off, make sure I’m developing some good work habits. If you’re the type of person that’s really motivated by gamification, then this habits feature is going to be a game changer for you.

The next thing we’re going to talk about is smart lists. This is a way to set things up so that you always know what is the next thing that needs to get done. Let’s head back over to the computer and under list tags. The next item over is custom. We’re going to go ahead and add a smart list here.

I’m going to hit the plus button, and I’m going to call this next at Mac. All right, I’m going to add a nice little icon in there because I like to keep things consistent. Now, the next items here are ways that we can filter out items so that we can only see the information that we’re looking for. Under Lists, I’m going to choose Mac because of course, I want to only see tasks that I can complete when I’m at my computer. All right, I’ll go ahead and hit OK here under Tags.

This isn’t as relevant for this particular section because I want to see anything I can get done when I’m at the computer. For date, I’m going to choose things that have no due date, things that are overdue, things that are coming up today and what is due tomorrow. The next item is the priority selector. And because we haven’t talked about priority, I’m not assigning priority to items. I’m just going to leave this set to all.

However, if you want to do that, that is up to you and your workflow. I’ll go ahead and hit Save here. And now you can see I have a smart list for next at Mac. So the next time I go to sit at my Mac, I know that the first thing I’m supposed to do is edit the TickTick video. Now, I actually live in this section of TickTick.

Most of the time I don’t look at the lists and the tags. Once I get them set up, I simply go over to the smart list and there I see the next task that I need to get done. The benefits to smart lists are particularly mental to me. The idea is that I only see what I’m behind on and what I have coming up in the immediate future. I don’t get overwhelmed by seeing a giant list of tasks that need to get done over the next few weeks.

So I’ll set up a smart list for each context. My phone will have a smart list, my desktop will have a smart list, and my iPad will have a smart list. That way, the next time I’m waiting in line or in a waiting room somewhere, I can just grab my phone, open up TickTick and see if there’s anything that I can knock off right then and there. Now, if you live and die by the calendar, you can of course bring your calendar into TickTick. There is a calendar view here where we can see we’ve got some things assigned.

The water habit is showing up. I can toggle that off so it doesn’t show up in my calendar if I didn’t want to see it here. And then I got future tasks scheduled out. You can view by the day of the week or the month. If you’re already using another calendar and who isn’t, of course you can bring in third party calendars to TickTick.

It’s just simply in the preferences section right over here. We can go to Calendars, sync up with your local calendars, or you can subscribe to Calendars as well. When you’re working on a task, if you want to make sure that you’re only focused on that particular task, you can click on these three dots over here in the corner and start a focus. You have the option to either just start a stopwatch or start a pomo. Now, if you’re not Amelia with pomo timers, it’s the idea of that you’ll work on something for 25 minutes and then maybe take a five minute break.

You can play with those numbers so they make sense for your preferences, but it’s really nice that they’re built right into TickTick. You can kind of gauge how long a task is going take by how many pomos it is if you get used to using that system. So that’s it. That’s how I like to manage my personal productivity. Hopefully this video has been helpful to you.

If it has, make sure you hit that subscribe button and leave me a comment down below. Let me know what you like most about this kind of quasi GTD type of solution. All right, that’s it for this video. I’ll see you in the next one.

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