Scott's favorite productivity app

My Favorite Productivity Tool - for the past 15 years!

productivity Sep 06, 2022

 

Did you ever get the sense that you just had so much to do personally and professionally it was tough to keep it all straight? Toodledo is a set of incredibly powerful tools to increase your productivity and organize your life. More than just a to-do list, Toodledo provides you with a place to write long notes, make custom lists, create structured outlines and track your habits.

I learned about this web app almost 15 years ago and have been using it ever since. I’d like to tell you a little bit about how it’s helped my clients and me over the years.

The best place would be to tell you how I found out about that incredible little web app. About 15 years ago, I read David Allen’s book called Getting Things Done (GTD), and with a little bit of searching on the web, I discovered he had a bit of a cult-like following. People who utilized his GTD process discussed their favorite productivity tools, and one of the apps the community used to help them was Toodledoo. Before I get into the details of how I started using it in my business and personal life and how much helped my clients and me, I’ll tell you this is less of a product review and much more about how impressed I am with the company’s new owners and the fact that I’ve been able to rely on the application for so long to help me manage the many things I need to do and want to accomplish in my personal and professional life. 

I recently had the opportunity to meet with the new owners of the company. About a year ago I noticed an article announcing the company have been sold and I was very concerned. I still had the memory of the Microsoft acquisition of Wunderlist in the back of my mind. At the time, I had several clients on the platform, and they loved it. Shortly after the acquisition, Microsoft shut down the product permanently. I was concerned that Toodledoo would suffer the same fate. Thankfully, it didn’t. Quite the opposite, the new team is incredibly enthusiastic about improving the platform and spreading the word.  The businesses I’ve owned and sold were in the photography, property damage restoration, and mobile auto glass repair and replacement industries. Just like a photographer might have a favorite camera, a restorer might have a favorite moisture meter, and an auto glass technician might have a favorite cut-out tool, Toodledo has become my favorite productivity tool that’s perfect for small business owners and their teams no matter what the industry. We all have way too much stuff to do to keep it all in our brains. We need a place, a trusted place to store all.

Here’s a little bit about the progression of how I started using it. 

  1. I did a brain dump. I sat down for about an hour and just entered everything I could think of that I had to do and entered it into the program.
  2. Next, I looked at each task and asked myself the simple question of whether or not I would ever need to do this again. If I did, I simply made it a recurring task. There are seemingly endless options for setting the frequency interval. You can have it repeat every day, every other week, once a year, every third Friday of the month, every first Monday of the new quarter – the possibilities are limitless.
  3. For more complicated tasks, I realized if enough time passed, I couldn’t quite remember how to do what needed to be done (reports to create & review, worker’s comp audit preparation, annual 401k testing, etc.), so I added a simple note, and the task reminded me of how to do it. Then, I realized they were tasks that already had how-to documents written, so I just added a link to the document within the task note. Then, I took the step further and created how-to videos in another one of my favorite applications called Screencast-O-Matic and then added a link to the video.

The next realization was if I was getting this much value and finding I was getting more productive and less stressed because I wasn’t trying to keep track of post-it notes and my memory, I should introduce the idea of using Toodledo to some of my team members, so I helped my office manager, bookkeeper, and administrative assistants to get Toodledo set up. With the team version, It’s really easy to collaborate and assign tasks to team members. As the owner, it was great for me because it reduced my need to remind people to take care of their recurring tasks.

In the past five years, I’ve sold two businesses and have left the owners with my Toodledo accounts. Every task that I hadn’t delegated away to others lived inside of Toodledo. In the case of my most recent sale, I made a short screencast video using Screencast-O-Matic and added the link to just about every task the new owner had to take over from me. It not only made the post-sale transition easier, but it also helped him to learn my exact process. In the past year, he has undoubtedly improved and refined some of what he learned from me and has continued to use Toodledo as his trusted guide for taking care of everything he needs to do to run his business.

This week, I had a great story from a client who has been using Toodledo for the past several months. The owners are a husband and wife team and started using the application themselves and found they really liked getting everything out of their heads. They upgraded from the free single-user account to the team version and helped their office manager set it up. The owner explained that the office manager doesn’t do great with verbal assignments, but when she has something in writing, she’s fantastic at following the process. The office manager also has a challenge with self-confidence, and this often shows up as asking a lot of questions throughout the day to the owners. With Toodledo and the process I explained above, the number of questions asked throughout the day has dropped dramatically and has also eliminated tasks not being done due to forgetfulness. The only thing you have to remember is to open Toodledo! The owners are in the process of finding a buyer for their business and are following my lead in terms of creating their complete list of regular tasks in the application, so they have a smooth transition with the new owner when the time comes.

As a restoration and home services business coach, my clients are constantly on the run, so the Siri integration is a huge help to them. Simply tell Siri to create a reminder that automatically syncs with Toodledo.  Clients have things they need to remember to do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. They have requests from homeowners, insurance adjusters, third-party administrators, and team members. I’m a big fan of paper and pencils. I actually have a little bit of an obsession with mechanical and good old fashion wooden pencils however, I don’t think post-it notes, scraps of paper, and a variety of notebooks is a very efficient way for us to manage the many things we need to do in today’s age. 

If you set up an account for yourself and like it, think about creating a Toodledo account for each position in your company. Imagine how much this would help with onboarding, performance, and as an aid to “replacing yourself” when team members want to advance in the company.  

Do yourself a favor and visit toodledo.com now and give it a try. Also, be on the lookout for an upcoming article on how I use Screencast-o-Matic.  If you’d like to see a short video demonstration of how you can use Toodledo to help in your business, click the link below, and I will send it out to you.

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I’m Scott Miller, and I’m the owner of thegrowthleague.com. I make these videos and write these articles to help business owners get more profitable, reduce the chaos and build something they can sell for a lot of money when they are ready to move on.  If you want to learn more about how I help clients book a call with me by clicking the link below.

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