Productivity Academy Live Q&A – Episode 44


Join us live each week at and get your questions answered by submitting them at anytime right here: You can watch the video for the past episode recorded on July 12th, 2018  above, or you can review the transcript below.

In this episode we talked about:

  • What are some great web-based alternatives to Todoist?
  • How do I avoid losing focus on my goals after waking up?
  • How can I change overnight, to be more productive and the person I dream to be?

To find recommended tools and other great resources, check out the Productivity Academy Resource Toolkit:

Alright, welcome to the Productivity Academy Live Q & A Number 44. We’re slowly working our way up to 52, which would be awesome so that would be basically the same as a calendar year so getting excited for that.

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So today, we are going to be talking about some alternatives for a to-do list, which that was an interesting question. Avoiding losing your focus on your goals and then whether or not and how you can change overnight. Be a more productive person and be the person you want to be. Alright so let’s dive into that.

So the first question, like I said, was what are some great web-based alternatives to Todoist? The first answer I would give to that is Todoist is web-based. So you can, I understand that’s on your phone. You can use it on iOS or on Android but it’s also a great interface on the web. And I actually use it on the web the majority. The only way I really use it on my phone a lot because when I’m out and about and I use it as kind of a catch all. I tend to use that more than I actually use Evernote. So I have a little bit of redundancy there but for me it works. And I can use Evernote for things like capturing images or PDFs or longer form things. Whereas I got the short cut on my home screen on the phone and I just click a button and it pops it up and it’s ready to populate with the task for Todoist and then I go from there.

But again, if you’re looking for web-based then I would say my question would be why. Look for an alternative because it is web-based. But if you are then to just start looking around. And I would say less than here is an exact copy of Todoist on the web is define what that is, in terms of what you want. What are you looking for from a to-do list? Are you looking for like ability to integrate with calendars? You want to see something like Focuster? Are you just looking for something super simple that just has text? Maybe you just want literally a text editor and you can write down your things and mark them off and clear them out every day. Finding out what that is and what you need is the first step to finding the right tool. So I would just go through that. Take five minutes and say, “What do I want? How do I want it to look? What do I want it to do or not do?” And then go out and find the tool with that.

Alright, so good question. And again, I come back to it and say, “Yeah why not just use Todoist but there might be some reason you don’t want to. And that is fine.

Question number two, how do I avoid losing focus on my goals after waking up? So good question. I think the question in general, as you know, you’re maybe thinking of the time before or when you’re not working and you’re saying okay I got these goals I know what I want to do. But maybe once you get busy or life kind of gets in the way you lose track of that and you end up kind of going off course. For myself that’s why, nowadays, I use the Best Self Journal. And as well as some other larger, longer term things I have, for example, a Google Doc where I list my 90 day, one year, two and then three to five year goals. Excuse me, and I have a reminder pop up every I believe that’s set to 30 or 60 days right now. I can’t remember because it’s automated and so when I see it I do a quick review of that. And occasionally I do a longer review where you know go through and am I working towards those, are there action items I can add to those?

But to get back to the immediate when you wake up and how you can stay on track is to make sure you actually understand what your goals are. And if you have those goals, write them down. It could be again a Google Doc that you look at and you remind yourself to look at every day. Or it could be in a journal you keep, it could be whatever it is. Again, I suggest having something that you use regularly so maybe if you use something like Evernote you can have a notebook with your goals or just have a note with them. And then review that, make that part of your daily process. Before you get the work and whatever it is in the morning, in the afternoon, you sit down and I highly advocate a daily review for other reasons as well so that you can collect all of your tasks, all of your little odds and ends, prioritize, batch them and then get to work after kind of scheduling your time.

But part of that process is also reviewing your goals. And then the reason being, one, it reminds you okay these are the goals, this is what I’m working towards. Because sometimes there might be tasks you don’t want to do but they fit into that bigger overall goal. I’m not saying that’s how you make yourself suffer through the day. If you don’t like the task and you can, you can delegate it, you can get rid of it, you can do whatever. But sometimes there are things that we have to do that we don’t want to. And reminding yourself of your goals can help you push through that and even start to enjoy it maybe some of these tasks.

So at the end of … What I’m trying to explain here, the very short version is write down your goals and review them every day. That’s it, that’s going to really help you out. And if you can, I highly suggest checking out some of my other videos about doing a daily review and adding that into your day where you start off, you look at your goals, then you go through, you collect all your loose items, you prioritize, you batch, you time out your day. And looking at those goals first is going to help you prioritize everything. Oh right, this task doesn’t have anything to do with my actual goals, that’s going down on the priority list, things like that. Good question.

Okay, last one. How can I change overnight to be more productive and the person I dream to be? Big question and I would say the short answer, good on you. If you want to get started, then the best thing you can do and the biggest change you can make is to take advice from me or from whoever else you believe to have the best answers and start now. It’s like waiting and saying like, “Oh, after the holidays I’ll get on a diet and do all this.” No, start. Just find one thing you can do.

And what I would say is for me and what I recommend to everyone is doing a daily review. There’s a lot that goes into this but you can start today. You can start tomorrow. And so changing overnight, doing anything drastic can be really tough. You can generally do it once but building that habit is what’s hard. People can quit smoking tomorrow but so many people start smoking again. So I want to advise like start something but it’s the habit that you drive through that’s going to be really important. So for me, it’s a daily review.

Again, sitting down and you could start with literally five minutes. I highly suggest more like 15, 20, 30 if you have it. But all you’re going to do is pull in all your to-do. You’re going to look at your task list, you’re going to look at the sticky notes on your desk if you use those. Pull everything together. And then you’re going to look at, okay, how can I kind of batch these together, what makes sense, what goes where? Prioritize them, what’s the most important thing I have to do and get done today, what’s the second most, so on and so forth.

And then blocking out the time for your day. Do you already have things you have to do, looking at your calendar? Do you have meetings? Do you have a class, do you have to go somewhere? How much time do you actually have? And then working your prioritize list into that.

And it sounds like it could be complicated but you can start out with using a Post-it note, with using a three by five index card. You can use a Best Self journal, one of these and just get started with it. And then the second thing would be set yourself a reminder to do it. You know yourself, when’s the best time to do this? At the beginning of your day, are you an early riser? Do you like to get up and get some coffee, do something then you know set a reminder whether it’s an alarm on your phone, it’s a note next to your computer, whatever it is.

And then start building that habit. And the longer you do it, the easier it is and the pay offs just keep building and building and building and building. I think you can change overnight but remind yourself or recognize that it’s going to be a small change. But that every day you do this, it keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

Hopefully, that helps. I’m going to take a quick look here for any other questions. I don’t see any. Okay so if you want to join live you can check out the description below and join the group. You got to answer a couple of questions to get in. I want to make sure that you actually want to be around other people who are interested in productivity and process, organization, all that good stuff. And if you are interested in finding out a little bit more you can grab the guidebook. Just go to

Alright, well thank you for watching this week and I will talk to everyone in about a week.

About the author

Adam Moody

I'm Adam Moody with the Productivity Academy. Get your productivity, time management, automation, and organization questions answered here. Be sure to check out the Productivity Academy YouTube Channel.

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By Adam Moody

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