Braintoss is the perfect tool for capturing information on the go, something that is a key element for successful GTD. Here is everything you need to know to set up Braintoss for Todoist.
One of the many practical challenges we face every day is to capture a thought or idea before it vanishes. The way our brain works is not optimal for the life we live today. A random reminder can come to us when we least need it.
How many times have you been sitting in the car while your brain reminds you that you are low on toothpaste? That good idea on how to describe a problem comes to you when the only tools you have is a bottle of shampoo and a towel. Shure, Aquanotes is the solution for the latter, but for most other times I find Braintoss to be my trusted buddy.
What Braintoss does
Braintoss is really a quite simple app. It can record audio, take a picture, or let you type text. Any of these three types of captures is sent to a predefined email address. The power of Braintoss lies in its simplicity. The app has three buttons. It does not take a genius to guess what for. When you have recorded your message, you hit send. That’s it!
The function of Braintoss is really to let you capture your thoughts on the go and then forget about it until you come back to the office or are otherways able to process your email. Or in my case, my Todoist inbox.
There is more to Braintoss than what you see at a first glance. When you copy and paste a URL or share a website from your browser to Braintoss, the app will add metadata to the email like title, description and the meta-image. If you take a picture of a QR code or barcode, the information will turn up as text in Braintoss. What does not work very well is the transcription of your audio recording to text.
A neat feature is that Braintoss will include location data in every note. This is provided as a link to your coordinates that can be opened in Google maps. (This feature can be turned off.)
Braintoss and GTD
As long as your GTD system supports emailing stuff to the inbox, Braintoss can help you to get the idea out of your head and into your system. Below, I will show you how to set up Braintoss for Todoist. If you are using a different system, you can still follow the instructions from item 3 onwards.
Setting up Braintoss for Todoist
Setting up Braintoss for Todoist, or any other tool, is easy: If you want to send Braintoss notes straight to your Todoist inbox, this is the way to do it:
- In Todoist, go to your inbox and click on the Project Actions icon in the top right corner.
- Click on “Email tasks to this project”.
- Copy the email address.
- In Braintoss, click on the gear icon in the top left corner.
- Select Add e-mail address.
- Paste or type in the email address.
- Set this email address as the standard address to use when sending notes.
- Test by sending something from Braintoss.
Braintoss can also be configured to send emails to other services like Evernote and OneNote. To have Braintoss send to an alternate email address, simply long-press on the Send button and choose the address you want to send to.
If you want to learn more about the tools I use in connection with the five steps in GTD, read the below blog post.
The 5 steps of GTD and the tools I use in each step
Configuring the Braintoss email settings
You can configure the content and format of the email from Braintoss by sending a text note from the app. The setting change will apply to the email address that you send to. This means you can have different settings for each email address in Braintoss.
Below is a list of the different setting names:
- Footer on
- HTML on
- Caps off
- Thumbnails on
- AudioAttachment on
- TextAttachment on
- PictureAttachment on
- Prefix [Braintoss]
- Location on
- ImageRecognition on
- Transcribe on
- Metadata on
- SubjectSize 58
To change settings send a Braintoss note in the format:
set <settingname> <value>
For example: “set footer off” or “set caps on”
Alternatively, send a note with “set plain” to strip everything except the attachment or with set default to return to the default settings.
Use “set postfix …” for adding a #tag or a @notebookname.
With Google Assistant you can use “note to self” which can be configured to use Todoist. It translates your voice to text and it gets saved to your Todoist inbox. It works great and I use it all the time on my drive home from the office!
“Note to self send an email to Bob about the meeting next week”
That’s it… Done.
I like Braintoss, but have been unable to get the voice transcribe function to work properly. I’ve connected Braintoss to my Todoist Inbox, but the text that is added from the voice transcribe is nearly 100% incorrect! I’ve contacted the Braintoss support and they had a few suggestions, none of which worked at all. Since then, they apologize but cannot seem to fix the issue, and have stopped responding to me. I’m using the latest android version on a Samsung Galaxy S9. As per the comment above, I’ve gone back to Google Assistant, which is very reliable from voice to text transcription.