How to add tasks in Todoist

How to add tasks in Todoist – A complete guide to all 19 ways

Reading Time: 7 minutes

There are surprisingly many (19!) ways to add tasks in Todoist. Here you will get a detailed overview of all of them.

The ability to quickly add a task to your task manager is vital for ensuring what David Allen refers to as “one trusted system.” The fact that you quickly can add a task or idea in almost any situation is one of the reasons why I like Todoist.

You can add tasks in Todoist using the keyboard on your phone or computer. With the help of Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri you can use your voice to add tasks. You can also add tasks by email or automate the process using IFTTT.

The Todoist web application. (Picture: Todoist)

Typing in tasks in Todoist

Whether you are using the web version, the Windows 10 app, or the Mac version, you can start by clicking on the Add Task link. Then you can type in whatever you want in the task window. By clicking on the different icons in the bottom right corner, you can add or select project, label, reminder, priority, and comment.

Using the keyboard shortcut

In Todoist, hitting the Q button on your keyboard will automatically bring up the Quick Add Task window. This is a free-floating window with the same design as the Add Task window.

How to add tasks in Todoist using only the keyboard

In either one of these windows, it is possible to add a task, with a project, label, priority, and date – all without using the mouse. Here is how:

  1. Hit Q on your keyboard to bring up the window.
  2. Type in the task.
  3. Hit the space-key, after that #. This brings up your project list.
  4. Start typing the project name until the project you want shows up.
  5. If needed, use the arrow keys to set the focus on the correct project.
  6. Hit Enter to select a project.
    1. If you are using a shared project, and want to assign the task to a project member, hit the + sign.
    2. Select the person, and hit Enter.
  7. Hit the space-key, after that @. This brings up a list of your labels.
  8. Select in the same manner as with projects.
  9. If you want to add a priority, hit the space-key, after that P.
  10. Type in priority between 1 and 3.
  11. To add a date, hit the space-key, after that type the date or day. See below, for details on dates.

Adding dates

Todoist understands natural language when it comes to days, months, etc. For adding a specific date, type in the date in your preferred format or use the calendar to select a date.

TYPE TO GET
Mon Next Monday
Tue Next Tuesday
Wed Next Wednesday
Thu Next Thursday
Fri Next Friday
Sat Next Saturday
Sun Next Sunday
Tod Today
Tom Tomorrow
Every Monday Every Monday
Every other Monday Every other Monday
Every third Monday Every third Monday
Every Month Every Month

The really neat thing is that you can type in all of this in the task field, without having to use your mouse.

Adding comments

A thing I find a bit annoying is that if you want to add more than one comment, or if you want to add attachments or emails, you will not get the functionality needed for this by using the comment function from Add Task windows.

The workaround here is to set the date to today’s date (Today.) Then you add the comments, files, or emails, and then change the date to the date that you want this task to be done.

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Emailing tasks to a project in Todoist

You can email a task to any project in Todoist, including your inbox. This is done using the unique email address associated with each project. You can find this address by clicking on the Project Actions icon and then selecting Email tasks to this project.

This is the top of the Todoist web application. The Project Action icon is the grey tools in the top-right corner. (Picture: Todoist)

Adding emails from Outlook

Using the Todoist Outlook add-in, you can easily add emails as an attachment or as a task. What is outstanding with this add-in is that the email keeps the connection to Outlook, making it possible to open the email directly from the Todoist Outlook add-in.

Add the email itself as a task

  1. Click on the email in Outlook.
  2. With the email in focus, click on the + in the Todoist Outlook add-in.
  3. Click on the Add email as task link at the bottom of the Quick Add Task window.
  4. Add project, label, priority, and date as needed.
  5. Click the Add Task button.

Add the email as an attachment to a task

  1. Click on the email in Outlook.
  2. Click on the grey comment icon to the right of the task.
  3. Hit the + button under Add comment.
  4. Click the Add Comment button.
  5. Close the task using the X in the upper right corner.

To download the Outlook add-in, go to https://en.todoist.com/downloads.

Adding emails from Gmail

With the Todoist Gmail add-in, it’s very easy to create tasks based on your email.

  1. Click on the Todoist icon in Gmail. This brings up the Quick Add Task window.
  2. Follow instructions as for Typing in tasks in Todoist.

Adding tasks from your browser

Todoist have add-ins for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The instructions should be identical for all browsers.

Add tasks in Todoist from Chrome

  1. Click on the Todoist icon in your browser. This will open a small window similar to the web version of Todoist.
  2. Either click on the + icon, click on Add Task or use the Q key on your keyboard.
  3. Follow the instructions for Typing in tasks in Todoist.

You can find all the add-ins by visiting https://en.todoist.com/downloads

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Add tasks in Todoist from your Android phone or tab

This can be done by tapping on the + icon in the lower right corner. You can also use a dedicated widget. When tapped, this will bring up the Add Task window. See the instructions for Typing in tasks in Todoist. Be aware that the keyboard shortcut does not work here.

Adding tasks from a Samsung phone with a Bixby button

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, Note8, or Note9, you have a dedicated button for Bixby, Samsung’s smart assistant. If you do not use Bixby, there are several apps that let you deactivate or reassign this button for other purposes.

I have used the bxActions app to make this button bring up the Add Task window on my Samsung Galaxy Note8.

Add a task using Braintoss

Braintoss is a great app that let you add a task to your Todoist inbox in the form of a text, image or audio recording. See the below blog post for details.

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Add tasks in Todoist using Google Assistant

Using Google Assistant, you can add tasks by following these steps:

  1. a. Say “OK Google, let me talk to Todoist.” or
    b. Long press the Home button on your phone and say “Let me talk to Todoist.”
  2. Say “Add a task Buy cat food.”
  3. After adding the task, the Todoist assistant will inform you that “The task has been added. Any changes?” At this point, you can move it to a project, add a label or set the task’s priority.
  4. You can move it to a project such as “Shopping” by saying:
    1. “Move it to shopping.
    2. “Move to shopping.
    3. “Project shopping.”
  5. You can add a label to the task, such as “Important”:
    1. “Add label important.”
    2. “Add important label.”
    3. “Label important.”
  6. You can set the priority of the task as well:
    1. “Set priority 4.”
    2. “Priority 3.”
    3. “Set priority to 1.”

Add an email as a task from Nine Email

Nine Email is the best Android-based email app I have found as an alternative for Newton.
The app lets you share the email text as a task or comment in Todoist.

Adding a task from your Android Wear wearable

I haven’t tried this myself, but it’s supposed to work like this:

  1. Say “OK Google, start to do list. Add task. Buy cat food.”
  2. The task Buy cat food is then added to your Todoist Inbox.

Add tasks in Todoist from your iPhone or iPad

You can add a task to Todoist from the widget on your iOS device. See the instructions for Typing in tasks in Todoist. Be aware that the keyboard shortcut does not work here.

Add tasks using Siri

To add tasks using Siri, call up Siri and use one of the following sentences:

  • “Add [task name] in Todoist.”
  • “Add a task named [task name] in Todoist.”
  • “Remind me to [task name] in Todoist.”

To add a due date and time and/or a project to any task, use the following format:

  • “Add [task name] [due date and time] in Todoist.”
  • “Add [task name] to my [project name] list in Todoist.”
Note that when adding tasks to projects, you need to use the word “list” after the project name.

Add task via voice command on Apple Watch

  1. Open the Todoist app by tapping the Todoist logo on your Apple Watch.
  2. Force touch anywhere inside the app, and you will see the option to Add Task.
  3. Once you see the voice recognition waves, say the task details and tap Done.
  4. On the next screen, you can select the task’s project.
  5. When you are finished, tap Save.

Add tasks in Todoist using Google Home

The Google Home is powered by Google Assistant. To add a task to Todoist, start with saying
“OK Google, let me talk to Todoist.” Then, follow the instructions for Google Assistant.

Picture: Flickr.

Using Amazon Echo and Alexa to add tasks in Todoist

Todoist can be enabled as a skill in Alexa. When this is done, you will be able to use your voice to add tasks in Todoist. I have not tried this myself and will, therefore, recommend Todoists article on how to do this, as well as Toms Guide also on how to set up Todoist with Alexa.

Add multiple tasks by using copy and paste

What is the easiest way to add multiple tasks to Todoist? Use a text editor.

  1. Start by making a list in your favorite text editor. It can be Word, TextPad, Evernote, or any other application.
  2. Make a list with each task on a separate line. Use a hard return (Enter).
  3. Copy the text.
  4. Click + Add Task in Todoist. You then get a question, “Do you want to add X tasks?”
  5. Answer “Yes.” (If you answer “No” the text will be pasted as a continuous text in a single task.)

If you want to sign up for Todoist Premium, I would appreciate if you use this link. This will not cost you any extra but will give me two months Todoist Premium. Thank you!


Add tasks in Todoist using automation

Add tasks in Todoist using the free IFTTT service

IFTTT is short for IF That, Then This. With the help of IFTTT, you can create a two-step automation that automatically creates tasks in your Todoist inbox based on a trigger. I use IFTTT for the following:

  • Every time I get a text message, a copy of the text is created as a task in my Todoist inbox.
  • If I have an unanswered phone call, the task of calling back the given number is created in the Todoist inbox.
  • When I get a new Twitter follower, I get a task in my Todoist inbox so that I can follow up if needed.

Add tasks in Todoist Zapier

Zapier is a more advanced alternative to IFTTT. In Zapier you can create a multi-step automation that creates tasks in Todoist. Zapier has a lot more possibilities than IFTTT, but you will have to pay for multi-step automations or extensive use.

Puh! That was 19 different ways to make you remember. Whats your favorite way?

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One comment

  1. My favorite way to add tasks to Todoist is by using the “Add Task” widget on my Android phone. It pulls up a dialog that provides me with pretty much the same functionality as the Quick Task window on the desktop. I have this widget on my main home screen on my phone, which makes it very easy to capture those fleeting thoughts while on the run.

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