Outlook Users: Consider Switching to Toodledo to Solve Smartphone Issues

July 31, 2015

As more and more people are processing most of their e-mail and tasks on their smartphones, many of the 1MTD and MYN system principles are getting harder to accomplish for Outlook users. Many of the tools we are accustomed to in a desktop copy of Outlook just aren’t there on our smartphones.

This is complicated by the fact that many large corporations are locking down their employees’ smartphones and not allowing installed third-party apps to have access to their Exchange Server. So while you can install some apps that might provide the solutions you need, they won’t work for you if they can’t reach your servers.

Switch to Toodledo?

One solution that you should seriously consider now is to stop using the Outlook tasks module and start using Toodledo for tasks. Here are some advantages of Toodledo for a heavy smartphone e-mail user:  

  • The Toodledo company has excellent task management apps for the iPhone and Android platforms that configure well for 1MTD and MYN. And a wide range of third-party apps also sync with Toodledo servers—those servers have become a standard for cloud-based task management on smartphones.
  • Tasks are stored on Toodledo’s (Amazon-based) servers and so smartphone and web access is normally not blocked by standard corporate protection systems. Toodledo software also have encryption options for security.
  • It is very easy to convert e-mails on your smartphone (or desktop) into Toodledo tasks by simply forwarding them. So it works with any e-mail system on any device. This solves a common problem of reading a smartphone e-mail but, since you’re not able to convert it to a task in the moment, you lose track of it.
  • If you use a Mac, you’ll find that Toodledo’s task module is much better than the Mac-Outlook task module.
  • Toodledo’s task module is even better than the Windows Outlook task module in some ways. For example, it supports due dates correctly.
  • Toodledo’s browser app is excellent for managing 1MTD and MYN tasks, and has a one-step MYN configuration command built in.

The disadvantage of using Toodledo for tasks, of course, is that your task module is no longer visible right next to your e-mail, as it is when using the Windows Outlook To-Do bar. But if you are reading the vast majority of your email on your smartphone, that doesn’t really matter does it? [See other disadvantages in my note in the comments section below]

As you probably know, Toodledo is the only other task module (other than Outlook) that I actively support. I have a full video class on how to use Toodledo with MYN, and I keep that class as up-to-date as I keep the Outlook class. I personally used the Toodledo software for about two years as my primary task management system, and I loved it. You can of course continue to use Outlook for managing e-mail, calendar, and contacts, and just switch your task management to Toodledo—that’s what I did for a few years.

So if you’re finding yourself reading and processing your emails mostly on your smartphone, perhaps now is the time to switch over to Toodledo.


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15 Responses to Outlook Users: Consider Switching to Toodledo to Solve Smartphone Issues

  1. Blair Friesen says:

    Thanks for this article, Michael.

    I have to admit, because I like working with the Outlook view when I’m in the office, I’ve become a little obsessed with finding that perfect mobile app that does it all and for all platforms. I’ve spent hours (days) installing and tested 14 different apps and have found nothing perfect. Touchdown seems to be one of the top contenders, but needs more work. I found TaskTask for iOS and Task & Notes for MS Exchange (Android) to be great at handling tasks, but they don’t have any email integration or web interface.

    So, if I’m willing to give up the email integration, it seems logical to stick with the app that you support, moving forward. At least I know I can continue to read great tips from you and whenever there’s a change in the software, I’ll probably hear about from you first!

    Thanks, again!

  2. William Law says:

    Hi Michael,

    I have been using Toodledo Free version for quite some time and am now on a 2-week trial of its Gold version.

    Do you have any videos or articles about Toodledo upgrades? With all the information available on the Toodledo website, I must admit that I still do not fully understand the new functions (and their benefits) which the Gold version brings. Your professional views about their usefulness would therefore be particularly valuable.

    Thank you and best regards,
    William Law

    • Michael Linenberger says:

      The only video or write up we have is in Video #13 of the paid version of our Toodledo class. But as I recall, while it describes the whole list, it highlights the attachments feature as being the main reason to upgrade—make sure you get that (Gold gives you that as I recall). More in that video course, of course.

  3. jesse reyes says:

    As I wrote you a couple of years ago, I moved from outlook tasks to toodledo begrudgingly a few years ago because of the lack of good mobile apps once i moved to an android phone. I haven’t looked back. I still use the ultimate to-do list app and found it’s filtering abilities to be outstanding. I did try using gsyncit to synch outlook and toodle but foud outlooks handing of start dates/due dates to confounding so i don’t do that anymore.
    On my desktop i still use taskunifier to synch to toodledo (while taskunifier is now open source and free and “unsupported” i have found it still works for me. It is so powerful i rarely use the toodledo web app except to clean up folders/contexts which the apps don’t let you do.

    So i have abandoned outlook for MYN and really haven’t found anything i can’t do more effectively or efficiently with toodledo as my “todo server” and /ultimate todolist/taskunifier as mobile/desktop apps. I have been able to mirror my filters to manage MYN and “GTD” very very well. I am very happy with the setup.

    The ability to forward an email to toodledo and have it create a task is a marvel no matter what platform i’m on.

    • Michael Linenberger says:

      I am so glad to have you report this, to give confidence to others, that a switch away from Outlook (for tasks) to Toodledo is a quite workable solution, should they need to do it. Thanks! Michael.

  4. Michael Linenberger says:

    This is Michael, the author. I guess to be fair, if you are currently on the fence about whether to switch to Toodledo for tasks, (if Outlook tasks are still working relatively well for you) I should also list a few disadvantages of Toodledo, compared to Outlook. Here are a few:

    1. Outlook’s conversion of email to tasks (assuming you are using the desktop version) is better. It’s a bit faster (drag and drop), and it also handles HTML email text much better once in the task. That said, if you are not using Outlook desktop, Toodledo gives you more ways to convert emails to tasks.
    2. You can preview attachments in Outlook tasks, not so in Toodledo.
    3. You can convert Outlook tasks back to emails (just drag to the Outbox icon).
    4. For 1MTD users with a basic 1MTD config in the To-Do Bar, Outlook allows you to drag and drop tasks to reorder them withing a Priority group. Toodledo has no drag and drop ordering like that.
    5. Corporate Outlook users, while the Toodledo servers are heavily protected (by Amazon), and while you can connect in https mode for security, those servers are still not on your premises. So your IT-security dept may not be happy with that.
    6. Here is another fine security point: when you forward an internal email to convert it to a task in Toodledo, it is sent “in the clear” over the Internet—which is a slight risk. With Outlook, internal email communications or conversions stay encrypted.

    There may be other advantages to Outlook over Toodledo, for tasks, so feel free to reply to this if you know of them. My point in this article is that if Outlook tasks are letting you down because you are mostly working on smartphones these days, Toodledo is your alternative.

  5. John R Deck says:

    I used Outlook task manager for many years. I had a system crash and switched to Toodledo for a while. Pretty happy with it. I do like that I can use it on my smartphone and tablet. Recently upgraded to Office 2013 and switched to exchange server. Have gone back to using Outlook task manager. I do wish that the Outlook app for Android supported tasks. Any suggestions for an Android app that will work with exchange.

  6. Richard Rubin says:

    Hi, Michael-Best of luck on your new location! As a Mac user, I was REALLY hoping that the Outlook 16 for Mac would include the task functionality. No such luck, as you reported. I purchased your Toodledo class, and will try it again. My question…..I access e mail a lot from iOS devices, but also from my laptop and desktop. Is it just as easy to use Toodledo on these as it is on an iPhone or iPad? Thanks, Rich

  7. Hi Michael,

    I want to introduce a major modification and simplification I’ve made of your system in Toodledo. I’m not saying it’s better. I’m saying it’s extremely simple and quick, and provides a lot of useful data. Please have a look and if you wanted to try it out or offer your thoughts, I would find that interesting.

    I’ll quickly explain my new task management system.

    I use Toodledo’s star, start date, repeat, and priority, that’s it. If I have a due date, I put it in the title of the task itself, as you recommend, and my system is a much-simplified version of some of your excellent concepts. I set Toodledo to automatically unstar a task once it’s checked off. Also, tasks are styled by priority.

    I sort first by start, then start date, and then by ABC, all normal, not reverse, sorts. I hide nothing, including future-start-dated tasks.

    I do almost all my work at “All Tasks” in just one long list, but it’s well sorted.

    I star anything I am intending to get done that day. Most items forever remain low priority.

    But once in a while, I want a flag to ensure that a task that may be a little or a lot down the list is still understood to be really important once it reaches its start date. Maybe it’s urgently tied to the accomplishment of a dependent task or some such. Maybe it’s just money that’s due or something like that.

    Anyway, that gets assigned a priority: high. Every task is either high or low, that’s it. So, the styling of that task changes and when I skim my list, it stands out, and reminds me to star it when appropriate or simply do it. Otherwise, I might overlook a bill’s due date or a critical phone call.

    This naturally and easily creates a type of urgency–priority overview, like the matrix Dwight Eisenhower used that Steven Covey made famous (for a while, anyway). So you get a lot of the benefits of your Master Your Workday Now new system plus Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People classic system and it’s extremely simple to maintain.

    It works as well on the app as it does the mobile version.

    Finally, to handle “over the horizon” tasks, I simply change their start date to none, and that puts them at the bottom of the list.

    • N.B. What falls out naturally in terms of sorting is from the system above is not the canonical Covey/Eisenhower matrix. What falls out, instead, is this sorting:

      1. Urgent, Important

      2. Urgent, Unimportant

      3. Nonurgent, Important

      4. Nonurgent, Unimportant

      Therefore, this is in line with the MYN’s urgency-based philosophy.

  8. *works as well on the Web app as it does the mobile version

  9. Aaron Boydston says:

    Toodledo rocks. My take is that its power stems from extensive tasks properties (eg due date AND start date, categories, tags, etc.), extensive filter building (you can truly manipulate your task views to accommodate YOUR way of working), and rock solid syncing.

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