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The Ultimate Guide to TickTick

Nov 3, 2019

The mechanic that wishes to perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” -Confucius

Whether you’re finalizing a massive team project, planning a more-work-than-expected event, or keeping track of when your bills are due, you’ve got goals.

The problem is, goals aren’t enough. You need a system to truly get things done.

That’s where TickTick fits in. TickTick is a powerful to-do & task management app with seamless cloud synchronization across all your devices. Whether you need to schedule your agenda, make memos, share shopping lists with family members, or collaborate with your colleagues, TickTick is always here to help you get stuff done and keep life on track.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to:

  1. Get things out of your head: Add and complete tasks every day
  2. Stay on schedule by setting due dates and recurring due dates for your tasks
  3. Keep track of your tasks using the Inbox, Today, and Next 7 Days views
  4. Use lists to organize bigger goals
  5. Focus on the right things by setting task priority levels
  6. Work together by sharing your tasks and lists
  7. Add websites as tasks using browser extensions
  8. Add emails as tasks using forwarding
  9. Review your progress using the Productivity view
  10. Customize your TickTick with colorful themes

1. Get things out of your head: Add and complete tasks every day

Start by getting all the tasks you’ve been worrying about off your mind and into TickTick, so you can focus on just what’s in front of you right now. To add a new task, simply press n on any platform, type out the task name, and press enter to save it.

As the day goes on, review what you have to do using the Today view in the top left. Mark tasks as complete by clicking the checkbox to the left of the task.

2. Stay on schedule by setting due dates and recurring due dates for your tasks

To give a task a due date, simply type the date into the task field using natural language. For example, today, tomorrow, mar 20, or next monday. You can also add a specific time like mar 20, 9am. TickTick will automatically detect the due date and add it to the task when you save it.

To more easily visualize your schedule, you can also pick a due date from a calendar. Just click the task, then click the custom from the date field on the right.

Setting recurring due dates

Some tasks don’t happen just once — taking out the trash, writing a weekly status update, drafting quarterly reports, etc. Keep track of repeating tasks with recurring due dates.

To set a recurring due date, type the date into the task field using natural language just like you would for regular due dates. For example, everyday, every friday, every 2 days, and more.

When you complete a recurring task, it will automatically reset to the next occurrence so you’ll never miss it.

Changing due dates

Plans change (more often than we’d like) and due dates need to be updated.

If you’re in a rush and want to postpone a task by a day or push it to next week, right click on a task and use the Tomorrow or Next Week shortcuts at the top of the menu.

3. Keep track of your tasks using the Inbox, Today and Next 7 Days views

As you add and schedule more and more tasks, it gets harder to keep things organized and know what to work on first.

That’s why TickTick organizes your tasks into three useful views in the top left: Inbox, Today, and Next 7 Days.

Inbox: The default home for new tasks

The Inbox is the catch-all for any new task you add to TickTick that you’re not sure where to organize. It’s better to get the task out of your head quickly by adding it to the Inbox, then come back to either complete it right away or reorganize it into a new list for later.

Today: See every task that’s due today across all lists

Not sure what to work on next? Just open your Today view to see every task that has been scheduled for the day across all your lists. Keep completing tasks one by one, or postpone them if necessary, until you’ve complete all tasks.

Next 7 Days: See every task due in the next week

Get a bird’s eye view of all the tasks due in the next week using the Next 7 Days view. You’ll see a day by day breakdown for the week and you can drag and drop tasks between days.

4. Use lists to organize bigger goals

A single task isn’t always enough. If you’re working on a team presentation at work or planning a multi-stop trip, you’ll need a list to keep track of all the details.

To create a list in TickTick, scroll to the bottom of your list and click Add List Give your new list a name (maybe with an illustrative emoji ✈️) and choose a color if you want.

You can quicky add a list to a task by typing ~

When should I use lists? 💡

  • Coordinate your work with teammates
  • Keep track of a side project
  • Create a concrete plan to achieve a goal
  • Save things to read or watch later
  • Share a to-do list with a loved one

Split bigger tasks into sub-tasks

Don’t be afraid to add smaller tasks to a project. For example, you’ll need plenty of little steps to take care of a task like “Write a video script”. Add sub-tasks for every step along the way to completing the bigger task.

Once you’ve been using TickTick for awhile, your lists tends to grow.

First off, try to keep your lists to a minimum. You only have so much time and energy and the more you can focus, the happier and more productive you’ll be.

But if you need the lists, keep it tidy using folders.

Let’s say you’re starting a new semester at school and you want to keep all of your coursework in one easy to find place. Create a list for Schoolwork and lists for each course: Chemistry, Math, English, etc. Then drag and drop the courses underneath the Schoolwork list to turn them into folder:

You can collapse your folders underneath the parent list to hide them when you don’t need to see them by clicking on the arrow to the right of the folder name.

5. Focus on the right things by setting task priorities

Ok, now you know what tasks you have to do and when to do them. Now you need to figure out which tasks to do first.

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain

Eating the frog means staring down the hard, important tasks you have to do today and doing them first. You’ll start your day with some momentum and kill any chance to procrastinate.

In TickTick, mark your most important task with a red color by setting its task priority to High. Your Today and Next 7 Days views will automatically sort based on priority so your High priority tasks will always show up at the top. That way you’ll always know which frog to eat at the start of your day.

TickTick offers four priority levels:

  • High (Red) — Must finish.
  • Medium (Orange) — Nice to have.
  • Low (Yellow) — Finish if there is time available.
  • None (White) — Unnecessary. Can postpone, remove due date, or delete.

To set a priority, type “!” into the task field followed by the priority level you want, e.g., “Eat the frog !High”.

6. Work together by sharing your tasks and lists

Completing tasks gets easier when you don’t have to do all the work yourself. Whether you’re delegating family errands or coordinating a project with your team, TickTick’s shared lists keep tasks, due dates, comments, and files organized in a single place that everyone has access to.

To share a list on Web, macOS, or Windows, click three dots on the list you want to collaborate on and click Share.

Delegate work by assigning tasks to others

You’ve shared your list with everyone, now what? Figure out who’s doing what and assign tasks to people.

To assign a task to someone in a shared list, click on the grey person icon to the right of a task description pannel (Web, macOS, Windows) and choose a name from the list of everyone in the list.

Discuss and share information in comments

In shared list, comments become an essential, collaborative space to discuss task details, share files, and keep relevant information organized. You can specify who to notify about a comment by using @ and they’ll receive it in their notifications.

7. Add websites as tasks using browser extensions

When you’re browsing the web, you don’t always have time to read things right away. Save things to read (or buy) later by saving web pages as tasks in TickTick with browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

Here’s how it works:

  • Download the extension (you’ll see a TickTick icon in the top right-hand corner of your browser window when it’s installed).
  • While browsing the web page you want to add to TickTick, right click and choose Add to TickTick.
  • A new task will be created linking back to the web page. Later, simply click the task name to revisit the page.

8. Add emails as tasks using forwarding

You can’t respond to every email right away. That’s why your Inbox keeps piling up. But at some point, you forget to follow up on important emails. Let TickTick help you remember what needs a response by saving your important emails as tasks by forwarding to TickTick.

Here’s how to set it up:

  • Open TickTick on Web.
  • Open Settings.
  • Click on Calendar & Mail.
  • From “Add tasks via email” section copy the email.
  • Go back to your email client and forward any email to that address.
  • A task will appear in TickTick with the email subject as the task name and the body of the email in the task’s description.

9. Review your progress using the Productivity view

You’ll see how many tasks you’ve completed this week, how much progress you’ve made towards your daily and weekly goals and Achievement Scores you’ve earned.

10. Customize your TickTick with colorful themes

Customize your TickTick with colorful themes from Settings > Theme

You now have a complete list of ways to capture and organize your tasks with TickTick, but the true key to productivity is building a simple and sustainable system you can trust. Keep at it, and maybe some of these features will become stepping stones that lead you towards your optimal personal productivity system, whether that’s an all-encompassing workflow or just a few simple rules to stay organized.

🙏 This post is heavily inspired from The Ultimate Guide to Todoist

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