How To Optimize Your Personal To-Do List Workflow

A to-do list, representing the personal to-do list workflow

If you’re like the majority of knowledge workers, you spend the first chunk of your day making sure all the information you need is in the same place. Actually prioritizing your work takes an unfortunate backseat to just finding the things you need to do.

Whether you’re relying on your manager to assign work for you or you have to do it yourself, personal to-do list workflows can be utterly broken by lack of visibility and tool silos. So how can this be mitigated?

An endless search for tasks

No matter what your role or seniority level, you have some kind of system to keep track of everything you need to do. Even relying on your manager to tell you what needs doing or writing it all down on a napkin count as systems…technically. But if you’re in a role where you’re expected to be more self-reliant, you need to compile your own to-dos. That usually means spending a good chunk of every day looking for the information you need.

When this workflow is doing what it’s supposed to, that can take just a few clicks and just enough time to finish making coffee. And you never have to worry about missing anything.

But here’s where this workflow can break down.

The workflow without Unito

When this workflow isn’t working right, the best-case scenario is some added stress throughout your workday, as you worry that you’ve forgotten a crucial task. The worst-case is getting that Slack notification at the end of the day from someone who was depending on your work. You know, that “friendly” reminder about that deliverable you completely forgot about? Yeah, that head-slapping moment.

The challenges that come from this workflow go beyond your individual organizational skills. Often, you’re negotiating a serious tool difference, and while you do most of your work in one tool you’re expected to jump around in another to get information crucial to your work — without touching anything you’re not involved with, of course.

Even if you’re in a single tool, you might have to chase down information throughout multiple projects to find that one update you know is buried in a comment thread somewhere. Some tools manage this well by letting you multi-home tasks so you have access to the information you need no matter where you are in your tool. Others, less so.

So how can Unito make this work more smoothly?

Where Unito comes in

What you need to optimize your personal to-do list workflow is visibility. That’s the reason why getting the information you need feels like spelunking; it’s all underground. As a workflow management tool, Unito gives you access to deep integrations that turn individual tools into a cohesive whole. And if you’re just using one tool, you’re basically leveling it up so it empowers your workflow instead of hindering it.

How does it work? Unito serves up the one-two punch combo of a visual workflow designer tool along with deep integrations. The former gives you an intuitive way to map out your workflows so you know exactly where crucial information is coming from and where it needs to go. The latter means you can ensure that every bit of information, from due date to comments, is duplicated across tools. Nothing falls through the cracks, and if you get that end-of-work Slack notification, you can answer knowing you didn’t miss anything.

Here’s what that looks like in action.

Getting tasks from Jira and Trello into Asana

Let’s say you’re a die-hard Asana aficionado (you don’t have to be, just pretend). Teams across your organization are using their own tools, with many of them congregating to Jira and Trello. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you don’t see yourself hopping from one tool to the other on a daily basis. You want to stay in Asana but never miss an update. How do you do that?

All you need to do is build a workflow that encompasses the Trello boards and Jira projects you need to keep an eye on and connect them to your Asana project of choice.

When you sign up for Unito, you’ll be taken to the workflow designer and prompted to add a block of work.

Add a block  for the Trello boards and Jira projects you need, as well as the Asana project you’ll use to congregate all your tasks.

Then, you’ll want to create a flow connecting your Jira block to your Asana block, and your Trello block to Asana as well. Make sure you don’t connect Jira and Trello.

Now that your flows are created, it’s time to tinker with them a bit to match your workflow. Here’s how you’d do that for your Jira flow.

For the most part, once you’ve added your blocks, you can let Unito’s default settings take care of your flow. However, you need to make sure you build the right rules to get the behavior you need. On the Jira side, you can use a rule to filter for tasks that are only assigned to you, tasks with a certain label, or anything else you need.

On the Asana side, create a rule for a label exclusive to your Jira projects, such as “Jira tasks.” This prevents Jira tasks from going through Asana and landing on a Trello board.

From there, you can rely on Unito’s default settings and you’re done!

Replicate these steps on the Trello side, and you’ll have a workflow that takes every task you need to be aware of from multiple tools and keep them in a single Asana project. Setting this up is pretty simple, and you can add as many projects and boards as you need for your personal workflow.

Get back to getting things done

Having to hunt for the tasks you need to get done shouldn’t be the status quo. Whether you’re forced to use multiple tools — or just want to optimize a single one — you can use Unito to streamline your personal to-do list workflow. You’ll never miss a critical update, and you’ll never have to stay late because someone somewhere forgot to copy-paste something into your tool.

What’s next?

1. Ready to start? Try Unito free for 14 days!
2. See the power of Unito in action.
3. Read more about what Unito can do for your workflow.