Internet Self Improvement

How To Make Sure You Never Forget A Task Ever Again

Angela Randall 13-11-2014

You’re an organised person. You add upcoming events to your calendar, you plan your career in Trello, and you have a decent labeling system in Gmail to ensure you always respond to things. And yet, when you check your to-do list, there are certain tasks from these other places that haven’t yet made it to the list.


Yes, you could set up a system to manually add items from these places to your to-do list, but that wastes time. Ideally, it needs to be automatic. Then when you’re checking your to-do list with the ultimate Todoist filters How To Set Up The Ultimate Todoist Filters In 5 Minutes So, you entered all your tasks into Todoist but the process of working through them is somewhat haphazard. That's because you probably don't have great filters. That's going to change. Today. Read More you’ve created, you’ll have everything essential right there and you’ll never miss a thing.

Let’s demonstrate how not to forget a task by using Todoist as a memory capturing tool.

Be Prepared For Calendar Events

If your whole life is planned out in Google Calendar, it makes sense to trigger your to-do list from certain items in it. For instance, when a meeting comes up and you need to prepare things in advance. This takes some planning, and there are two ways to do it.

Google Calendar Notifications

First, you need to set reminder notifications for your important calendars. Head to the calendar in your list of calendars, click the arrow on the right and then choose Edit Notifications. I’ve set mine to have an email sent a week in advance of the events, but you might prefer some other time frame. I also filter my emails like crazy so I never actually see these, but that’s not the point. The point is once that email hits my inbox I can get it to do cool things.


The second step is to set up a filter in Gmail to catch all of the events you’re focusing on. So, for instance you’d set a filter to catch emails from with the word “meeting” in the subject. That will be the way to trigger a to-do list item a week before your meeting.

Gmail Filter From Google Calendar

Now, there are two ways to get from this point to having a new to-do item in your Todoist to-do list.

The first way is to set the filter to forward the email to the private email address for a particular project. I would actually set up a new project for this, called something like “Meeting Preparation”. This option only works for Todoist premium How Much More Productive Is ToDoist Premium? Here Are 6 Good Reasons To Upgrade I kept using ToDoist for free for a while. But kept coming up against things I wanted to do and couldn't. Email reminders. Adding notes to task. Things that would really add a whole lot... Read More , as only premium users can accept new tasks via email. It also involves adding and to your Todoist “Accept Email” list and verifying the setup.


The second option is available to anyone and very easy to set up, but it involves linking both Gmail and Todoist to IFTTT, which not everyone is happy to do. But the steps are simple.

  1. Set the Gmail filter to add a particular label to the meeting reminders.
  2. Choose a unique label to be used only for this purpose.
  3. Set up an IFTTT recipe to trigger whenever there is a new email in that label.
  4. Set it to trigger a new to-do item in your designated Meeting Preparation project.
  5. You can also prefix or append text to your subject line (sadly you can’t edit the subject).

I prefix the text “Prepare for”, which is enough for it to make sense to me. You can also set the task priority and due date, or even set a note which can contain the body of the email that triggered the task. If you want to add labels to your task you can append text with @Post or @Phone to set this.

Todoist Prepare For Meeting

Note: If you’re not using Todoist, you can actually use this same IFTTT idea to create tasks in iOS Reminders, Evernote or Toodledo. Or, you can use the first method to create tasks in any to-do list system The 5 Commandments for Choosing the Right To-Do App for Productivity Different people organize in different ways. So choosing a to-do app really depends on what kind of person you are. Here are five commandments you can think about for your own productivity system. Read More that will accept emails, such as Remember The Milk.


What Other Triggers Can I Set From Google Calendar?

Get inspired — there are plenty of other things you can do with this system.

  • If you have a calendar for birthdays, set a task that will remind you to buy a present.
  • If you have guests staying often, trigger a task to prepare tourist activities and other things for their arrival.
  • If you track your vaccination schedule for your kids, trigger a task to make a call for the appointment.
  • If you like to be prepared for parties you’re attending, trigger a task to get gifts and shared food ready.


IFTTT Filter Gmail Todoist Meetings

I get Google Calendar notifications to trigger new to-do items for concerts and gigs, reminding me to get my music and outfits in order (as it’s always different). Another idea is to get anything you label “To-Do” to go to Gmail, but I find it a bit over the top.


Consider the types of calendars you are subscribed to and how they can help you. If you are subscribed to your calendar, which tells you whenever your favourite bands are playing locally, you could trigger tasks to buy tickets for gigs by your ultra-favourite bands. If you are subscribed to public holiday calendars or school holiday calendars, you can trigger tasks to prepare festivities or childcare. If you subscribe to competition calendars for poetry competitions or marathons, you can set a task to make sure you are entered in the competition.

IFTTT Gmail To Todoist

Get Trello Cards or Basecamp Tasks Into Todoist

Do you use Trello for general brainstorming, blog planning, work tasks, or a different way of viewing your overall life plan? Get a calendar for your Trello board. Go to the sidebar, click the Menu dropdown, then choose Power Ups and you’ll see the calendar setup.

It’s also possible to get an iCal feed in Basecamp and many other to-do list services.

Trello Power Ups

Subscribe to this iCal feed in Google Calendar; set a due date in Basecamp or Trello and have it displayed on your Google Calendar. This triggers the notification to send a task to Gmail and Todoist, so you won’t forget to complete the task.

This system is especially good if your colleagues like to plan collaboratively in Trello or Basecamp, but you don’t want to miss a deadline assigned to you. You can easily fine-tune the Gmail filter to only catch tasks assigned to yourself.

A Killer Student Hack

Students can use this system to trigger a set of tasks in advance for upcoming exams or assignment submission dates. You could set a notification from the calendar to be sent a month ahead, then trigger that to set a series of tasks. For instance, you could set one low priority task immediately to research the assignment, a higher priority task a couple of weeks later to prepare an outline, another high priority task a bit later to complete a draft, and the final high priority task a bit later to ensure the assignment is done and submitted.

Then to be certain nothing ever gets missed, you could trigger another notification a week before the due date to check it is done and submitted. This way, you won’t miss anything that gets added close to the due date.

What Else Can You Do With Todoist and IFTTT?

Since there are hundreds of other IFTTT integrations, there are many possibilities for Todoist. Even everyday reminders like setting a task to make sure there’s a winter survival kit in your car when the weather says it’s going to snow (or conversely, a surfboard on your car when it’s sunny).

But flipping things around, there are some cool things you can do when triggering IFTTT from Todoist, such as automatically emailing your boss a report Automate Your Life and Job With Todoist and IFTTT Play creatively with ToDoist's notification features, and IFTTT's ability to accomplish really cool automations with them. We show you how combining the two powers your productivity. Read More .

How do you integrate Todoist with IFTTT, Gmail and Google Calendar? Are you stuck between a number of to-do lists for work and play? Tell us your best hacks!

Image Credits: Don’t forget Via Shutterstock

Related topics: Gmail, Google Calendar, IFTTT, To-Do List.

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  1. Michael C Wallace
    November 1, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Thank you for this very insightful article! I'm glad I stumbled upon it.

  2. Dann Albright
    November 27, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Cool ideas! I might have to put a system like this in place. Now that I don't have as many university-related events on my calendar, I don't use it as much, but I think I could probably benefit from using it in concert with a to-do system like this. Do you happen to know if there's a Wunderlist channel in IFTTT?

    • Angela
      November 28, 2014 at 7:52 am

      There isn't, but maybe you could use the email-in method for Wunderlist.

  3. Himali
    November 24, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Have you checked out Brightpod? It is a project, task management software for marketing teams -

  4. Brian
    November 14, 2014 at 9:26 am

    It's amazing how complicated a process one can make, just to automate your life. Why not simply train your memory and find ways nit to be overwhelmed by day-to-day activities? Think about the "Life before the computers". Instead of spending all thus effort into programming Gmail and looking for apps to simplify your life, just admit that your brain needs some learning. Or lifestyle needs adjusting. Stop looking for a bandaid solution!

    • Angela
      November 18, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Hah, I wish. Unfortunately, I live in a world where my kids keep me up half the night and then I still have work to do in the morning. I don't want to miss anything important, so I put things in place to make sure I don't.

  5. Me
    November 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Todoist got their money's worth from this article...

    • Angela
      November 18, 2014 at 9:45 am

      Actually, I was just using Todoist as an example, as they have the IFTTT integration and it's currently the tool I use. I did mention the other tools that work this way with IFTTT (iOS Reminders, Evernote or Toodledo) and that tools like Remember The Milk can use the email-in option.