Beau and Lauryn Carpenter Picture Beau Carpenter

Personalize Your Task Management System With Unique Priority Labels

November 23rd, 2019

When I first tried to get organized with a task manager, I made every item red! I didn't have a system to prioritize tasks, so I wasted much time wrestling with my todo list rather than doing the todo list. Eventually, I gave up task managers. Later, I returned to task managers with a new plan, I would assign my own meaning to priority labels.

One of the keys to success is doing the right things. That's why prioritization is a core function of any good task management software. However, most task managers do not prescribe how to prioritize tasks. To effectively use priority labels, you must assign them meaning! This step is one key to create your personal productivity system.

In this article, I will share my method of prioritization using Todoist and my thinking behind the method.

My Priority Labels

In Todoist, there are four colored flags assigned as priority 1-4. Based upon the way I work, I have assigned specific meaning to each flag. The priority labels are based upon the type of task and the required level of focus, energy, and creativity.

In my work, I ascribe the following meanings to the four levels:

Priority 1 (Red)

Priority 2 (Yellow)

Priority 3 (Blue)

Priority 4 (No Flag)

Consider the Eisenhower Matrix

To their great credit, Doist is the first software company I have noticed picking up on this idea of assigning meaning to priority labels. I was so excited when I saw that they have an article on using the four flags to signify the four quadrants of the Eisenhower Matrix. My prioritization system is loosely based upon the Eisenhower Matrix.

Your Priority Labels

The system outlined above is built on the way that I work. Your system will probably look different; and that is how it should be. The most effective priority system is the one that is personalized to you. As you consider how priority labels will work for you, consider the following factors to differentiate your labels:

The goal is to create a system that helps you do the right thing at the right time. If you've become frustrated organizing your work in a task manager, try it again with a clear plan to prioritize tasks. With the right tool and the right system, you’ll unlock the ability to make exceptional progress on the things that matter!