Areas and Goals
⚡️ Unlimited number of areas is available on Premium plan – Free plan is limited to two areas
What other apps call lists, we call areas of life. We opted to use a less generic name to help users figure out how to structure their lists. You start with a single list for your personal tasks, but also can create additional ones (like "Work" or "Education").
Additionally, you can create an unlimited number of goals within each area. Goals can be projects like "Finish marketing website" or other things you want to achieve in life (like "Be more social" or "Make more music").
You can think of areas as lists and of goals as sublists under each of your lists.
Structuring your areas
We believe that one can truly focus only on one area of their life at a time. This is one of the fundamental principles Lunatask was built upon. When at work, you want to focus on work-related tasks and avoid being distracted by your personal tasks. Whereas on weekends, you don't want to be stressed out by your work-related tasks.
So, how many lists should one have? The clue is in our naming — when you have too many lists, you can't prioritize the tasks across them. If two tasks compete for one portion of your time, they should live in the same list.
We recommend starting with just a few areas (perhaps for your personal and work-related tasks), and only adding new ones once you are sure you need them. For example, you might want to create a separate area for movies you'd like to watch so they do not clutter your list of personal tasks.
You can create additional lists under each area using goals. That way, you can have many different lists and still prioritize tasks across them in the main view of tasks for the area.
Tracking goals and projects
Whereas areas represent different areas of your life, goals are here for tracking things you want to achieve in each area of your life.
Although you can think of goals as sublists, they offer a few additional features. For example, goals automatically calculate your progress toward them from the ratio of completed and pending tasks.
Optionally, goals can also carry a due date, so you always see how many days you have left to complete them. This is great for goals representing projects that must be completed before a specific date.
Since goals are basically sublists with some additional functionality, it's up to you which naming you pick for your goals. Let's look at the previous example of tracking movies you'd like to watch.
You can either create a separate area and name it "Movies" or create a goal within the area for your personal tasks. If you go with the second option, you can name the sublist "Movies" or use the goal-oriented naming of "Watch more movies". Whichever you prefer, and of course, you can use a different naming schemes in other areas.
On the other hand, if you go with the option of using a separate "Movies" area, you can use goals to categorize the movies further (like "Romantic", "Dramas", or "Thrillers"). Nothing prevents you from doing that just because we decided to call sublists goals and we even recommend you take advantage of this.
Creative uses for areas and goals
We are sure you will devise creative ways to structure your areas and goals. Here are a few examples of what you can do with areas and goals you might otherwise not think of.
Although Lunatask does not have an Inbox as you may find in other to-do apps, you can create one easily if needed. Simply create a new area, name it "Inbox", search the list of available icons for "inbox" to pick a nice icon, and place the area as the first area at the top of the menu.
Lunatask currently does not have archiving of tasks – you either delete or complete a task. However, you can easily create a goal (because, as we discussed above, goals are basically sublists), name it "Archive", change its task visibility to "no tasks", and archive tasks by dragging them there. This way, archived tasks do not show up anywhere but still can be accessed in the future if needed. Alternatively, you can use an area for this if it better fits your workflow.
When planning your day using time blocking, one may find it useful to have the option to place 15-minute or 30-minute breaks onto your calendar.
To do that, you can leave the space on the calendar between your tasks and meeting empty. Or, you can drag an exact-size break block onto the calendar. How? Create a new area and name it "Utilities". In there, create a task named "30m break" and assign an estimate of 30 minutes. Now, feel free to drag this utility task onto the calendar whenever you want to place a 30-minute break into your schedule.
You can dedicate one area to storing a list of articles to read later or YouTube videos to watch. Create a new area and name it "Read Later" or "Watch Later". You can now set up a browser bookmarklet and save articles, webpages, or YouTube videos into your reading list with just one click in your browser's bookmarks bar.
You can choose to use a different workflow for each of your areas in the toolbar at the bottom of your task list. You can, for example, use the Kanban workflow for your work-related tasks but use the Must/Should/Want workflow for your personal tasks.
The workflow and other options you pick for each of your areas are always synchronized between all your devices.
Area settings and per-area configuration
To open area settings, right-click the area in the left sidebar and select "Area settings". There, you can change its name, the icon for this area and some per-area settings. Below these options, you can set up the email integration to save emails and conversations as tasks by forwarding them into Lunatask directly from your favorite email client.
The option to delete an area can be found in the area settings. Open the area settings and scroll all the way down.