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Concepts

Our lists are the place for all your tasks and to-dos – they remember everything that needs to be done, so you can clean up some precious mental space and give it to other things.

Lunatask comes with a unique way of prioritizing your tasks. Additionally, there are built-in battle-tested productivity techniques, such as Must/Should/Want method, Eisenhower matrix, work-in-progress limit, and others to keep you organized and productive. Timers are also here to help you get started with the task at hand.

Tasks

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Our lists work very differently compared to other apps you have used in the past, so dedicate some time to learning how to use them.

When you open Lunatask for the first time, you might be surprised by the missing ability to drag tasks manually around to move them up or down – this is because lists in Lunatask automatically sort your tasks, so the list is always prioritized using our unique prioritization framework.

There are many workflows and ways to nudge the algorithm to let it know what is important to you. It is important to take a moment to learn how this works, as it might not be intuitive at first.

One of our users said about this:

My initial impressions of it were that it was very frustrating ("This is stupid! Why can't I drag tasks!"), but then, once the concept behind it clicked, it was a real a-ha moment – most apps are designed with neurotypical users in mind, which is not really something that was obvious to me until I tried Lunatask.

Why reinvent a to-do list?

We, people, suck at prioritization. Let's face it, we avoid difficult tasks, and we don't finish what we have already started. Worse, to-do apps are not equipped to handle this – they leave you to your own devices and feeling like a failure.

We believe a to-do app can watch for this and guide you, so no task is left behind. We built our lists around the idea that there’s a constant stream of incoming small tasks. Every day, you might have 20 incoming new todos while people throw work at you that ideally needs to be done as soon as possible. That also means that 20 similarly sized todos from earlier must be checked off – you would be piling tasks in front of you otherwise.

This is heavily Kanban-inspired, as Kanban is about completing tasks at a steady pace and in a reasonable time. While new tasks arrive at the bottom of the list, one is checking off older tasks on the top. The "first-in, first-out" approach maximizes throughput without you going insane because of the amount of work thrown your way.

Other to-do lists might become a mess with more than a dozen tasks in them. However, with clever use of planning and battle-tested productivity techniques, our lists can handle 10x times more tasks. This is part of what makes Lunatask different from other productivity apps on the market – it adds all sorts of protections, all to keep you on the right track.

Learn more about this in our article dedicated to prioritization.

Different workflows

Another important concept are workflows. In Lunatask, a workflow is a specific combination of grouping and sorting. We created a couple of ready-made workflows for you:

You can also create your custom workflow by picking from available grouping and sorting options. Workflows, together with features like timers and the work-in-progress limit, employ battle-tested productivity techniques designed to make you more organized and productive.

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You can switch between workflows freely — not like in other apps where after changing the structure of the task list, you cannot easily get back to the original state. The section where the task belongs in the current workflow is always calculated from its properties — no information is lost when switching between workflows.

Planned tasks vs backlog

Regardless of what workflow you pick for each list, there will always be at least two visually separated groups of tasks — your backlog of candidates to work on (usually called Later) and your planned tasks.

By planning, we mean choosing tasks to work on next. This is done differently in each workflow – for example, in Simple workflow or Kanban workflow, you plan tasks by changing their status to Next (this will move them out of backlog). See articles describing each workflow for more information.

Usually, you will have only a handful of tasks planned to work on next, and you will periodically review your backlog to pick your next tasks from there. It is okay if you have a lot of tasks in your backlog – see our article dedicated to handling long lists.

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In all workflows, you move tasks between sections in the list by updating their properties like status or motivation.

Scheduling

Lunatask supports both date-based and time-based scheduling. See our article dedicated to task scheduling to learn more.

Encryption

All the data you type into Lunatask, including task names and descriptions, is encrypted at your machine before it is sent to be stored in our cloud. Learn more about our approach to Security & Privacy.