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Tasks

Our lists are the place for all your tasks and to-dos – they remember everything that needs to be done, freeing up your mental space to focus on other things. In our app, you organize your tasks into areas and goals.

Lunatask comes with a unique way of prioritizing your tasks, guiding you to finish already started tasks before taking on new work or towards older tasks instead of newer ones. It's just as simple.

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Lunatask always highlights the next task to work on in bold (but this can be turned off in the settings).

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.

Why reinvent a to-do list?

As human beings, we often struggle with prioritization. Let's face it, we avoid difficult tasks, and we may not always follow through on tasks that we have already started.

Unfortunately, to-do apps often do not provide the necessary tools to address these issues. Instead, they leave it up to you, which can lead to a sense of failure. We believe a to-do app should guide you so no task is left behind.

Prioritization

Unlike other to-do apps, Lunatask automatically prioritizes tasks for you. In this section, we will delve more deeply into how this works.

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.

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 and makes sure no task is left behind. This leads to feeling better when there's a lot on your plate, even if you are usually a disorganized person.

You can tell Lunatask which tasks are important to you by changing their priority. You also pick which tasks are for now and which for later. This is how our Now / Later workflow works. There are also other workflows, like Must/Should/Want method.

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.

What is urgency?

The urgency is a set of rules like these that govern the order of tasks in the list. You can think of urgency as a score given to each task – the higher the score, the more urgent the task is, and the higher it appears in the list.

  • Tasks marked as Started have a higher urgency than tasks in Next to nudge you to finish what you already started before taking on new work and are shown higher in the list
  • Waiting tasks are not actionable, hence they have a low urgency (lower than tasks in Next, but usually higher than tasks in Later) and are shown less prominently in the list
  • Higher priority usually means higher urgency as well (but not always, feel free to learn about nuances later)
  • Using priority, you can nudge Lunatask so it knows what is important to you – if something is important, tell that to Lunatask by raising the task's priority

If a new task should be done before an older one, it means it has a higher priority. Feel free to assign a higher priority to the new task to make it appear higher in the list. This can be done using the priority picker in the task detail, using the right-click context menu, or via Shift+Arrow Up keyboard shortcut.

If two tasks have the same properties like status, motivation, Eisenhower value, or priority, the older one is always considered more urgent, causing new tasks to appear at the bottom of the list while bubbling up as they get older.

See our dedicated articles for how it works in detail in each workflow.

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At any time, you can reset a task's age in the right-click context menu. This can come in handy when organizing tasks that have been pending for a long time and you don't want them to be automatically prioritized at the top of the list and instead treat them as created today.

So, you replaced manual ordering of tasks with 5 priorities?

Yes, that's the simple way to say it. When you start manually dragging tasks around, you usually lose the sense of how old the task is. Using priorities, you have a way of saying that a certain task is more important than another while still allowing for more things to be taken into account (like their age or status).

Is this perfect?

Of course, this gets in a way sometimes. However, people tend to avoid complex tasks and procrastinate on easy ones while challenging tasks get stuck for several days (we were certainly guilty of that in the past). So while the algorithm might not be perfect at prioritizing tasks, humans (and especially those with ADHD) sometimes are not either.

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Fortunately, the suggested order is just a recommendation. You can always get the tasks done in any order you like. Lunatask will just make sure to push tasks to a more prominent place higher in the list as they get older or are left unfinished to remind you of them, so no task is left behind. Pick any task you like and start working on it. Don't forget to mark the task as Started – Lunatask will move it to the top of the list.

Different workflows

A workflow is a specific productivity technique you pick for each of your areas and it affects mainly how your tasks are grouped together. There are a few workflows to choose from:

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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.

In Now / Later workflow or Kanban workflow, you pick your next tasks by changing their status to Next.

Regardless of which 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 later (usually called Later) and your next tasks.

Usually, you will have only a handful of tasks planned to work on next, and you will periodically review your later tasks. It is okay if you have a lot of tasks there.

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

One of our users said about this:

It's amazing that despite having ADHD and a to-do list of 100 tasks, it is not a mess. Incredible!

Scheduling

Lunatask supports both date-based scheduling and time blocking. When the task is happening in the future, in a few days or next month, you can schedule it for that day or the day before using date-based scheduling. When the date comes, you can plan it into your day using time blocking.

So, date-based scheduling is useful for tasks happening later in the future, and time blocking is for today's or tomorrow's tasks. See our dedicated articles describing each method for more detail.

Integrations

We offer powerful integrations allowing you to create tasks on various platforms or sync them into Lunatask from other apps and services. Here are a few examples of what our integrations can do: