How to Trick Your Partner into Using Todoist

Nothing strengthens a relationship like a shared to-do list

I grew up splitting chores with an older sister who always managed to weasel out of doing the dishes on technicalities. From those formative experiences, I learned early on that the key to any happy, healthy relationship is a strict delineation of responsibilities.

Sure, I could occasionally take out the garbage when it’s my partner’s turn because he had a particularly “busy week” or “isn’t feeling well” or just to “do something nice”. And, sure, I would briefly bask in the certainty that I’m basically the best girlfriend in the world and he’s incredibly lucky to be with such a generous soul.😉

But once the self-congratulatory glow fades, there’d be that nagging mental tally that says he owes me one – a fact of which he will be entirely unaware. To make matters worse, he’s probably keeping his own mental tallies of all the nice things he’s done for me that I conveniently forget to take into account. (Though objectively speaking I’d still come out ahead, of course. It’s a natural law of relationships that your mental tally will always put you in first place.)

All of which is to say, without clear documentation of who’s supposed to do what and when (along with who actually did what and when) you will almost certainly end up resentful and alone. In fact, one study found that 100% of people who share to-do lists with their partners are in a relationship.

So what’s healthier than keeping a mental tally of the things you contribute to your relationship? Keeping that tally in Todoist. ­

Who was the last one to vacuum the living room? Just check the task’s activity log.

Who did more last month? Compare your Productivity stats.

Who promised they would take care of that super time-sensitive thing that never got done? Just look at who the task was assigned to. Blame can thus be properly apportioned, and everyone lives happily ever after. Right?  

As a side benefit, with all the stuff you’ll be getting done together, it won’t be long before you reach Power Couple status. You know who uses Todoist? Beyoncé and Jay-Z…probably.

Furthermore, your communication as a couple will be made 10x more efficient. In fact, between our shared Todoist projects and a shared Google calendar, my partner and I have virtually eliminated the need for verbal communication. #RelationshipGoals

There’s just one small problem.

It’s often the case that one half of the relationship is more…enthusiastic…about Todoist than the other. If you are that half of your relationship, fear not. Your partner’s reluctance is but a tiny hurdle on your journey to a blissfully efficient and organized co-existence – all it takes is a small amount of sneakiness, bribery, and stick-to-it-ness. Remember, love and an impeccably organized to-do list conquer all.

Here’s are some strategies you can use to make it happen:

  • When your partner isn’t looking, install Todoist on their phone ­- don’t forget to change the theme to their favorite color.
  • When they say they can’t remember downloading Todoist on their phone, tell them that they must have – “look, you even changed the theme to your favorite color”.
  • Whenever your partner asks you to do something, say “put it in Todoist”.
  • Don’t do anything that’s not in Todoist.
  • When your partner asks why you didn’t do something, passive-aggressively ask “was it in Todoist?”. (Note of warning: if you aren’t extremely consistent about adding and assigning every task in Todoist, your partner will likely turn this tactic against you.)
  • When assigning your partner tasks, use lots of emojis to distract from the fact that you’re asking them to do something. The more random, hard to interpret, and mildly sinister, the more distracting the emojis will be. It’s always a good idea to end with a kissing winky face.
  • Color code your shared projects. Who can resist a good color-coded system?

  • If you’re still having problems, start sending your partner lots of task reminders until they just give up and do the thing out of sheer annoyance. (Yes, you heard that right. You can set Todoist reminders for other people!) This completely removes the need for any inefficient in-person nagging – you can simply spam them into acquiescence instead.
  • Hold weekly competitions to see who can get more done.
  • If all else fails, bribe your partner into getting more Karma ­

Some people think the keys to a lasting relationship are honesty and compromise. We’re not saying they’re not wrong per se – it’s just that sharing projects, assigning tasks, and setting deadlines together in a simple, yet powerful task manager that syncs seamlessly across all your devices is even more important.

In the words of one begrudging Todoist user who runs a business with his partner, “Todoist saved my company but ruined my girlfriend.” Now that’s what we call a success story.

Happy Valentine’s Day!