Some men from our church recently committed to read Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies as a supplement to our ongoing discipleship group curriculum. We studied this book in order to identify the areas of our lives where we were prone to waste time or procrastinate in our duties or simply not get our life tasks done effectively or consistently. It was an enlightening and convicting experience. Though brief, Challies’ book is packed with good material and serves as a solid “theology of productivity” that is ideal for personal edification and group study. After reading it, it became clear that we all needed to improve our productivity for the glory of God. I recommend it for anyone wishing to honor God in their lives through more intentional and disciplined stewardship of the time they have been given. At some point I may write a full review of the book, but that is not the point of this post.
“Productivity is effectively stewarding your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God.” – Tim Challies
One of the tools that Mr. Challies recommends in his book is Todoist, a powerful online tool that is used to create projects (a group of tasks) and manage the sub-tasks within those projects. Todoist features a very clean & intuitive “check box” (actually check circle) interface that also features task tagging, fast search and customizable view filters that makes finding and organizing your many tasks a breeze. Todist stores all your projects and task data “in the cloud” and syncs this data in real-time across your desktop or mobile devices. I could go and on about the great feature and benefits of this tool, but I’ll refrain for now.
I was initially skeptical of my need for a tool like Todoist. However, after further reflection and discussion with my peers, I decided to give it a try. I started with the free version and I was hooked after only a few days. I found that I was becoming noticably more productive! I quickly signed up for the inexpensive premium edition ($29 per year). With Todoist Premium, I now track and manage my tasks for work & home projects, various shopping errands, bill paying, personal fitness and even spiritual disciplines. Our family even started using it with our kids to monitor their daily chores! It is a really great tool. Another blogger using Todoist stated that Todoist was completely life changing for him. I’m inclined to agree with this assessment.
I mentioned earlier that I started using Todoist to track and monitor some of the spirtual aspects of my life. I realized that I needed a better way to hold myself accountable for engaging in regular prayer and Bible reading. Adding a simple daily “Pray & Read” task to my “Personal” project in Todoist helped me since I was now being reminded of it as I went about my day. Prior to using Todoist, I had been working through the reading of the entire Bible with the M’Cheyne One Year Bible Reading Plan using the YouVersion Bible app. While that app was somewhat helpful to keep me on track with it’s daily reminder notification option, I found that I would miss days if I was busy at the time of the reminder and if I wasn’t repeatedly reminded throughout the day. Even so, I am about 50 days away from completing that reading plan (it took me much longer than a year) and I hope to start it again as soon as I’m finished. This time, however, I plan to use Todoist to an ever greater degree to keep me on track.
Todoist has a cool option to export and import frequently used project templates. When I learned of this feature, I immediately realized that with a extra little work, I could create a daily Bible reading project based upon the M’Cheyne Plan. Now that I’ve created it, I want to share it with anyone who desires to use it.
If you are an existing Todoist user, click here or the button above for a link to automatically load the template into your Todoist account. If all goes as expected, you should have a new “M’Cheyne One Year Bible Reading Plan” in the Todoist project list.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since posting this article, I learned that Todoist has a limit on the number of tasks that one project can hold. Per their support team, the “soft limit” is 200 tasks and the “hard limit” is 300. This means that when you’re adding tasks manually, you won’t be able to put more than 200 tasks into one project, but if you’re importing tasks or adding tasks via email, you can only import up to 300 tasks. For those of you that are interested, the indent level doesn’t matter. One parent task with 199 sub-tasks is the same as 200 parent tasks. In other words, all tasks count towards the limit.
All that said, this Bible Reading Plan greatly exceeds that limit (close to 1500 individual tasks in its present form). So, as soon as I am able, I will research how I can split the template into parts so the entire reading plan can be effectively used. I’m very sorry if this becomes a problem for you if you are currently using this Todoist template for your daily Bible reading. If you would like to be notified when it is ready, drop us a note at email@example.com.
If you would prefer to download the csv data source file to your local computer and manipulate it before importing it, click here for a compressed (.zip) version of the same file.
I hope that you find this information useful. Please leave a comment below if you have questions or concerns. We’d also love to hear if this Todoist project template helped you to read the Scriptures daily.
If you know others who might find this useful, please like and share on your favorite social network.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105 ESV
Did You Know?
- The M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan is named after Robert Murray M’Cheyne, missionary and Presbyterian minister in the church of Scotland. He died at the age of 29.
- If you follow the reading schedule that bears his name, this plan will have you reading the New Testament and the Psalms through twice a year, and the Old Testament through once.