Todoist: When Fluid Beats Native Apps

Todoist—the popular online task management app—recently came out with a Mac desktop app available through the Mac App Store. The app is free, so I gave it a test run. While the app does have a couple of nice features such as a quick add shortcut and a menu bar icon that shows the number of due and overdue tasks, I quickly reverted to using Todoist with Fluid.

In case you haven’t heard, Fluid is a great utility that allows Mac users to turn any web app into a de facto desktop app, or Fluid App. Read on to discover my handy Todoist/Fluid set-up, as well as some other use cases for Fluid.

Getting the Most Out of a Todoist Fluid App

Making a Fluid App is simple. Basically just launch Fluid, type in the URL, name the app, and hit enter. The key to my setup with Todoist is creating two Fluid apps: one with Todoist’s full site, and one with the Todoist mini site. The reasons for this become clear below. Please note that many of the features described require the paid version of Fluid, which goes for $4.99 and can be purchased from the Fluid site.

You can use any image as a Fluid App’s icon. Just drag and drop the image to Fluid’s window during setup.

Todoist Main Site Fluid App

Once you have created a Fluid App with Todoist’s main site there are a few features available in Fluid that will improve your Todoist experience. The most obvious advantages are opening Todoist quickly with spotlight or Alfred, not having to open a browser to use Todoist, and having the newly created app available in OS X’s built in application switcher. I have also found Fluid’s tabs and panels useful. Tabs and panels make it easy to have several different Todoist views open at the same time. For example, I can be mapping out a project in the Todoist app main window, and keep the today list open in a panel window.

Todoist’s minimalist design and simple beauty are enhanced with Fluid’s full screen capabilities. I find myself using Todoist in fullscreen mode quite often because it looks so darn good!

This is the Todoist Fluid App in full screen mode.

The Todoist Fluid app also displays a notification badge on the app’s icon. For Todoist, the badge displays due and overdue tasks. To my knowledge, there is no way to change what the notification badge displays.

Here is the notification badge on the app icon.

One thing I love about Todoist is that it takes advantage of HTML5 allowing offline access to the app. With the Todoist Fluid app you can still take advantage of Todoist’s offline mode.

Todoist Mini Site Fluid App

Todoist also provides a slimmed down version of the website that does not show the project list unless you click to see it. This slimmed down version of the site is perfect for taking advantage of Fluid’s menu bar feature. Here is how I use the Todoist mini site with Fluid:

  1. I created another Fluid app with the Todoist Mini site and named the app Todoist Menu.
  2. I then pinned this app to the status bar by clicking on the app name in the menu bar and clicking on Pin to Status Bar. This moves the app to the menu bar.
  3. I then added the app to my startup at login list so that the app is always open and I always have quick access to my Todoist tasks.

This is the Todoist Mini site in Fluid and pinned to the menu bar.

Because I leave the menu bar app open, it often shows outdated info when I open it. To fix this, I added a userscript I found and it now auto refreshes every 5 minutes, but you can adjust it to your likes. Here’s the script if you’d like to use it:
// ==UserScript==
// @name        Reload
// @namespace
// @description Refreshes page at given interval
// @include     *
// @author      Todd Ditchendorf
// ==/UserScript==
(function () {
if (window.fluid) {
var delayInSeconds = 30;
setInterval(function () {
}, 1000 * delayInSeconds)

This setup has worked great for me. I always have quick access to my tasks in the menu bar, but I can also use the full Todoist site like a desktop app when I need it.

Other Uses for Fluid

Of course, Fluid does not work great with just Todoist. In fact, other task management web apps are designed to work with Fluid, including Flow. With Flow’s Fluid app, you will even be able to control the app’s notification badge.

Fluid also works great with Google Apps, especially if you have multiple Gmail accounts because you can create an app for each of your addresses. Imagine having all of your Gmail accounts open at the same time. No more switching between accounts! What a time saver.

What about you? What apps do you use with Fluid? Know of any good userscripts or userstyles for Fluid? Let us know in the comments.