What made me look for Twos (backstory)?
At the start of the year, I posted a blog post about using Evernote exclusively. Two weeks in, I realised the shortcomings of Evernote and its inability to quickly capture and retrieve my daily thoughts and notes. The app itself is slow and inconsistent across platforms. I also experienced too many slow synchronisation problems where notes and scratchpad jots were not transferring across devices. The desktop version of Evernote still doesn’t have a manual synchronisation button or indication of what has been synchronised.
I resorted to paper forms for capturing notes, ideas and tasks to later record in Evernote, which defeats the object of using Evernote if it can’t do what it is meant to do. Did I mention Evernote is slow? It got to a point where I was typing up notes in Google Docs, tasks in Todoist and events in Google Calendar. The temporary setup worked, but the process was time-consuming. A lot of duplication in copying things across meant less time doing what I set out to do. On top of this, I lost two notes in Evernote and experienced three note duplication conflicts. Who wants to spend hours (literally) creating notes and lose them?
Why I chose the Twos App?
I was looking for something that offered cross-platform, quick capture for my short-form notes. It also had to be something affordable as I want to reduce my monthly bills. After an hour of searching and testing, I found the Twos App was the best fit. The app felt natural to me because I have used bullet journaling for the past four years. Even better, Twos was offering the ability to combine my notes, calendar, to-dos, reminders, lists and journaling all in one place. Perfect! I was sceptical at first, but now I can confirm I have been able to achieve all of these within the first 38 days of using Twos.
The team behind Twos App, known as TwosBaller and TwosJoe, have a fantastic, committed following. The online community are encouraging and welcoming, which is perfect for a new app on the scene. Within the first hour of using Twos, I noticed I had already received an introduction video and the offer for a one-to-one tutorial with TwosJoe (which I still haven’t taken up yet) through email. Each week there are updates to the app and Twos is always open to suggestions from the community. They even have a Discord channel and Trello for development progression. TwosBaller has a live coding session on YouTube, which is interesting to watch and interact with others on chat. I’ve even managed to get on one of the webinar events.
Although there are loads of things Twos can do, I want to focus on three areas that have helped me over the past 30+ days of use – tasks, the calendar and lists.
Tasks / To-dos
To-dos are a great feature to have in Twos. They are simple to make using a left and right bracket with space after them. If you want, you can go to preferences and have any incomplete to-dos carry over to the next day, which is similar to Amplenote. I feel this was an option missing in Craft Docs. With that app, you had to manually search through all your daily entries and carry them over. In Twos, your to-dos appear on your Home dashboard, so you have a glance at what is due. It reminds me of Evernote’s dashboard where you can see what is next.
I recommend you add dates and times to your tasks. This is a great way to make them actionable. The tasks will be added to the Today view of the date and time you have given. Selecting the Reminder button when your task is selected will bring up a detailed panel with additional choices. In addition, your tasks will be added to your integrated calendar, which leads me to my next reason to use Twos – the calendar integration.
The Twos app allows you to integrate your Apple, Outlook and Google Calendar. I believe there are more but I haven’t tested those. Each day I will look at the Today view and look at what I have on. Any thoughts or tasks that come to my mind will be added to that day. Any thoughts or tasks for another day can be added and later moved, which is one of Twos’ amazing abilities. I have my Google Calendar set up in Twos. In Options, from the mobile/tablet app, you can choose what calendar you want to use if you have more than one calendar for Google. I prefer to keep personal, family and work separate, so I am able to focus on what matters to me at any given time. My Google Calendar is also available through the web version of the Twos App, so I am not limited to the app. I like how the AI detects events when I type something in. For example, if I typed ‘Order new printer ink tomorrow at 8 pm’, Twos will automatically detect this and ask to set a reminder for the event. Again, if I don’t get the chance to order the ink, this task will be moved over to the next day.
To be honest, this is an area I was confused with at first because I did not understand the hierarchical structure of lists and sublists as well as sublists within my Today page. It was all made clear by watching a webinar by TwosJoe (Co-founder of TwosApp), which I highly recommend watching – YouTube link. When creating a new list, Twos will come up with a few suggestions. You don’t have to choose one of them, but it is a place to start if you want to see how they work. I like how Twos will show lists that have already been created with a similar name, especially when I forgot I had already started the list for my coding project.
Lists can be made easily accessible through bookmarks, stars and added to your ‘Today’. All bookmarks, to-dos and stars can easily be accessed through your dashboard or side panel. I found adding lists and sublists to my Today view super helpful when I wanted to focus on that area instead of searching for the list each time I needed it. Your lists can be called upon and added to your Today page when you need to use them. For example, you might have a shopping list. You see visiting the shops is on your jobs to do for that day. Simply add the shopping list to the ‘Today’ page and it will appear as a sublist where you can tick off all the items you collect around the shop. This is truly amazing! Remember – your sublists can be moved to another day in the future if you want to plan ahead.
Also, by adding the list to your ‘Today’ page, you are making connections on your graph view. I will touch on this in a later post but for those not familiar with Obsidian and Logseq, it creates a graph to show you how thoughts, ideas and connections are related.
Bookmarks allow you to pin important lists to your side panel for quick reference. I personally recommend bookmarking lists you need to access frequently. For example, I have annual goals and weekly planner lists. I have them pinned so I can refer back to them when I need to see how I am progressing against the given goals I have set for myself. One of the Pro upgrades is the ability to colour code the bookmarks for better reference. I added green to bookmarks, which means ‘growth’ to my habits list. It is completely up to you how you customise Twos. Try to keep it as simple as you can.
Stars are for individual things. It allows you to pick out individual things for your dashboard. It might be for reference, tasks or even inspiration.
There is so much going on for Twos that I could write a book about it. In the future, I will cover the following sections in more detail:
- Home page
- Coins (unlock Pro features for free / gifting others)
- Sharing / Collaborating
- Graph view
- Lists / Sublists
- Keyboard shortcuts
- My Windows shortcut bindings on Twos can be found here.
- Publishing to Twos World (like a blog)
Finally, if this blog has convinced you to try out Twos. Please, please, use my referral code ‘minimlr’ to gain 200 coins, which will go towards buying FREE Pro Upgrades! You can pay for upgrades. Alternatively, use my code and complete the daily tasks to get enough coins to unlock everything for free.
Remember to follow me on Twitter, @theminimlrblog, where I will be posting about Twos, along with other productivity, mindfulness and digital minimalism snippets.
Twos App can be found at https://www.twosapp.com/
Loved this, Mark! Really amazing job capturing the all-in-one nature of Twos and happy to hear we’re helping the budget! So happy you found Twos, really looking forward to future updates, and thank you for helping share Twos! ✌️
Thank you for your kind words. Twos is amazing and the first app I use on my phone each day.