Getting Things Done

Tick-Tock Tales: Jurgen Meets CloudCal

Jurgen Van Gussem

Jurgen Van Gussem

Welcome to a new blog series that explores some of the wonderful things our users get done with CloudCal and CloudTasks. This week we talk t o Jurgen Van Gussem, a father of two who relies on CloudCal.

If looking after two daughters isn’t hard enough, try working for the government. It’s all in a day’s work for Jurgen Van Gussem, a happily married father of two who lives in beautiful Belgium. We spoke to him about what it takes to organize his life, from the professional to the personal, and how CloudCal helps sow everything together. Read on to learn his top CloudCal tip.

Jurgen, how important is organization to you?

With a family and a job working for the Belgium government, my life gets pretty busy. I need to organize a lot, both at work and at home, to get things done and keep people happy. But it’s not always easy combining the two. In the past I used separate tools, but this just made organization harder as I was concentrating my energy in different places. I’m always looking for ways to boost my productivity and streamline my workflow, as managing and planning activities in the simplest way possible makes life easier.

What is your main productivity goal?

My main goal is to keep track of family events in all forms – from school appointments, to vacations, to family parties, to birthdays – and at the same time keep track of work events such as meetings and lessons. To do it all from one place is the ambition, as this helps me coordinate everything in a smooth way.

What were your struggles before CloudCal?

It was always hard for me to plan personal and professional things side by side. The tools I used for work made me adopt processes that didn’t translate well to family life. Because of this, I never had a convenient view of future events and this led me to forecast my time improperly. I would often forget tasks, and I even forgot the odd birthday or two. Not good.

So how did CloudCal help?

I consider myself a power user, so I went in final search of a good digital agenda that could meet my needs. CloudCal popped up, and I instantly fell in love with Magic Circles. Magic Circles solved my main problem: getting a nice overview of future events to help better forecast my time. The different agenda views were a bonus too, as they gave flexible workflows to match the task at hand.

What were the results?

Letting people down is the worst. Now I can keep track of my family and social life, as well as my work life, without forgetting tasks, meetings, birthdays, and other things. I’m more organized then I’ve ever been. The Pselis team is constantly improving CloudCal too, which means new features are added that boost my productivity even more.

What’s your top CloudCal tip?

If you’re planning a meeting or other event, always attach a relevant local or Dropbox file if you can. This can be an agenda, a contact list, or a presentation. For me this is yet another way of keeping things together, and is a convenient way of having your materials to hand at a moment’s notice.

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Save webpages with tasks for better context

On the lookout for gifts? Gathering inspiration for your next meeting? However simple your project may be, CloudTasks has a feature that will make your to-dos a whole lot smarter. You can now save webpages directly inside your tasks, giving you better context around the project as a whole.

Let’s look at an example. If you’re making a shortlist of gifts, you can save URLs to online stores such as Amazon along with the task to buy them – making it easy to get back to the detailed product information you need.

This feature is great for lots of projects, from the personal to the professional. Here’s how it works:

1.     Inside Chrome, tap on the three dots at the top.
2.     Tap ‘Share’, and then ‘CloudTasks’.
3.     CloudTasks will create a new to-do using the title of the webpage, and will add the URL to the ‘Notes’ field.
4.     Place it into your preferred list and complete any other information, such as a due date.

That’s it! And however big those wish lists get, there’s always unlimited subtasks to help you deal with them. Enjoy!

Getting Things Done with CloudTasks

Getting Things Done®, or GTD® for short, is one of the world’s most favorite productivity systems. It’s simple, quick, and proven to help people accomplish their goals. So how can you combine it with CloudTasks? Well it’s easy, as CloudTasks has been built with the GTD® methodology in mind. Here we look at its five key principles and show how easy it is to get started and take control.

1. Capture

GTD®: Immediately write down ideas, tasks, and anything else that springs to mind.
CloudTasks: Use the provided ‘Inbox’ list to quickly capture everything that comes to mind, ready for sorting later.

2. Clarify 

GTD®: Break your notes down into actionable, manageable tasks.
CloudTasks: Divide big tasks into smaller, bite-size tasks using subtasks. CloudTasks allows you to create as many subtasks as you need, so big jobs like writing a report or decorating a room can be broken down into lots of actionable steps, offering a better overview of progress and a boost of motivation as you tick them off.  

3. Organize

GTD®: Separate your tasks into different categories and priorities. How urgent is your task? Set due dates and reminders if applicable.

CloudTasks: Create task lists based on category, for example: home, work, groceries. Now create tasks inside these lists, and assign priorities to them using stars, with 1 being most important and 5 least important. For maximum organization, you can set reminders and due dates for your most vital tasks. 

4. Reflect

GTD®: Plan your day. Decide which tasks you need to do immediately and which tasks can wait. If you have any poorly defined tasks remaining, break them down into actionable tasks.

CloudTasks: Look at your tasks in the ‘All’ list and start planning when you will complete them. For those that have the highest priority or that should be completed urgently, move them into the ‘Today’ list. Remember: You can prioritize tasks using the star rating system, 1 to 5.

 5. Engage

GTD®: Start work with your ‘Today’ list as a guide.
CloudTasks: Keep your 'Today' list visible throughout the day, and remember to tick off tasks once they're complete. Now go accomplish those goals.