The COC productivity system: Notes+TO-DO List Flow

The COC Method

The buzz around “personal knowledge management (PKM)” has been on the rise, with influential figures like Tiago Forte leading the way.

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2022 global note-taking app market

Think of your personal knowledge management (PKM) system as a sophisticated note-taking system, often dubbed your “second brain,” giving credit to digital devices for their superior ability to store and retrieve information.

Remember:

In our era of information overload, relying solely on our brains for recall is, well, a bit outdated. As David Allen, the brain behind the GTD system, wisely puts it, “Your brain is great for having ideas, not for storing them.”

Popular note-taking (PKM) apps:

But here’s the problem – you can’t separate your personal knowledge management system (PKMS)/note taking system from your productivity system. They’re like two peas in a pod, deeply intertwined (more on that in a bit).

Just like your PKMS needs a reliable note-taking app, your task management system deserves a task manager or to-do list app to keep things running smoothly.

Popular to-do list apps:

So, we need an app that combines note-taking (PKM) and To-do lists, and a seamless productivity system that effortlessly involves:

  1. Capture: Noting down anything important you come across.
  2. Organize: Organizing them into neat notes, lists, and tasks.
  3. Check: Checking what are your day’s tasks (schedule).

It’s all about a low-friction system, ensuring a hassle-free and efficient process for capturing, organizing, and accessing information.

I like to call it the COC method, and Twos✌️is the app that makes it possible (based on Tiago Forte’s PARA method).

How does twos✌️ Work with the COC Method?

Twos is made up of things, lists, and days, here’s how they will be used in the COC method:

  • Things
  • Lists
  • Days

In Twos, a ‘thing’ refers to any item you input into the system. It could take various forms such as a to-do task, dash, note, number, bullet, or sublist.

Think of these as versatile folders that can house other folders (sublists) or files (things). Following the COC method, start by ‘capturing’ items in the Inbox list throughout the day. Afterward, you will ‘organize’ these items by either moving them to a PARA list or transferring them to Days.

Every day, you receive a fresh ‘Days’ list – a clear, day-specific rundown of items with reminders. In the COC method, you’ll use the ‘Today’ section to ‘check’ your daily schedule & the ‘Week’ section for a kanban-style view, perfect for easy drag-and-drop planning (also, a look at your weekly schedule).

Why not use ‘Days’ as both your capture and check section?

Two reasons:

  1. The ‘Days’ lists change every day. We need your capture section to accumulate items. Here’s why:

    • It incentivizes you to keep your Inbox clean by moving items to your PARA folders (more on PARA below). A few days without maintaining your Inbox, and it’ll get messy.

    • It also encourages you to address your tasks promptly, deciding either not to proceed or to plan them (planning moves them to different ‘Days’). Multiple lists for capturing would complicate organization. We need one place representing the ‘I need to remember it for later’ list.

  2. We need a separate section for capturing and checking to simplify your complex second brain flow. If you want to capture information, focus solely on capturing. If you want to check your schedule, concentrate solely on that. Having separate spaces for different actions makes you more organized, focused, and efficient.

The COC user flow: Notes+To-do list II (Updated)

The COC method: Personal knowledge management (PKM) & To-do list productivity system with PARA method. Second brain in one app (organize your life).

Twos✌️is an all-in-one productivity app (notes+tasks), that when used with Tiago Forte’s PARA method can organize your whole life.

Twos app: Notes+Task management

The COC method: Note-taking & To-do list productivity system with PARA method. Second brain in one app (organize your life).
A less-detailed/simplified COC user journey

Initiating this flow begins with your intent – the reason behind opening the app, be it on your smartphone or PC.

Each distinct intent guides you through a unique user flow. Let’s delve into the three intents (capture, organize & check) and the corresponding user flows you’ll navigate.

Capture

In the hustle and bustle of life, having a go-to place to capture those fleeting thoughts or important snippets is essential.

Here’s how you’ll capture:

1. Actions
Examples of what to capture in your second brain. PKM with task management.
An example of different types of information to capture

Imagine a space where you can corral any snippet of information that you dare not forget. It might be:

  • A quick note like a sudden idea
  • A fleeting thought
  • A pending task
  • Or a more elaborate one, such as class notes or a blog post.

The Twos app allows on-the-go capturing on any device, but you’ll capture snippets mostly on your smartphone unless you’re always on your laptop.

Why not add Elaborate notes directly to the PARA lists?

Well, you absolutely can! However, the beauty of the ‘capture first, organize later’ approach lies in its ability to let you jot down anything you want to remember for later without any hassle. There’s zero friction, as you know the information will safely reside in a designated space for you to deal with when you have the time.

Imagine you’re on a train, and suddenly, a brilliant idea for your next article strikes. Why not start writing about it right there in the Inbox section and handle the formalities later when you’re back home?

2. Sections

You’ll start by creating a list, let’s call it Inbox. This becomes your capture list – essentially, your digital notepad.

Make sure to set it as the default opening page in Twos. Why? Simple. We’re aiming for the least resistance between your thoughts and your capturing tool.

Second brain: Capture area/Inbox. PKM+To-do list
Twos Inbox list
Second brain example: Capture area/Inbox. PKM+To-do list
Information capture example

Twos app also gives you various “thing types” to play with, like

  • Tasks
  • Notes
  • Dashes
  • Bullets
  • Numbers
  • Sublists
Twos app inbox on PC: PKM & To-do list
Twos app Thing types: PKM & To-do list

My suggestion? Start with “dash” as your default – it’s quick and versatile. You can always change it during your organizational process later.

Pro Tip:

If you want to change the ‘thing type’ before adding it, there are keyboard shortcuts for all ‘thing types,’ just like there are for most elements throughout the Twos app

Organize

Another reason to open Twos is to organize your captured information. I typically do it on my PC at the end of the day, as part of the ‘management’ aspect of notes/personal knowledge management (PKM) or task management.

Here’s how:

1. Actions

You can organize the information in its proper form or list (PARA), or schedule your added tasks. Let’s break it down into three types:

  1. Change the form: You can change the information type or “thing” type (task, note, dash, bullet, number & sublist). For example, I may add a task/to-do as a dash while capturing it and then change it to a task later while organizing.

    A sublist can be defined as a list within a list. It allows for the creation of multiple layers of lists.
Twos app: Personal knowledge management (PKM) system information hierarchy (notes within notes) using sublists.
  1. Change the list: Shuffle your short or long notes from the Inbox to existing lists—whether it’s your grocery list, blog ideas, or physics notes—nestled neatly under the PARA lists.

    Captured tasks that aren’t part of any projects (P) will be moved to ‘Days’ (Today, Tomorrow, 12th Feb 2026, etc). Project tasks with dates will also appear in ‘Days.’

    It’s all about creating organized hierarchies in line with Tiago Forte’s PARA method, a core principle of the COC system. More on that below.
PARA method flow: move things from 'capture' list or Inbox to PARA lists. Twos app second brain.
Example: Moving an idea from the Inbox to a project (PARA).
To-do list flow: move things from 'capture' list or Inbox to days. Twos app second brain.
Moving a task from Inbox to ‘Days’.
  1. Schedule: Plan your week in the Week section, drag & drop tasks from one day to another, and assign dates, time, duration, and reminders for seamless task management (more on it below).
2. Sections

You’ll move the information you’ve added in the Inbox section to different lists or days. Next, you’ll plan your week or day further in the Week section.

You might shift tasks from yesterday to today or from today to tomorrow, for example. For a more effective planning approach, consider giving my 14 rules for planning a read.

Week view in Twos app: Kanban view in Twos app for daily planning/scheduling.
Week section in kanban view.
3. PARA

Move Inbox items to PARA lists based on their actionability—a common practice in personal knowledge management (PKM).

The COC method: Personal knowledge management (PKM) & To-do list system with PARA method. Second brain in one app: organize your life.

Here’s how I use Tiago Forte’s PARA method.

  1. Projects: A project is a set of tasks aiming for a short-term goal with a defined end date.

    For example, “Article on the Twos app” is my current project with various tasks. If a related task occurs to me, I jot it in the Inbox section and then transfer it to the project list later.

    Projects can stem from long-term goals. Learn more here.
An example of moving items from the Inbox.
  1. Areas: Lists that demand constant updates without an expiration date find a home here. Think “University Assignments” or “Blog Ideas.”
Areas examples:
  1. Resources: Long documents, from class notes to elaborate blog posts, rest in this category. Documents here are static, requiring no constant edits. Perfect for future reference, like revisiting notes for an upcoming exam or citing a saved research paper in a Reddit debate.

Remember:


Feel free to divide your PARA lists into smaller lists—it’s a helpful practice. Sublists (lists within lists) work great for this!

  1. Archives: Concluded projects or notes that have served their purpose but won’t be needed again can find a cozy spot in your archives.

All your PARA lists are accessible in the lists section, but you need to bookmark them to display them on the sidebar. This will make your Note taking/PKM & To-do flow seamless.

Check

Another reason to open Twos is to check your daily schedule: the tasks you’re supposed to do today.

1. Actions

Checking tasks is straightforward—just open the ‘Today’ section to see your responsibilities for the day.

2. Sections

Today serves as your ‘check’ section, displaying your daily schedule chronologically. Here, you can mark tasks as done, cancel them, adjust reminders, or make edits throughout the day.

With the COC system’s flexibility, consider elevating your scheduling by assigning tasks start and end times. These timed tasks will then appear as blocks in the Calendar section.

Your Today section is the outcome of meticulous (or not) planning during the ‘Organize’ phase.

Faq

does twos have a graph view?

Yes, Twos does offer an Obsidian-style graph view. It’s called the ‘Universe’ view.

Can you set reminders in Twos?

Yes, you can set reminders in Twos using natural language prompts, such as ‘Clean your car on 22nd Feb’.

Does Twos offer rich text editing?

While rich text editing is not currently available in Twos, it’s planned for the future according to their roadmap. Formatting options include headers, underline, bold, highlight, bullets, etc. The only inconvenience is that formatting applies to the whole block, not selected text.

Are there backlinks in twos?

You can link to other notes by copying and pasting their URLs, but Twos doesn’t offer a shortcut yet. However, it’s on their roadmap.

Is there a Kanban view in Twos?

Yes, it’s an upcoming feature. You can view lists as kanban, in a conversation format, and in a gallery view.

Are there hierarchies in twos?

Yes, you can create multiple layers of hierarchies using sublists.

Can Twos be used as an Amplenote alternative?

Yes, Twos works as a great alternative to Amplenote since they both offer powerful note-taking and task management features all in one app.

Conclusion

I hope this note-taking & to-do list productivity system helps you plan and organize your whole life seamlessly. If you want to get unorthodox tactics or tools from the world’s best minds directly in the inbox, subscribe below.

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