My Kind of Lists
I’m a paper and pencil kind of gal. Because I’m always on the move, I keep a small clipboard and pad of paper with me, jotting things down as I remember them. When the list gets too long, or there are too many pages being used, I take some time to corral the items – long term projects get transferred to a big white board, smaller items get re-written and time is allotted in my daily calendar to get them accomplished. This keeps things “fresh” in my eyes, and keeps me motivated.
More List Options
The key to making your To-Do list help you get things done is choosing a method that matches your style and specific needs. You might even want to keep one kind of list for things like household chores, and another for business related items. There are lots of options, so consider how these list making methods might fit your life.
- Use spreadsheets such as Excel for organized and structured lists. If you're using them for business purposes, they double as accountability records. Share bill paying duties in your home? Try using a shared access Excel sheet with your spouse for upcoming tasks.
- Try printable pages like the ones at The Scattered Squirrel. These allow for easy manipulation and duplication of tasks without having to write them out each time.
- Get some fun and funky notepads for around the house. Magnetic ones for the fridge are helpful for shared family project lists, and small ones tuck easily into your purse or briefcase for on the go To-Do list updates.
- Grab a To-Do list specifically designed for kids - it's never too early to start them on the path toward the benefits of organization and accountability. They can use small stickers to mark off completed tasks.
- Hang a dry erase board on the back of your home office or den door or in another place that is visible to you - but not necessarily the world.
Digital To-Do List Options
Once you enter the digital world there is no end to the To-Do list apps available for smartphones, tablets, and computers. These also allow for easy manipulation of tasks, and a good app will work in tandem with your calendar and other programs. Two of my more robust favorites are Remember The Milk and ToDoist. The key when looking at apps is choosing one that won’t overwhelm you with options. Simple IS better! If you're new to digital To-Do lists, you might want to try one of the simplest apps I’ve found - Tasks.
No matter what method you choose, prioritizing is a MUST. When small tasks mingle with large projects it’s a recipe for disaster. We’ll talk prioritizing methods next week.
In my humble, professional opinion, the less time spent creating the “perfect” To-Do list means more time available for finishing the things on the list! Use a method that works for you, remembering that “done well is better than not-done-perfectly”!
What type of To-Do list do you use? And what type of To-Do list scares you the most?