Yesterday we looked at Behance’s Action Pads. Today we are going to give a few away to random commentors on this post. Specifically we are looking for comments, ideas, suggestions, or random thoughts about how to make a better todo list. So anything you’ve done to let you better manage, capture, or execute your list of actions is fair game.
So to get things rolling, here are a few suggestions for todo lists based on my experience:
- Braindump list — keep a list of all the random "todo someday" items that you think of. This gives you a place to capture them without cluttering up your daily list.
- Use objects — sometimes using objects to represent your list instead of a written list can be beneficial. This is especially true if the object is part of what you need to complete the task. For example, setting out my work out clothes to help remind me to exercise can help motivate me much more than just seeing "exercise" written on a list.
- Limit Items on Daily List — if there is no way you are going to actually accomplish 40 items on your daily todo list, don’t fill your list with things you aren’t going to get done. You should develop the habit of regularly completing all the items on your daily list. If you aren’t getting the list done in its entirety at least 50% of the time, you probably are putting too much on it. Developing the habit of completing all the items is more important than how many items you have listed.
- Write on your mirror — dry erase markers and your bathroom mirror can be a handy way to leave yourself a note to start your morning routine.
- Cross reference — this is particularly useful for your braindump list. If you reference an email or other piece of information, make sure you include enough information to be able to find it later. For example, recording the sender and date of an email, is usually enough to locate it using your email client’s search functionality.
- Quality list — how you make your list sends yourself a subconscious message about its importance. That doesn’t mean you need to write on gold paper, but an old receipt doesn’t convey the importance of your todo list. Write neat on good paper so every time you look at the list it conveys quality and organization.
- Add to your list — everyone has experienced a day where they did a lot of work, but nothing that was on their list. In these types of situations, go ahead and add the tasks that came up to your list and mark them off. This helps keep you in the habit of using your list and lets you see your achievements even if it wasn’t what you planned to do originally.
What are things you do to help you be effective in using your todo list? Do you have any type of special paper, layout, computer program or other tool that you use? Please leave a comment below and don’t forget we’ll be giving away several Action Pads to the authors of random comments.