Franklin Covey (formerly Franklin Quest) training teaches you to keep all of your to-do items in one place. I don’t think this is the best approach. I think it is important to separate your important todo items from your list of “habit” type tasks. For example, if I have a to-do item of paying my taxes, it doesn’t seem that this should be on the same list as exercise. If I miss a day of exercise, it isn’t a big deal. In fact I expect to miss a few days of exercise here and there. However, paying my taxes isn’t one of those things I can miss. It should be on my list of things that absolutely have to get done.
Exercise and things like that are more of habits that I want to practice on a regular basis, but I can skip if I need to. Most people try to deal with this by prioritizing their tasks. The problem is that you still end up with everything on the same list even though there is something fundamentally different about “habit” type tasks. For this type of regularly recurring items, you need to see how you are doing over time more than you need to see a particular day. That is why I like keeping these type of items in a grid that lets me see at a glance how I’m doing for the month. The priorities on each item can change depending on how I’m doing. So if I haven’t exercised for a week, it becomes more important.
I have a paper based tool I use for this “habit list” that I’ll be making available later next week, so watch for it if this sounds like something you’d be interested in.