Read any advice about getting stuff done and writing a to do list is always featured. How many of us start (or end) the week doing this? Who doesn’t love crossing a task off your list, even if the said task is ‘write a to do list’!
There are loads of ways to record a to do list. Any fellow stationery geek will agree with me when I say, if you find the right shop* you could spend hours obsessing over the variety of printed lists, weekly planners, diaries, notebooks etc.
These really aren't necessary; you don’t need a printout telling you where and how to list your tasks. But it helps right? And the fact that they come in pretty colours and patterns doesn’t go amiss. Mmmmm... notebooks...
"Pen in the shape of a chilli? Yes please!" #pengeek. All notebooks above from Paperchase
Let’s look at the humble notebook. It's a familiar tool to use to write your list but tell me is it a) a notebook you use regularly (i.e. will it get lost in your other paperwork), b) is it light enough to join you wherever you go and c) will you remember to add to it? What about if these jobs are shared with other people? How do you know their share of the work has been done?
In all honesty, I love a good old fashioned notepad but I’m also a digital doer and I’m going to suggest something (stationery lovers shut your ears) that will revolutionise your productivity and turn your hand written lists into an easily organised, well managed, feeling fab list.
A tool you can install on your laptop and as an app on your phone (https://en.todoist.com/)
Being a virtual assistant, one thing that could be tricky is knowing what I’m doing, for whom, by when. I have a range of clients each with their own needs and without this app I’d be seriously in need of a gin (like, a during the day gin).
I purchased the Premium version of Todoist (only 28USD per year) as it allows for sharing, adding comments and attachments plus automatic backups.
Here are some of the features I think you’ll love if you’re a list-lover like me.
Create tasks and define a deadline – make yourself (or someone else – more on this later) accountable
Add reminders (sent to your email / mobile app)
Organising tasks is a dream – start a project, add filters and labels
Colour code projects
View your tasks for today or over the next 7 days - great for forward planning
Share a project with a colleague, friend or family member (perfect for fun to do lists too, like sorting out a mini break)
Allocate tasks to people you’ve shared a project with
If you’re using this tool to collaborate, you can add comments. Reduce emails going back and forth, clogging up your inbox!
You can also add attachments
If you want a pat on the back or a kick up the … then you can check your productivity stats
Set ‘karma’ goals to keep you on track
Even better than a notebook, this tool travels with you. The app will notify me when someone comments on a task. I can also add tasks on the go, perfect for those ‘I must remember to…’ moments.
Old school rules and the notebook (gorgeously colourful, tangible, patterned and filled with fresh lined pages, mmm) will always be a contender in helping you to organise your day, however, you can’t deny that there are some pretty nifty online tools out there.
Just one word of caution, be sure to balance your life with your digital one and don’t leave the notebook collecting dust on the shelf.
What tools do you use to record a to do list? How effective are they?
If you want to start using Todoist and need some help setting it up just get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
BTW, I have no affiliation with Todoist so I won't be getting any cash for you signing up! I just like sharing top tools that I find useful :)
* Paperchase was mine in the UK and thankfully I have found an alternative here in Singapore, kikki.k