05 January 2011

To Do Lists - Revisited

I find revisiting previously discussed topics often springs up some new ideas that may not have been discussed before.

This morning for instance Giovani from Brazil sent me a link to an article in the Wall Street Journal - Five Tips for Managing Your To-Do List I found it a very useful article. Take a read for yourself.

The previous articles on To-Do lists on Philofaxy are also worth a revisit.

Have you discovered any new ways of organising your To-Do lists?


  1. The system I use (mostly at work, but this year I'm hoping to extend it to home too) is this:
    I have global 'to-do' task-lists (one for work and one for non-work). The urgency of the tasks is indicated by asterisks (* = low; ** = medium; *** = high. That way, when I haven't got round to things, I can add an extra * to push it up the list!). I don't have 'must-do-by' dates atatched (unless there genuinely IS a must-do-by associated with the task.
    I have a Daily to-do' list
    I put fixed appointments in my diary and leave the rest as white space

    At the start of the week, I look at my global to-do list and see how many *** and ** things are on it. Those are my priorities. Then, each morning, I check my diary and see how much white space there is. I then add a (hopefully) achievable set of items off my global list onto my Daily list (but don't schedule them - they are just on a list).
    As they get done, I cross them off. At the end of the day I then cross things off the global list and re-assess the number of asterisks each item should have. If there are things that didn't get done, I add them automatically to the next day's daily list.

    So, that's my system. It works pretty well for me at work and I'm hoping to apply it to the non-work side too.
    I'd be interested to hear what others do.

  2. this may be blasphemy here at philofaxy but the best tip for managing your to-do list i know is spend less time rearranging it and more time actually doing the stuff on it. works for me.

  3. :-)
    Know what you mean. But my work to-do list can be HUGE, largely because if I don't write a task down, it will get forgotten and missed. Consequently, everything is in together, regardless of urgency so I do need to manage the list a bit. It's not just so I can use my filofax! - I did this long before I started using that, but I do find the filofax is a lot neater than the scraps of paper jammed into my desk diary was!

  4. But if you complete your To-Do list you won't have a need for that page in your Filofax... and that just will not do!!!! ;-)

  5. wunderlist is pretty great.

    I use Evernote right now, but kind of switch back and forth between the two.

    I also write things that must be done today on today's calendar.

  6. oh, my list is never done. i'm constantly adding new stuff to it. but i'm also very conscious of the fact that i can procrastinate (the student's watchword!) for AGES rearranging planners, colour-coding notes etc., instead of actually getting stuff done. i think if i had more stuff on my list i would need to organise it more though.

  7. The system I have used successfully for 10 years is breaking down. At work my to-do items are coming in so fast I am struggling even to read them in order to prioritise. I need to work out a new system... :(

  8. Oh no! Nellie, you sound like you need a new job rather than a new system!

  9. Ooh, nice article! I love the $ and :-) idea, but since I'm not a business owner or entrepreneur out hunting for customers or cash flow, I'll have to think about how to tweak it to suit. I think, though, that instead of "get out the good ole yellow legal pad" he should have said "get out the good ole trusty filofax" ;-)


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