16 April 2011

The Tale of Two To-Do lists

For about the last month I've been running two series of To-Do lists. A traditional paper one in my slimline Filofax, and the other using a free app on my iPod Touch and it's also linked to my iMac.

It will not surprise you that about two weeks ago I more or less abandoned using the electronic one, but the paper one continues to work well. The paper one is  quicker, may be not neater (remembering my hand writing!), but it's just so much easier to carry around and use at a glance as a reminder of what I have got to get done this week, or this month.

I've done some of my own pre-printed to-do lists with 'This Week', 'This Month' 'Future Purchases', 'Projects' and 'Do Sometime' in the header. Printed on Personal size sheets these make the job of updating the lists every so often much easier to do.

I am also inclining towards paper only calendars now. Whilst Google Calendar works and I can share it with the rest of the family. I find a paper calendar so much easier to manage and keep up to date. It has become a weekly Sunday evening ritual whilst I'm chatting to my UK radio friends via Skype to sit and up date my diary for the forthcoming week and also up date my Pocket Filofax at the same time.

Do you try to keep dual systems up to date?


  1. I do attempt to keep my primary Filofax synced with my Google calendar and a family wall calendar.

    I always write items of import my personal Malden and then update my Google cal on a once a week basis (usually). Items on the wall cal has items my DH needs to know about and that impact him and the children directly, say hot lunch orders and afternoon appointments or commitments. Many items on the wall cal are not vital to have in my Filo or on my Google cal.

    I like the reminder function of Google cal, and that is why I use it. I can plant friendly nagging reminders such as, "work on dissertation" or "exercise!"

    That being said, I do compartmentalize my to do lists by place like GTD by David Allen recommends...@computer, @home, @phone(desk, not cell), and shopping lists by store. I won't write a to do list in two places--that is too confusing for my little pea brain to keep straight.

  2. I have been trying to get my several calendars together - and failed epically!

    I have always used my Filofax for private and business diary, to-do, and notes. I have been using my iMac's calendar and to-do-lists, combined with my iPhone. And I have used Outlook in my office, which I can't synchronise with my iPhone, unfortunately.

    After about ten month I have to say that I will definitely stick to my Filofax as may main diary! There's everything in one place and always available.

    Some office appointments will go to Outlook, since I can share it with my colleagues. Garden stuff is going to the iMac, since it is easy to make reocurring issues, combined with my new Moleskine Garden Journal.

    And still, all things gather in the Filofax, which I update every two or three weeks. I just can't imagine that there can be a time - and system - where everything is working out well, and electronically!!!

  3. What ive done for my to-do lists is, i have two pages, both that i write my to do lists on, i use the same two pages all the time, i write in pencil then rub out when its done so im always looking at the one as im changing it all the time and getting rid of things ive done, i tried to use a online to do list and i found i NEVER checked it i prefer the writing down then rubbing off method ive been doing it keeps it soooo organised and happy :-) oh wait thats a video idea lol :-)

  4. I'm attempting to keep a copy of my calendar, contacts and diary on my Android phone & in my A5 Filofax.
    On the phone I can have instant access and it's all synchronized to my Google account online (and with Mozilla's Thunderbird for emails) and with the Filo I can plan, use lists and plan,list etc.
    It sort of seems to work as a lot of the synchronization is automatic (less work being the point of planning) and I can keep lists of plans,goals,books to read,home improvement or self improvement plans etc written in the Filo.
    One's compact and the other gives space to meander if I wish

  5. I'm synching two personal-task paper calendars -- that is to say, not work related -- between a Personal Durham zip (week over two pages) and a Personal Guildford (week on one page). Guess I'm not that busy - hasn't been too onerous a task.

    I have G-cal on my Android phone, like skhen, but I can see myself moving away from that - I actually find the reminder function just cluttering. With paper, I think, maybe subjectively, I'll remember more reliably if I do the work to handwrite.

  6. I have To-Do Matrix on my blackberry, but I have given up on it. It works the same way as GTD, which is nice and as a programme is excellent. I just find that I look at my lists more in my filofax. Everything is in my personal Amazona, calendar, lists, To-Do... the lot.

    I am wondering whether I could downsize to Pocket...

  7. I like to use Outlook as it fits in with my working life and when I do projects for 'corporate' types they do want to send outlook invites to my diary. This can sync with my iPhone but I hate using my diary on the iPhone. I find it a challenge to see what is going on around the proposed date and also it seems to take me too long to enter items.

    Since I set up a pocket diary to carry round with me I haven't looked back. I use the Frixion pens so I can rub out anything that gets cancelled. It's great to just pull it out and enter my appointments when I am out and about. I also use it to make little notes etc whilst I am out. I really love my pocket Special Edition (Swarovski Elements) filofax.

    Todo lists are another matter and something I have struggled with for a long time. I can't get my head around whether I should mix work and personal, and where it should go. This is complicated by the fast that I work for myself from home, and also use a different filofax for work. I'm interested in what others do!

  8. To chime in just a bit, as I reexamine my to-do lists, I count three. The first is the date- marker. They is no true window of time for this. It could be tomorrow, or three months from now. I mark important dates, appointments, birthdays and what have you in my filo. Then, also in my filo, I have a daily to-do list. It is quite self-explanatory, stuff I would like to accomplish in a day. To account for small daily reminders I use post-its. I write these every morning before I do anything! I may make note of little things such as a list of phone calls I need to make for the day. Follow up on things I didn't complete the day before, reminders to work out, eat, do the dishes, etc. I am definitely one of those people who need to see it on a list to do it. Or maybe just need to cross something off a list to make myself feel a little more accomplished at the end of the day. Either way that accounts for my second to-do list. The third comes in the form of a to-do in a lifetime. I keep these lists on my Pre's memo pad. It holds lists of movies I need to see, books I need to read. Gifts I would like to treat myself with ;)! Filofaxes I must have! Character traits I would like to develop, characters fictional and real that I admire and would like to learn from, artists to follow. And now since I have moved to a new city, I have created lists of places I have seen in passing that I would like to visit. I have thought about putting these down in writing on the actual to-do pages in my filo but I keep adding to them, would hate to put anything less than final on those pages. It’s just a thing I have about those pages. I find them a little to nice to make lists that I will just have to remake. Anyhow, that is the tale of my to-do lists.

  9. My Filofax is my personal and work calendar but as I have young children my hubbie and I share an on-line calendar to put dates in when we are away on business/have trips away with friends so we don't double book and are without childcare. I have to import these into my Filofax as if it is not on my paper version it doesn't happen in reality (but this is only an occasional event rather than multiple appointments every day so it is not a major task for me).

  10. In addition to my desk size planner which I keep on my desk (unless heading out to a meeting or traveling) I carry a personal size as a wallet. In the personal size I only keep a month at a glance and this is the calendar that I sync across both planners. It allows me to set up appointments while I'm out and about without my main planner. I've pretty much stopped using the app on my phone although I do have my schedule set up there, because it's too difficult trying to find something a few months down the road. Paper is just so much easier. In my desk planner I only keep a month at a glance until I actually get to the month, then I add in the week at a glance and daily pages and transfer the items from my month at a glance to my weekly/daily page.