One of the questions I’m asked most often by my clients and seminar
“What is the best to do list or task system to use for my daily to do lists?”
There are different components to creating a to-do list system: implementing a format that allows you to be successful, deciding what goes on there, using a system that you don’t detest, and creating a list you can actually complete.
In this two-part post, we’ll address the first component: choosing the perfect format to use for your daily to do lists.
You have a number of options you can utilize to manage your tasks:
- There’s a good ol’ paper list system. You can use one sheet of paper for the week or start fresh with an updated list each day. People who are visual (meaning they remember better when they see something) or who are kinesthetic (meaning they like to be able to use their hands while working) tend to love paper because they can have it visible to remind them of what they need to do, and they can cross items off as they finish them. You can even add items that weren’t on the list originally and then cross them off to feel good about what you accomplished.
- A variation of this is a digital word processing document. Going digital allows you to add, edit, delete, strike through and move items around as priorities change. You don’t have to re-write your entire list each day; you simply edit the one that’s in front of you.
- You can use a spreadsheet. The same information can be captured in a spreadsheet as you would in a paper or digital document. Spreadsheets also allow you to easily categorize your tasks by various projects, clients, months or seasons by utilizing tabs, and the spreadsheet itself has built-in columns you can use to help you track your status.
- If you use a handheld device throughout the day, perhaps a Task App is the format for you. You can edit, adjust and monitor your tasks from the palm of your hand. Most apps also allow you to set reminders, so you won’t forget about working on these tasks.
- Or maybe a CRM is the right choice for you. If you’re digitally-inclined and prefer more of an all-inclusive platform, you might consider a Contact Relationship Management (or CRM) system that integrates Project Management. You can keep your contacts organized, with notes on the status of each relationship or project, and also set up tasks by client or project – tasks which can also be shared with or delegated to someone else on your team.
In next week’s post, we’ll take a look at what these options mean for you and your daily to do lists.