Avoid the last minute rush by planning a day ahead

igoogle_todo.pngThere's nothing worse than realising five minutes before you have to walk out the door that you've forgotten something. Often you *know* you need to prepare things beforehand - like printing out the directions for where you're going  -but you don't actually get around to doing it.

In these situations, a calendar or to-do list doesn't quite cut it - unless it reminds you *ahead of time* of the tasks you need to do to be ready for the next day. Certainly programs like Remember the Milk or Google Calendar can send you reminders, and you could schedule a reminder for 24 hours before. But to ensure that even on days when I don't check my calendar or set reminders, I still get ready for the next day, I set up a small, specific list of "things to do for tomorrow".

I decided to use the ToDo gadget on the Google Homepage so that every morning when I fire up my browser, the list will be right there in front of me, letting me know the tasks I need to complete today in order to be ready for the next day. This will allow me to end each day with an empty to do list on my home page  - a nice feeling!

Why a separate list of things to do for tomorrow?

  1. It gets you thinking through what you'll need to do the next day, giving your brain a chance to go 'hang on, you'll need to print out a map' or 'I should call Doug and see if he wants to share a cab to that event', and importantly, gives you time to set these things up ready for the next day.
  2. It gives you peace of mind. You wake up knowing everything is in place for whatever your day has in store. When I have to catch an early flight, I sleep easy knowing that my clothes are laid out for the next day, my bags are packed, my ride to the airport is booked, and I have all my flight details printed out and stowed in the back pocket of my diary.

I chose to use the iGoogle To Do gadget because it's simple, easy to use and sitting there on my home page so I can't avoid seeing it. But avid To Do list fans may have a more elegant solution. So if you have a suggestion for an automated or manual way to remind yourself of tasks you need to complete for tomorrow, please leave them in comments. 


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