One stumbling block when you're trying to get things done is getting in the habit of using a to-do list. The list can't help you if you don't check it.
So how do you get in that habit of checking in with your to-do list so you stay on top of tasks and deadlines?
First up I'd recommend that you set aside a few minutes at the start (or end) of each day to check in with your to do list. If you already have a morning ritual, it can make it easier to set up another habit at the same time. For example, if you have a cup of coffee first thing every morning, make that the time you 'check in' - soon you'll be in the habit of checking in with your to-do list and setting your course for the day.
But how do you get in the habit of using and checking the calendars or to-do list you've chosen to use?
If you like to work from a homepage, you can embed your Google Calendar or a simple To-Do gadget app on your home page. But admittedly although I've got those things set up on my home page, I very rarely *see* my homepage unless it occurs to me that I want to check in. So that's not a lot of help if you aren't in the habit of checking in with your to-do list.
Using a to-do list or calendar which pings you with reminders could do the trick - such as Google Calendar or Remember the Milk. Another option is I Want Sandy, a program which acts like a robot PA - you email it when you need to add an appointment or task to your to do list, it emails you tasks lists and reminders when appropriate. If you don't habitually check your email (or you turn it of while working) then 43Folders had a suggestion today which might help you keep I Want Sandy front and centre - by using Fluid to create a site specific browser for Sandy, meaning it has a home on the desktop and will display on the Dock (if you're a Mac user) to ensure it's always visible and available. (A commenter noted that Windows users could use Prism for a similar effect.)
So how do you keep your to-do list in your face? If it's a favourite calendar or reminder service, or just pinning your to-do list to the desktop, please share in comments.