Your to-do management system says a lot, maybe everything, about you. We've organised the major systems according to their Dungeons and Dragons alignments, making value judgments with which no sane person could ever disagree.
Tagged With to-do
As we have argued in the past, email is not the problem - we are. And it's not just the productivity drain or the antisocial effects of constantly checking our phones and computers for new messages.
There are psychological ramifications too. By constantly looking for new information and tasks from other people, we are degrading the importance of the things we want and need to do. This flowchart explains what you're doing wrong - and how to fix it.
Do you always install your air conditioner on a sweltering summer day, or rush to do your taxes days before the deadline? For absolutely necessary tasks like these, a to-do list isn't always enough. You need to block out time on your calendar, and treat these tasks like actual appointments. We've listed all the best to-do items to turn into calendar items.
There are some excellent time-tracking apps out there, but if you prefer the comfort of good old Microsoft Excel, here's some good news. A Redditor made an Excel-based to-do list with built-in time tracking, and the template is free to download.
When it's time to buckle down and get some serious work done, we trust that you have a go-to productivity method or technique that functions best for your workflow. At Lifehacker, we talk a lot about the different techniques you can use to spend more time doing, and less time organising or thinking about doing. If your current method is working for you, here are five productivity techniques that have proven highly effective for countless people.
Chrome/iOS: Handle is the productivity add-on that Google should have made. It seamlessly combines emails, to-do lists and calendars to make Gmail your central productivity hub.
Android/iPhone: TickTick is a powerful syncing to-do manager that's seen a lot of improvement since its launch. Today, it's getting a handful of new features.
There's a solid case to be made for going public with your goals. You can use the same method with your to-do list, and beyond the accountability factor, writing your list for someone else can help you make it more succinct and efficient.
I've been using pen and paper for most of my organisation and to-do lists for the past six months. I've experimented with different analogue systems during that time, and tried things I made up myself to figure out what suits me best.
As I experiment, I always keep an eye out for any new ideas or systems that might work better for my workflow. I came across an analogue system recently that's almost too simple, yet quite clever in some ways.
Mac: Trello is one of our favourite organisation tools, but one potential downside is the lack of a native desktop client. Paws jams Trello in a desktop app for Mac, complete with notifications and a handful of keyboard shortcuts.
Setting aside time for a weekly review is a great way to make sure you're on track with all your projects, but it helps to do the same with a quick mid-day check-in. This way you can make sure you spend the afternoon on the tasks that really need your attention, and not just putting out fires.