A to-do list is used to track real work that needs to be completed. Either a handwritten or digital list can be used. It’s best to take about 15 minutes at the end of each day to do a GTD “Mind Sweep”. Review all your emails and meeting notes for all your task/projects you are responsible for. Writing down all your tasks/projects on paper or digital list means you don’t have to try and remember them. It gets the task out of your head which helps reduce stress.
Paper and Pen
A handwritten list is the simplest way to keep a to-do list. To get started, you will need paper – preferably a notebook – and a pen. I suggest the following format for setting up your page: day of the week in the upper right hand of the page, under the weekday put the month/day. List all of your tasks putting related subtasks under the task it belongs to. Once the list is completed determine your priorities using a number system. Finally, write down the estimated time for completion next to each task listed. See Photo.
There are many options available for those who would prefer a digital to-do list. You could simply use your digital calendar to schedule tasks for each day of the week. However, there are many task management apps available some examples include: Remember the Milk, Wunderlist, Todoist. These can be used for planning by setting up due dates and reminders. Other great options are Evernote and OneNote for creating lists.
There are many benefits of starting a to-do list and journaling them. The ability to cross off items as completed can give you a sense of accomplishment. Keeping track/journal of your to-do list will help you to review your accomplishments. Additionally, journaling can be helpful in tracking actual time taken to complete a task. Try experimenting between paper/pen and digital to help decide which works best for you. I have been experimenting for years between paper/pen and digital. This year I’m interested in Bullet journaling; ask me about it.