To-Do List

To-Do List

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 PenTo-Do List

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.



Remember the Milk




MS OneNote

Bullet Journal

How I Use Todoist And Evernote Together

Getting Things Done (GTD)


The Beginners’ Guide to Evernote

The Beginners’ Guide to Evernote

Evernote is a great application which you can “dump your brain” into so you don’t have to keep important information in your mind.

Think of Evernote as your personal database. You can access it in any web browser as well as an application.

Here are some terms you will need to know about Evernote:

  • Notebooks: These are collections of individual notes. You could just have one notebook and dump everything into it. However, most people establish different notebooks for different areas of focus or they can share notebooks with others. Examples of notebooks I currently use are LBMDF, LDAC, Lobby Day, and Personal.
  • Stacks: These are collections of notebooks. For example, you could have a stack called “Work” that has separate notebooks for each customer, project, or area of responsibility.
  • Tags: These are attributes that you can apply to any individual note. You can then view all notes with a specific tag, regardless of which notebook it resides in. This provides the ultimate in filing flexibility though it can be confusing at times. I set up tags in the following ways: the source of information, author, or a quick description of the note. Some of my tags are education, personal development, managing people, and Excel.


The top six reasons I love Evernote:

  • Customer Relations Management/ Project Management

It can be used is to clip maps to job sites. Archive text messages from customers.  And you can enter field notes and pictures.

  • Checklists

Store checklists that you can use over and over as needed, such as a travel packing list, window & door checklist, and task/to-do list.

  • Notes/Journals

I’m an avid note taker.  All my notes are in Evernote, so it’s easy to search and quickly locate my notes. I also like to collect solutions to problems.

  • Bookmarks/ Collections

Evernote has a web clipper, you can bookmark or clip a page or save content to read later.

  • Agenda

This can be used to track meeting notes with action items or improvements. Also, I add notes and reminders for the next meeting.

  • Blog Post & Column Ideas

I’m a big RSS (Rich Site Summary) feed reader. I use an RSS to keep up with the latest news and alerts. Any blogs or news, I want to keep I clip to Evernote.

There are other applications which are similar to Evernote: Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote, SimplyNote. I highly recommend Evernote if you want to simplify your life.

The Power of Always Writing Things Down

Where do you take your notes? Are you diligent about be taking notes? I’m a huge fan of note-taking. I use symbols like bullets, squares, clouds, and underlining. As some of you know, I’m an Evernote advocate. Below is a blog post from Time Management Ninja.

The Power of Always Writing Things Down

Note-Taking Symbols

Write It Down Now, So You Don’t Have to Remember It Later

When was the last time you wished you had written something down?

Maybe it was the detail that you forgot from a meeting. Or a deadline that you needed to meet. Or perhaps, it was something as simple as the type of light bulb you needed to pick up at The Home Depot.(I’m not a fan of big box stores.)

Whatever it was… I bet you wish you had written it down.

Always Take Notes

Small details are important.

A phone number.
A time or deadline.
Or the deliverable you promised to follow-up on.

Small details seem simple. Surely, you can remember a singular detail, right?

Yet, a week later, you can’t recall it.

What was that little detail?

“Always write things down now, so you don’t have to remember them later.”

I once knew a guy who had a photographic memory. He could study by literally turning the pages of his notebook. However, as good as his memory was, he couldn’t seem to find where he had parked his car.

Here are Some Tips to Help with Your Note-taking:

  • Write It Down Now – The time to capture a piece of information is the first time you encounter it. Always be taking notes, you don’t know when you might need a fact again.
  • Nothing is Too Small – Just because it’s a small detail doesn’t mean that you won’t need it again. It is usually the small details that slip from your memory first. Nothing is too small to capture.
  • Have a Notebook – The #1 missing tool from most peoples’ time management toolkit is a notebook. It doesn’t matter if it is paper or electronic. It can be a trusty Moleskine or it can be an app like Evernote. Just make sure you have one place to capture your notes.
  • Take a Picture – Notes don’t have to be words. Sometimes it is quicker and more effective to snap a photo with your phone than to write it down. If it is an important picture, file it where you can find it again.

Write It Down When You Have the Chance

You may think your brain is a steel trap.

However, no matter how sharp you are, you can’t possibly remember everything. Nor should you need to exert the effort.

Always taking notes is an important productivity habit. If you write it down, you’ll have it when you need it later.


Sixth Anniversary

This year has been a wonderful year for my blogs. Below are my top ten views for the year.

  1. Using Customer Journey Maps to Improve Customer Experience
  2. Thank you for your business – we really appreciate it
  3. Very Funny Team Building Cartoon
  4. Cool GTD tip for tracking Waiting For items in Outlook
  5. The Great Depression Part 34. Tracking housing values from 1940 to 2011
  6. Using Evernote as a Customer Relationship Management(CRM) Tool
  7. Checklist Manifesto
  8. How to Deal with Rude People – 5 Lessons for Leaders and Others
  9. Do I Have an Opportunity to Do What I Do Best Every Day?
  10. TMN: 10 Wrong Ways Your Company Is Measuring Productivity

Thank you for your support over the past year.

Fourth Anniversary

This has been an awesome year for my blogs. I had over 550 posts this year and over 15,000 new visitors. Below are my top posts for this

  1. Using Evernote as a Customer Relationship Management(CRM) Tool (Second Year)
  2. How to Deal with Rude People – 5 Lessons for Leaders and Others
  3. The Great Depression Part 34. Tracking housing values from 1940 to 2011.
  4. The Role of the iPad in Construction Consulting, Green Building and Forensic Investigations(Second Year)
  5. Using Customer Journey Maps to Improve Customer Experience (Second Year)
  6. Mind Manager
  7. Checklist Manifesto (Third Year)
  8. The Power of Habit
  9. Thank you for your business – we really appreciate it
  10. Lignin — Wood Science
  11. Very Funny Team Building Cartoon (Second Year)
  12. 2012 Predictions for Timber Industry
  13. Great Designs in Wood
  14. Three Myths about What Customers Want

Thank you for your support over the past year.

Automate Task/Web Using IFTTT

Imagine using the internet to provide a course of action based on a qualified event occurring. I’ve been using an Evernote e-mail address to mail information directly into Evernote. However, it’s time consuming adding tags and moving notes into other notebooks. Recently, I came across a service called ifttt (if this, then that), which allows you to automate flows or “recipes” that are based on a “qualified” (one that you set) event occurring.

Create Tasks and Recipes with IFTTT

IFTTT connects two services of your choice to create an automated flow called a recipe. Recipes consist of Triggers and resulting Actions. You can create your own recipe or use those created by other ifttt users. There’s a near-infinite number of ways to use ifttt.

IFTTT is a sophisticated tool in any modern knowledge worker’s arsenal. With the additional channels (additional to Evernote and GMail) it offers an abundance of ways to automate getting information into Evernote or the other 48 channels.

I love this web service. It saves me a lot of time.

Related Topic:

Evernote Tip: Capture Multiple Types of Media in a Single Note

As many of you may know I am a huge Evernote fan. I use Evernote as both Customer Relation Management and Project Management tool. My boys and I are using Evernote to help plan their Eagle Scout projects. Below is a simple tip to for adding multiple files to a single note.

Quick Tip Friday: Capture Multiple Types of Media in a Single Note

May 18, 2012 | Posted by Stefanie Fazzio in Tips and Stories

Did you know that you can put lots of different stuff into a single note?
Try it. Create a New Note, then:

  • Type text
  • Add a few checkboxes
  • Record some audio
  • Drag in a file or two (documents, PDFs, presentations, spreadsheets)
  • Snap an image

Combining different pieces of content into a note lets you keep all of your thoughts and research in a single visual place. Having everything consolidated makes it easy for you to process the information.

The big added bonus: All of the resources you collect are accessible from any computer and mobile device that you use, without you having to manually transfer anything!

Things to keep in mind
Both Free and Premium users can attach any file type to a note. The maximum single note size for Free users is 25 MB. Premium users get a higher, 50MB, limit.

Have you tried this? What are some creative ways you’ve combined different forms of media in a single note?