For about a year now I’ve been keeping a ToDo list. It’s the first thing I reach for when I have a block of time to spend, I find it saves me a lot of spin up time, and makes me think about what’s important. It’s not a particularly new idea; heaps of productivity authors have written their take on it, but I thought I’d share some of the details of my own system.

I like to keep the list items in order of priority and really concise; usually three words and nothing over twenty words.

I keep my lists on Evernote so I can access them either on my phone or via the web interface. In meetings or at times where thoughts are being brainstormed I use paper and a pen. This is good because you can focus on the meeting and fiddle with a gadget less. It also gives me time after the meeting to help filter and prioritise what goes into the list I work from.

I actually keep a few lists, one for each context of my life that I switch between.

For some of the lists I keep a corresponding Done list. I find the Done list useful for self reflection or those funny old performance reviews.

These are some of my lists I switch between.

  • Work ToDo/Done
  • Ideas
  • Blog Post
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Other Shopping
  • Household Maintenance
  • Holiday Plans