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I love a good list. I love them so much I have them everywhere. Having multiple to-do lists means that I can keep my ideas in different places for different things. Important tasks, not so important but still need to be done and plans for the future. Seeing that checked off list makes me feel super productive.
Why do lists work?
Lists work because it helps tremendously to get the ideas out of your head. Once the items are out of your head, you don’t really need to keep remembering them because it’s on your list.
Lists provide a simple structure for everyday things like general groceries you need to buy, groceries for the girls night, household tasks, books you want to read and more. And they rarely need to be explained.
Why are lists important?
Lists are a great way to organise information. From packing lists to grocery lists and chores that need to be done. They can help you see what is important and needs to take priority. They can also help you plan your day effectively as some tasks can be batched together or done at the same time.
Need to do a load of washing and wash the dishes? Round up your washing and get the washing machine started. While your washing machine is working its magic you can get to work washing the dishes! There’s a good chance you’ll finish washing the dishes before the washing machine is finished, so take a break while you wait. Et voila! You’ve just done two tasks in the time it takes to do one (the washing).
Why you need multiple to-do lists
Having more than one list can help you keep ideas separate to one another. I don’t need to see a list of books I am considering every day. So it makes sense to put this somewhere else. Just like I don’t need to know that I need to do the grocery shopping while looking at the list of groceries I need to buy because I am in the store.
X marks the spot
When it comes to marking things off my list, I like to use and x. I make sure when I write my list that there is enough room before the item to add the x. I like doing it this way because I can still read the items that were on my list. Which becomes quite important when I’m not sure what I’ve done all day!
How do I manage multiple to-do lists?
I have to-do lists in three major places. One weekly planner on my desk, one to-do notebook and one app. They all have a slightly different purpose so it makes sense to me to have more than one to-do list.
I have a weekly planner that sits on my desk at home. This planner has a section for each day of the week as well as notes and reminders. I purchased three of them a while back when Aldi had them on sale. I use this to keep track of things that I want to get done that day or that week and prioritise the most important tasks.
My TO DO notebook is full of things that I want to do but aren’t really important, but things I do want to get done at some stage. Most of the tasks on this to-do list are completed within a month. At the moment this list consists of things like filing paperwork, clean out my clothes, weed the backyard etc.
I use the mobile and desktop app called Wunderlist for a few more different lists. The main thing I used it for though is groceries. I can check things off as I go around the store, which helps limit the number of things I forget. I also have lists for movies and television shows I want to watch, books and podcasts to consider and local adventures I want to do as a family. Wunderlist also lets you share lists with other people so they can contribute too.
To-Do List tools
I’m a big fan of the classic pen and paper to-do list. You don’t even need anything special. You can use a dedicated notebook or notepad or scrap paper that has come from the printer. I’ve also made lists on the back of envelopes, they are great for grocery lists. I love pen and paper because it’s right there in front of me. I don’t have to unlock my phone and search for a particular app.
But I understand that apps also have their place when it comes to keeping track of your to-do list items. I’ve been a big fan of Wunderlist for many years. But some other great contenders are Google Keep, Microsoft To-Do, AnyList and Todoist. It’s just a matter of finding an app that suits your needs and is available on the devices you use.
How do you like to keep track of your to-do list?