Sunday, January 15, 2012

Getting Organized - The ToDo List

I love to-do lists.  I will admit that I have even added a completed task to my to-do list just so I can cross it off.  OK, stop laughing.  But last year my to-do list really got out of control.  So the first item on my to-do list this year was to create a better to-do list.
I use my computer for everything; so naturally I want my to-do list to be on my computer.  Plus I have an iphone and an ipad so it would be nice if it would sync there too.  I was using Microsoft Outlook and that program is still a good place for specific tasks that can be completed right away – go to the post office, pick up dog food, schedule a massage.  But I found that my list contained items like – “make a necklace to enter into the ISGB juried show” or “the shibourigirl shop on etsy has great silk to hang pendants on; can I incorporate this in my jewelry line?”   At the end of December my to-do list had over 100 items all scheduled on one day and when only 3 or 4 things got done it took me valuable time to attach new dates for all the things that didn’t get done.  My todo list was out of control.
I examined the todo list closely and realized that some of the todo’s were actually notes or bits of information that I needed to keep track of.  It was not an immediate action item and I didn’t know when I wanted to act on the item, but I wanted the information to retrieve later.  I needed a program to track and organize all of these notes. 
Other items on the todo list were projects.  I couldn’t complete the “make a necklace for entry into a juried show” quickly, so it got pushed down the list and consequently never done.  I missed deadlines and opportunities.  I needed a program that would take each “project” and break it down into doable items each of which could be realistically scheduled until the projects were complete.  I could even work on multiple projects at the same time!
Okay, I have identified two action items to help me achieve my better todo list.  I need a note app and a project management app.  Check back later for my choices….

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