Professional Development

6 To-Do Lists to Get Your Life in Order

Written by Peter Jones

Do you find the idea of making a to-do list strangely daunting? If you’re one of those people who don’t naturally tend to the to-do list, you might need a little help or inspiration to get you started.

Here are some of the best templates, options, and styles for you to try.

The Old School List

Go the simple route and simply handwrite your list. If you get a random thought and aren’t near your computer, just jot it down! You can always add it to a more high-tech list later on. You might find this method less distracting when you’re in a working groove. If you have a hard time conceptualizing how to organize your list, there are tons of printable templates in .doc or PDF. Just print ‘em out and fill ‘em in!

Bullet Journaling

Everybody’s talking about Bullet journaling. Read up on this new technique, described as “a customizable and forgiving organization system”—an all-in-one “to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary.” It helps you keep your lists manageable in size and keep items from overwhelming you while making sure more of them actually get done. So go to the website and see whether or not the Kool-Aid is right for you!

Breaking It Down

Set yourself one big goal for the day, then break it into actionable chunks. The smaller tasks will feel more manageable than the larger goal, and you’ll find you chip away at them quickly. Once you build momentum, you’ll be surprised at how fast you knock out your ultimate goal and consider that day a success.

Use Your Cloud

Use the cloud calendar function already on your laptop or your phone. They’ll merge effortlessly together so you can update from either device and have your to-do list with you at all times. And it can help you visualize how much time you have for each segment of your day. Try out the Google “Goals” feature along with this method for your long-term wish list of goals.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Check out Wunderlist, Todosit, or iDoneThis, or the thousands of apps like them, to sort your to-dos by priority level. You’ll also earn reward “points” for every task completed, which is just fun enough to make you feel really good about yourself. If you want a version with fewer bells and whistles, try which sorts your tasks into columns like “to do, to get, to call,” etc. Or TidyForms, which lets you schedule out two full days instead of one.

Do It For Cupcakes

No, honestly, that’s the name of the template. Design Eat Repeat created an adorable weekly organizing template called DO IT FOR THE CUPCAKES that lets you identify six goals per day. If you finish all your tasks in that week, you get cupcakes! Well, you’re strongly encouraged to get them.

About the author

Peter Jones