How my todo list works

Tuesday, 07 February 12
There is a constant in my life for 335 days a year (let's assume that 30 days of vacation are a bit more relaxing): I've tons of things to do every day. Most are about my work, many are about handling home, health, family, and so forth.

I'm not the kind of guy that is good at remembering that I need to do this and that, usually I wake up, do a breakfast, sit in front of my computer and start to write code, read issues, reply to emails, and so forth. So to get pending things done I absolutely need some form of todo list, and in the course of the years I tried different things.

Paper and pen

One of the systems that I used most was just a piece of A4 paper and a pen. I did this for years, and it's not too bad, but this system eventually does not scale: writing by hand is time consuming so you end writing a bit too little information to complete or remember the task well enough. Deletion forces you to rewrite the items on a new piece of paper often. Paper gets easily lost, and you don't have it with you if you move often (I always change work place moving from home to a small office before lunch).

Computer notes

Eventually I ended trying different solutions using the computer and the keyboard: from a todo service I coded from myself, to "Remember the milk", and everything in the middle. All those systems worked for a few weeks, but I always ended with some kind of mess, too many different "lists", and accessing a web site to look or modify my TODO list was boring.

However I discovered that the biggest problem was not the web service, how it was implemented, or how fast it was, the biggest of the problems was... myself. More specifically the way I used my TODO list.

I finally found a system that works great for me, and is working great since months. So at this point I want to share it with you. I'll not try to get into details about why it works and so forth, I'll just describe it. If you are looking for an alternative for your todo list keeping business, try it and check yourself.

My system

That's all. You don't need to do at least one item or alike per day, as long as you keep reading the list every day. It's up to you when to act, how much you act, this system is not designed to fix your ability to get things done, is designed just to fix the schedule, and to keep you informed with little efforts about what you should do today.

It's working well for me and I hope it works well for you as well. If you find ways to improve this system I would love to hear.
Posted at 08:49:00 | permalink | discuss | print