How Do You Keep Track Of What Needs To Be Done?

My Remember The Milk Icon From Today With 193 Incomplete ItemsI try to be an organized person. One thing I’m very good at is taking a complex goal and breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. A problem I’ve been running into lately is that I seem to have too much to do. (I know, I know, we all have that problem)

I know that there are a ton of apps, websites and methodologies for maintaining to do lists. I’m a huge fan of Remember The Milk, it’s flexible, syncs with my iPhone (yes, I paid for a pro account) and does pretty much everything I could ask from to-do app (well, with the exception of tasks that are dependent on other tasks, but that’s for another time). The trouble that I’m having with to-do lists on paper, digitally or otherwise is that things keep coming up. I realize that the world isn’t going to stop so I can catch up, but at a certain point, the lists get to be too many, there seem to be too many tasks and I just give up.

At that point the tasks keep coming, but they don’t get added to lists and then things get missed, which is never good. The only solution I’ve found is to stop everything, take time to try to read through unanswered emails, sticky notes and my memory to reprioritize things and hope nothing got left out on the updated list. There’s got to be a better way. All of the tools in the world won’t help if I don’t actually use them (or use them properly).

What suggestions do you have for maintaining to-do lists for both professional and personal tasks? Do you have any tips to keep things from getting out of hand? How do you keep track of what needs to be done in your life?

2 thoughts on “How Do You Keep Track Of What Needs To Be Done?

  1. I use Outlook for those important “hard” items like appointments, meetings, events and bills that are coming due. For everything else, it is a yellow ruled pad for me. I make a list of all the things I have to do and I mark them off as I complete them, at the end of each day I start a new list with the things from the previous day that I didn’t get to and those new things I need to add to the list. If something keeps getting rolled forward to the new list I try to re-evaluate if it is really something I should be doing. I know you are a high-tech person but those constant interruptions with reminders for everything are so disruptive…the yellow pad doesn’t interrupt me during my tasks! Also, I find that once I start down the path of carrying on a conversation in Twitter, I lose TONS of productivity. That is why I limit my time on Twitter to my truly “free” time.

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