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To Do Lists Help Writers Stay on Track and Know What They’ve Done

to do lists for writersAs we near the end of the year, which is coming way too quickly in my opinion, I often get the itch to look for new and better ways to get organized. I was looking and thinking about to do lists just now.

I use Todoist as my main to do list. It’s a web based tool and since most of the time I’m working I’m actually sitting in my home office at my desktop computer it works like a charm for me.

You can also use their apps for your mobile devices. I haven’t done it yet, but I can also integrate Todoist with either or both Gmail and Google calendar. If you upgrade to Premium – which currently is less than $30 a year, you can do even more.

Todoist is also perfect for collaborations. It also allows sorting of items into categories you create and you can tag these with different colors..

The value of a to do list

I love to do list in part because I can cross off or mark a check box and see that I’m actually getting things accomplished.

Of course, when I really use a to do list, I’m also making sure I’m reasonably well organized. I plan the day, and even the week, in advance. This helps me be sure I’m getting done what I need to get done.
The trick is finding a system that works for you. A paper calendar is fine as long as you use it.

A todo list also makes bookending with someone to create accountability easy.

To do lists take daily maintenance

I find if I don’t use the list regularly – in my case at least every week day and often I add the weekend as weekends – it’s usefulness deteriorates quickly. It seems there are days when I just start working without paying any attention to either my calendar or my to do list. If I do this often, the list becomes a mess.

Another advantage of todist is that it will show me just what I said I wanted to do today. It will also allow me to move items from, for example, today to tomorrow or next week simply. It also will show me what I said I wanted to get done on past days – I can  either check them off, delete them, or just leave them alone hoping I’ll eventually get to them. All these features make it super easy to maintain my list.

However you create your to do list, use it regularly, preferably daily to get the most value from it.

To do lists help maintain a record of what you’ve done

If you keep your to do lists, you also have a way to look back and see what you’ve done over time. Sometimes I simply like to see that I’ve been doing more than I thought I have.

There actually can be more than an ego boost in looking back. Sometimes I find wonderful ideas there to write about. I’ve been known to remember a client because I see them in past to dos, contact them and land new writing work.

The archive can sometimes point me at other useful information – often enough so I tend to keep my lists.

Although I keep my earn to the ground as it were for new and better ways to keep a to do list, at the moment I’ll keep using Todoist.

What’s your favorite way of keeping a todo list?

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