How do you keep track of everything you need “to-do” or “want” to-do? Do you prefer paper or an online application – or maybe a combination of both? A to-do list is an essential organizing and productivity tool – but it is more than just a tool. The tool, whether paper, a planner or an electronic solution, is where you capture your to-do’s, (or action items as I like to call them) and create a system(process) that you use regularly. Your system for managing your action items might include: • How often you refer to your system or a specific time of day you review it • How you ensure that new action items or want-to-do’s get added to your system • How you categorize or group your action items so your lists remain manageable • How often you review your system and eliminate items that are no longer a priority
Any system you create requires “maintenance” and your to-do list is no different – that is why it’s a combination of the tool (paper or electronic) and the system (process) you implement that will help you be successful in managing your action items.
In my soon-to-be-released book; Eliminate the Chaos at Work, I dedicated an entire chapter to various applications – both paper and electronic to help you track, monitor and accomplish your action items and projects. In my consulting practice with individuals at work and at home, I know that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Because of this, I’d like to share with you three online applications that you may want check out on your own and see if one of them is right for you.
TeuxDeux (www.teuxdeux.com) TeuxDeux is a free Internet application you can access from any computer. There is an iPhone app available for purchase that allows you to use TeuxDeux when you’re away from home; conversely, you can use the browser on your phone to access your TeuxDeux account. To use TeuxDeux’s words, this tool was built as a “bare-bones” application. You’ll find that this tool is easy to use, and doesn’t require much of a learning curve. It displays a five-day view with a list of tasks for each day. While there is no option to number your tasks in order of priority, you can drag and drop tasks in the order you wish to complete them. Additionally, if something doesn’t get done on a given day, just drag it forward to a future date. There is a Someday section at the bottom of the screen. This is the perfect location for listing all tasks that you will do someday (or maybe never) so that you can get them out of your head and assign them a date in the future.
Remember the Milk (www.rememberthemilk.com) Remember the Milk -- or RTM --is a free online task manager that allows you to manage your tasks anywhere. RTM is more complex than TeuxDeux, yet still fairly easy to use. I like that you can create separate lists for different categories of tasks. This helps you quickly see your tasks in each area and allows you to print only those tasks. However, you can use the “All Tasks” view to see or print all of your tasks together. You can sort by priority, due date or task name, regardless of which list you’re looking at. One beneficial feature is that RTM automatically generates a “completed” task list which keeps your tasks even after you’ve marked them “completed.” You also have the option to delete these tasks if you don’t want to see them again. You can upgrade to the Pro version of RTM for $25/year to synchronize to your mobile device and receive free access for Android, iPhone, iPod Touch, MilkSync for BlackBerry or MilkSync for Windows Mobile. If you want to access your tasks offline, you can install a plug-in for your browser called Gears. I also find it helpful that you can have reminders sent to you via e-mail, instant messaging, or Skype at a date and time you pre-determine. You can share your tasks with someone by adding them in your RTM contacts; however, they must also have a RTM account. You then e-mail the individual an invite to share your list(s). You have the option of selecting the lists you desire to share with them, and can also publish your lists for your contacts or make the list public. RTM also works with iGoogle which allows you to manage, review, add, edit, postpone and mark tasks complete.
Todo™ (www.appigo.com) Todo™ from Appigo can be used with your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch; you can also sync your tasks using Todo Online. Todo for the iPhone or iPad is $4.99 and if you want to be able to sync your tasks over the Internet, it will cost you an additional $19.99/year. Todo for the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad allows you to group tasks by using lists, thus categorizing or grouping certain tasks together to create a project. You can set multiple reminders for these, and even protect your lists with a password. The iPad application allows you to download different “themes” that make your tasks appear in a binder with different paper types, which looks like a paper planner on your iPad. Todo Online gives you the ability to access your tasks anywhere using a browser on your phone or computer. It will sync your tasks and multiple alerts and also syncs with iCal and Outlook. If you’re going to use Todo for one of these devices, it’s a good idea to purchase Todo Online; this way, you know that you’ll always have a backup of your tasks and projects should something happen to one of your devices.
Announcing the Upcoming Release of my latest Book:
Eliminate the Chaos at Work: 25 Techniques to Increase Productivity
In less than 5 months, my latest book will make its debut!
Eliminate the Chaos at Workis divided into four sections:
Electronic Information Management
Organizing the Stuff
Each chapter contains practical, easy-to-implement advice you can use immediately in your office to increase your productivity and help you be more organized at work.
Each 'technique" is explained in detail and provides suggestions for implementation.
If this is a topic you are interested in, be sure to sign up for our new business newsletter where I will share these techniques over time.
You can also follow me on Twitter (@lauraleist) where I will be tweeting about business related organizing and productivity topics.
Get Organized for the Holidays and Beyond
It's never too soon to get your home organized and ready for holiday guests.
Do you need to declutter your guest room or turn another room into a guest retreat?
Could you benefit from some kitchen organizing so you're ready for cooking and holiday parties?
Would you like to park your car in the garage this winter? Now is a good time to get your garage in shape before it's too cold or the snow arrives.
Give us a call if you're in the Greater Seattle Area to see how we can help you take control of your stuff, your space and your life. 425.670.2551.
If you're not located in our area, we can travel to you - we work across the country. Sometimes we even work in other countries as one of our Specialists just helped a family relocate home from Paris.
The holidays are just around the corner and if you're already feeling the pressure, let us make life a little easier this time of the year and help you cross some things off your list. Choose from one of the following holiday decorating packages, and leave the decorating, undecorating and organizing the holiday decor to us! You'll be glad you did as you enjoy a beautifully decorated home for the holidays.
Holiday Packages Holiday Kick-Start 8 hour package - $612 - you save $68 It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas 16 hour package - $1156 - you save $204 I'm Dreaming of an Organized Christmas 24 hour package - $1632 - you save $408 Deck ALL of the Halls 40 hour package - $2550 - you save $850
The Fine Print: All sessions last 8 hours and can only be used for "Holiday Decorating" "Un-decorating" after the holidays and/or organizing holiday decor. Services are provided by Eliminate Chaos Specialists, but do not include the services of Robert or Laura Leist.
Please contact our office at 425.670.2551 to reserve your package and schedule the time that works for you. Packages must be pre-paid by November 19th and the work must be completed by January 10, 2011. Unused hours will be forfeited.
Announcing: The New Eliminate Chaos Business Newsletter
Beginning in January 2011 we will publish a quarterly electronic newsletter for those interested in business productivity topics and how to get organized at work.
This newsletter will coincide with the upcoming release of my new book:
Eliminate the Chaos at Work: 25 Techniques to Increase Productivity
If you receive this newsletter and would like to receive our new publication, click here to register. You will not automatically receive this publication unless you subscribe.
In the News
Need some ideas for organizing your closet this fall?