Until last year, I kept my todo list in my notes. This worked when I wasn’t having as many meetings, but now I find that almost every meeting I’m in has an action that I need to take - some important, some not. Some are time sensitive, some not. When my todo list was in my notes, I found myself creating many tiers of lists. Separate lists for certain people. A list for product improvements and another for things I didn’t want to forget. I found there were tens of items that I would never get to. I also realized that when my todo list was in my notes, I scanned them frequently to figure out which ones to do.
After some reading and coworker suggestions, I tested a few todo apps designed to help people complete tasks. I chose Todoist because of the clean and simple interface. It forced me to assign my todo items to a specific day. Then once the day came, it would show just that day of items. It allowed me to start scheduling tasks for later in the week or the following week so I didn’t forget. It also provided a satisfying way to mark an item as completed. When I used just a text document, I would have to delete the item (which no longer allowed to me see what I had accomplished) or move the item and that required creating another category of text documents to track those items.
A coworker of mine did warn that apps like these allow you to roll items from one day to the next if you didn’t get them done. I do find myself falling into that trap from time to time where I have a list of items that roll from day to day. A strategy that does help is when I find myself rolling tasks, that typically means they are not important and that I need to realistically schedule them when I think that I will get them done.