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November 21, 2008


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Great entry!

I typed a lot more, but decided my comment would get ridiculously long, so I'll just type it up on my own blog and ping yours ;)

I'm glad you emphasise it works differently for everybody. Everyone needs to find what works for them (takes a bit of time) because then the TODO-list will work for them, and not against them (in the way that one might get overwhelmed by all the items and all the things to do)

Cynthia Friedlob, The Thoughtful Consumer

I use index cards for my To Do lists. Lots and lots of index cards! I shuffle them as my priorities change, often have to rewrite them when I put dissimilar items on the same card, and frequently curse the stack that accumulates, but it's the most efficient system I've found -- using the term "efficient" very loosely!

However, I must have a serious aversion to grocery store lists. I faithfully make a list and almost always forget to bring it to the store. Maybe it's because I don't like shopping!

Debbie Jordan Kravitz (Virtually Organized)

Great suggestions, Ariane!

I use Planner Pads to keep my schedules; I love the built-in list features. I categorize my lists (Household, Client-related, Writing-related, Family/Kids-related) because I often have several high priority items that are scattered across my personal and professional life. I wrote about this a while back at Virtually Organized (http://mypersonalorganizer.typepad.com/virtually_organized/2008/10/oh-lovely-lists-what-would-i-do-without-you.html)

Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.

Thank you all for your great input!

@ Tannie: I really liked your post on your blog and appreciate you linking to this post!

@Cynthia: Yes, I've tried index cards too...I had the same issues you describe...the trouble was once they were buried in a pile...they weren't as helpful.

I used to be the same way about grocery lists! That is so funny. We just had to develop 2 habits. 1) every time we run out of something, we put it on the magnetic list (It's a long post-it pad on the fridge.

2) before Grocery shopping, scan the fridge and cupboards to remind us what we all ready have. Add any items to the list, then go. This changed our lives and saved us lots of money!

@ Debbie: I used to use Planner Pads! Love them. But now I use Google Calendar and I can access my calendar from anywhere - no synching. And it automatically color codes for me and emails me reminders. I really love it now that I'm used to it.

Marcia Francois

I can't tell you how much I love this post - it made me think and think and then think some more.

I think I mentioned before that somehow I get a lot of creative types wanting me to help them with their time and I need to make some notes so I can help them with some more great solutions :)

As I say, you are a ROCK STAR!

Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.

Awww Marcia! ...you gave me massive goosebumps!
I cannot think of a better compliment! Thank you!!!!
{{{{{{{{{{{{ hugz }}}}}}}}}}}}

Marcia Francois

Now I'm blushing :)

Nicolas | Time Management Master


You very nicely described a common issue with lists. I also have seen that many people spend a lot of time adding and removing routing items to their to-do lists. This might be one reason why these lists become long and difficult to handle.

I therefore suggest having checklists for routine work, which you keep separate from your to-do list. I wrote an article on the Time Management Master blog on how best use checklists.



Instead of carrying an ongoing list with me, I tend to text message myself (I send the message to my home email) with random ideas and things to-do. It works great since i leave the to-be-done item unopened in my inbox until it's complete.

I realize that this will not work for some who have an overly full inbox to begin with...but I'm able to act on "real" messages, save any resources in subfolders, and use it as a to-do list at the same time :-)


I keep a spiral notebook (9 1/2 x 6, or about a half sheet of standard sized paper, college ruled) and each day write the day and date at the top of the page. I write a list of that day's to-do's down the right side, and on the left organize that list linearly according to time, if I need to. I then use that page for making any notes from phone calls, jot down phone numbers, do planning, etc. on that page, so it's all in one place, not scattered on post-its and the backs of envelopes. I also keep a calendar. I still have a lot of time mgmt challenges, but keeping all the notes and the day's plan in one place really helps.


Hmm, I still have troubles with this, after reading so much on organizing etc! (Have tested as INFP/ENFP, occasionally other types, so some of this may make sense? Am also what Barbara Sher calls 'a scanner' with many interests!)

I like the idea of trying different things & giving oneself permission to just use'em as memory aids!
(I may get energized/inspired to do sth when I'm not near my lists, but elsewhere!)

I found a brilliant technique to get myself to do something: to always have 2 or 3 things I DON'T want to do, or hate even more than the thing I actually want to do. (Sounds complicated, but isn't.) Trouble is Law of Attraction can work here, and make one do the 'unwanted' stuff too!! (by necessity!) So I don't dare to do this anymore! lol!

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