I have tried all of the digital, smart phone app, techno solutions.
ALL DIGITAL TO-DO LIST SOLUTIONS HAVE FAILED FOR ME.
Some people love them. That's great.
I like pen and paper.
Right-Click and Save a .jpg of the TO-DO list template here .
For those of you who find that they are losing ideas, falling behind and feeling disoriented because of their unsatisfactory to-do list system, this article is for you.
My name is Dave Zak, and I have been working on a to-do list template for 10+ years. It has evolved into something fantastic... It also continue to evolve. Call me a nerd, that is fine. Others call me a super-nerd!
note: At the time of writing this email, I am referencing my early 2017 paper to-do list template. Download it and print it off (x 10) and this post will explain how to use it!
Let's get started:
- Print off 10+ of
at once and keep them in a pile. I suggest digitally filling in the bottom right 'goals' column so that you don't have to rewrite this part all the time.
- I suggest you re-write a new list every 1-2 days. This is best to do at the end of your day, or before you go to bed. But sometime I do it mid-day or in the morning. I've even done it on a plane and a train.
- Every-time you rewrite your list, also add in notes about a next little step for an item, or switch the item into a different column (this will make sense soon).
- When you are done something cross it out. Even scribble it out!
Let's go over this template section by section. I will start at the top and work down.
4 Top Left Icons
Over time, lady wisdom has made it very clear that almost anything regarding your health and performance can be solved by focusing on the basics of life.
Did you drink enough water?
Are you eating well?
Have you exercized?
Are you getting enough sleep?
Every once in a while just look at these icons and scribble on them. Check off some that you are doing well and scribble a circle around an area you need to work on.
This is a healthy reminder. Let's not overthink what it takes to be healthy...
Top Line for the Current Date
I suggest that you write in the day of the week, the Month, Day and Year. This will show you when you last re-wrote you list, and if you lose your current list, you can find an old list. Oh, I save all these lists in a box in a cubby by my feet.
Oh, I also make art out of to-do lists :P
Top Right Circle Blank Face
When you make a new list, draw in how you are feeling. It is good practice for your emotional intelligence and mindfulness. If you are sad or worried draw that in.
Often i draw a big happy face even if I am not happy. I find that I fool myself a bit. Fake it till you make it! Drawing a happy face kinda makes you happy.
If you notice you are always drawing sad faces, then deal with that! Get some help. Seriously. Other people are helpful and nice :)
THREE MAIN COLUMNS
Currently, this template has 'Today', 'Maybe Tomorrow' and 'Sometime'.
Obviously, write the stuff here that you want to accomplish the next time you have a chance to work on things.
Sometimes I force myself to write things that I NEED to do but don't find fun, right at the top of the 'today' column.
This way it is in your face until you just do it.
For things where you say, 'Ya I gotta do that, just not right now, but soon.'
Put things here that one day you would like to get done. Eventually items here either disappear or move to 'today' or 'maybe tomorrow'.
If something stays on this list for too long, then just don't write it back down again. If was meant to be, then your memory will resurrect it in the future.
Shopping and Appointments
There are 6 boxes here.
In my case, I have also put the Rotary International Logo in box #6. I put notes about Rotary projects here. Being a part of my local rotary club is great. It fills the 'I need to help other people and give back' part of my life.
In these boxes, put things you need to remember to buy, often organized by what store. A dollarstore list, a Lowes List, a Grocery/Walmart list. At Christmas time this is for gifts.
Bottom Right - Annual Goals
In 2016, my goals were on the bottom Left. But whatever. Here put your goals for the year. Seeing them and reading them all the time makes sure you are working towards them.
You don't have to read them all the time.
I suggest you edit the to-do list template so that your yearly goals are printed on every list. You don't have to rewrite these all the time, just have them their.
Bottom Line Power-Thought
I use this bottom bar to write a 'power thought' that I find useful I change this maybe 2 times a year if I run into something powerful. Right now it reads 'Relax. Be Kind. Be Here.' This note reminds me to relax, be kind and be here. :) I heard it from Tara Brach.
So that's the template!
Go forth and prosper.
Why it is Important to re-write this list onto a new page:
Funny fact, the more you re-write your list after each work session, the more you get done and the smarter you work. Just do it. The re-writing process gets you thinking about what next steps to do for everything is.
Everything happens through a series of small tasks.
It also helps you either move forward important tasks and push back or even not re-write some items.
Anyways, I hope that someone finds this useful. Let me know please because I could write this kinda stuff forever.