The to-do list. The most infamous of all lists. 😉
I have had my fair share of struggles over the years figuring out HOW the heck to manage all of the things I have to do in my life. When the boys were little, I used notebooks a lot and would write long, ongoing to-do lists…which I quickly realized wasn’t the best.
I didn’t want “sort kids’ old toys to take to Goodwill” (someday, not time sensitive) on the same list as “go to grocery store today”, for example, or “kindergarten registration due Friday!”. Some things were longer terms tasks that I just wanted to write down/ didn’t want to forget about, while other more important tasks really needed to be done NOW. I started keeping multiple lists, but in a notebook this too became complicated and disorganized.
I also despised having my “completed” tasks all mixed together with my “not done yet” tasks. All those crossed out lines(!!!!)….it was confusing to see what was left to do.
Enter: Google Tasks
A few years ago I discovered and started using Google Tasks and I have NEVER looked back!! It has been life-changing for me.
Since I use Gmail (and usually have it open on my desktop at all times), this just makes sense for me. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s this little blue logo on the right hand side of the Gmail screen.
When I click that logo, it pops open my Tasks list (on right hand side), like so:
I AM OBSESSED WITH GOOGLE TASKS.
I just needed to shout that for a second. Seriously, I love it so much. It allows me to keep as many lists as I want, enter sub-tasks, flawlessly shift items from one list to another AND I have the Google Tasks app on my phone.
The app has been key for me. Sitting outside swim practice and Asher mentions his fins are too small? Grab phone, add “A- new fins” to the Kids list. Boom. Cleaning up the kitchen and realize I only have one roll of paper towel left? Grab phone, add “paper towel” to my Grocery/ Household list. Wherever I am, I can get items on my lists, nice and organized.
Here’s a screenshot of the various lists I currently have going:
I know, this is a lot of lists. But I like having things split up by category. To manage all of these lists, here’s what I do:
I created two special lists. One is called “DO TODAY” and the other is called “THIS WEEK”. (see above) On Fridays, I spend ~5 minutes clicking through every single one of these lists, just seeing what’s all on there currently so I don’t forget. Anything that is time sensitive for the upcoming week OR just simply something I decide I should/ need to tackle soon, gets dragged to the “THIS WEEK” list.
Example of current THIS WEEK list:
*I do often also jot these down in my planner, too on my weekly page. I know my system has a bit of redundancy, but it only takes a minute and I just like doing it this way.
In the morning, I glance over this (it’s open on my desktop anyway) and pick out 1-3 items that I should DO TODAY and pull them to that list.
So on a weekly basis, I really usually need to look at all of my other lists 1-2 times max (if I want). I primarily just look at my DO TODAY or THIS WEEK list. But I love that everything else has a nice, neat home!
I also love that I can actually just drag an email and drop it in the to do list, too. (See pic above- “lesson followup”. If I click this, it will open that email for me. It’s a great way to stay on top of tasks that come into my email.)
My lists, if you’re curious:
My tasks– this is a default list/ I don’t use this one!
Coupons– If I have an important coupon/ “free $10 reward” or something that I don’t want to forget about, I will list it/ drag the email here. Since I look at this list weekly, it’s more likely I will actually use it!
Spring Cleaning– A list of ongoing household projects I want to get to eventually, no rush, a la “spring cleaning” style- i.e. “clean out junk drawers, kids’ rooms” or “clean out/ organize under bathroom sink”
Do TODAY- see above, current priorities
Household– stuff that relates to the family/home in general (i.e. “order Christmas cards” or “set up new external hard drive”)
Things to Buy- I use this to list things I need to buy, for myself or the house (but not grocery items): i.e. “concealer” or “look for a few new workout tank tops” or “new basket for tennis balls in garage”
Kids- Things related to kids – i.e. “back to school supplies” or “camp registration”.
Soccer- Ethan/ Swim Team Stuff-Asher- Used to be more important when I had volunteer tasks related to these, but I still use to list deadlines/ sign ups /etc.
Menu- I like to jot our meal plan down in here so I can glance on my desktop
Personal- misc. stuff like “schedule eye exam” or “renew passport” go in here
THIS WEEK- see above
Grocery/Household- I don’t actually make my full grocery list here (I do that by hand right before I shop), but if I notice random things we need throughout the week, I enter it here. Then when I make my grocery list, I always consult this list. (Currently on the list: “kitchen sponges”)
This is how the lists look on my phone app:
Whew, well, that was more detail than you probably wanted, but there you go. My system. I have never been happier with my to-do list system than I am now! I think it works great. 🙂
What’s your system??? Let me know!
I am grateful for technology that allows syncing of apps/info from our computers to our phones.