Online tools to improve productivity: To do lists

I’m a great believer in to-do lists, if used correctly. OK, they’re not much use if they are too long and if the list is not achievable, but properly planned, they’re a great help. It’s a topic I often develop with the participants on my moderating courses. Time management is essential as a moderator or you can end up feeling you’re constantly “on call”. A good to do list is a tool I recommend. Some people write their to do lists on paper by hand, in journals, on large pieces of paper to stick on the wall or even on lots of different coloured post-it notes. What matters is what works for you. For some it’s essential to tick items off so that they can see what they’ve achieved at the end of the day. Often my participants keep their to do lists on their mobile phones or computers, or even online. In companies like ours, we share our to do lists via an online application (in our case Wrike) so that tasks can be delegated and shared.

Top tips

  1. As well as the task, jot down how long it is likely to take and its date deadline and/or priority. Then sort your list first by deadline, then by priority, then by time required. If you need over 12 hours to complete today’s tasks, something has to give!
  1. Identify the one thing that will give you the greatest sense of satisfaction if you completed it today and make sure you make time for that task.
  1. Group similar tasks together such as answering emails or filing
  1. Separate out work and personal tasks so it’s easier to prioritise during the working day
  1. Always make time to review your to do list at the beginning and end of every day

Some online tools for creating and managing to do list: