Do you have your daily to-do list / project management system?

54 replies
As my business takes more and more of my time, I realized the importance of having some sort of system for daily tasks.

I currently just use a simple notepad, that I write in what I have to do on a daily basis, but I'd like a neat graphical tool with colors or something

I was actually contemplating signing up for one of those project management systems online such as 5pm web , Salesforce, etc... man there are so many of them.

What I need is something that can help me now even though I don't yet have employees, and then scale with me as I hire.

Your thoughts, Warriors?
#daily #list #management #project #system #todo
  • Profile picture of the author weblink29
    I'm old school. I use 3x5 cards and I shuffle them around my desk or place them in piles.

    Believe it or not this has proved to be the most effective method for me. When my priorities change I just re-shuffle the 3x5 cards.

    I have so many thoughts, ideas, goals, etc written on these 3x5 cards though that some of them are YEARS old. I go through the old ones from time to time to see if they are still worth pursuing or if I completed them already.

    I'm a real scatter brain. I also have cork boards where I pin the important 3x5 cards. The 3x5 cards are the only thing I've found that really helps me stay on track.
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  • Profile picture of the author dee4d
    A to do list is important, you can easily get distracted. The time you put in IM has to be spent wisely to achieve good results. But I think there is a thin line between using an automated system and managing your time by the clock, how effective are these project management systems in meeting your specific needs?
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    • Profile picture of the author JeffNormand
      Originally Posted by weblink29 View Post

      I'm a real scatter brain. I also have cork boards where I pin the important 3x5 cards. The 3x5 cards are the only thing I've found that really helps me stay on track.
      Hey I respect that, you found what works best for you!

      Originally Posted by dee4d View Post

      I think there is a thin line between using an automated system and managing your time by the clock, how effective are these project management systems in meeting your specific needs?
      I agree, but I need some visual cues for order, or else they're just thoughts in the air and I will forget them eventually.

      Some of these systems are very efficient, a quick log in and you can see everything at a glance, color coded, etc.. I think they're neat, I just need help finding what most people use and I'll go from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tuffy22
    I leave myself messages during my commute. My drive time is my "quiet time" and this is when I am better able to see the big picture. I collect my thoughts, and call and leave myself a message of the things I need to accomplish that day. Yes, there are more technologically-savvy ways of doing this...but it works for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    I'm a pretty simple guy. I use 3 basic things: my iPhone calendar / notes when I'm on the go, Excel spreadsheets, and I use my white board in my home office extensively.

    RoD
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      One of the most important things I use is called the 'SDA' for Single Daily Action. My SDA is what I believe that, if I do it every day that I work, will take me 80% of the way to my goal. Right now, my SDA is a scant handful of items listed on an index card on my desk.

      Beyond that, I use an assortment of mindmaps, outlines, spreadsheets, etc. depending on the task itself, coupled with a calendar of milestones I want to hit for each project. The milestones have two things in common - they are measurable, and they are things I can control.

      "Making five sales" is measurable, but not controllable. It can be a goal, but not a milestone.

      "Publishing five articles to my network" is both measurable and controllable. A good milestone.

      Add due dates to the milestones, and you have an action plan.

      Am I perfect at this? Naw, not even close sometimes. But as long as the SDA gets done, I know I'm on my way, and the action plan can be adjusted as necessary.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        "Making five sales" is measurable, but not controllable. It can be a goal, but not a milestone.

        "Publishing five articles to my network" is both measurable and controllable. A good milestone.

        Add due dates to the milestones, and you have an action plan.
        John, I think this post is worth more money than I've ever spent on any info product, ever.

        I've always looked for a good, succinct way to describe "milestones" and "goals" in relation with one another.

        You need to have sales and income goals and the milestones to get you there.

        Thanks!

        Rob
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
          Windows 7 sticky notes are my friend!

          I don't seem to use pen and paper too much these days for writing!
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  • Profile picture of the author PetterHedman
    I have a system i use. a very good system.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sam Sinopoli
    I use Workflowy. I really like the flexibility and the ability to change things on the go. I also use Google Calendar to time block. This helps me tremendously.
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  • Profile picture of the author ennia
    just do it the old school way, i also try to complete each task in 25 min using "focus booster"
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    • Profile picture of the author silverfern
      I'm a great lover of to do lists and use to have pieces of paper everywhere which were difficult to keep track of.

      I now use this script which is fantastic for keeping all my to-do lists together and organized:
      mytinytodo.net

      Running the script on our server means i can access it from anywhere -so if I have a random thought while I am out & about I can add it to my list and get it out of my head.

      It is a great script and I recommend it for those who like to-do lists but want something paperless
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      • Profile picture of the author WikiWarrior
        Well I still use a trusty old A5 notepad day to day but I get a lot of use out of a few online tools:

        Salesforce - this is awesome for managing prospects, leads and customers and you can add notes and set reminders for any day and time in the future so you can "set it and forget it".

        Mindmeister - fantastic mind-mapping tool I've been using for a couple of years now. I have 2 main mind maps for big projects then I have a 'random' one where I can stick all my ideas for the future. I find it a great way to brainstorm and flesh out ideas over time and stay organised. It has the option to use graphics and colors which you wanted. Plus you can hyperlink anything to the branches of your mindmap which is really cool.

        I've also used Basecamp a fair bit but nowhere near as much as the above two. Oh and Google Docs and Calendar are pretty handy.
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  • Profile picture of the author robdavids
    A large calender on my desk, notepad notes and endless stickys have always been my success, tablet notes are also nice as well, but all in all without organization it's hard to move forward efficiently!
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    • Profile picture of the author Amy Harrop
      I've started using Hitask, at Hitask.com. Its easy to use, intuitive, and free. It lets you create and sort tasks by project and priority, and set recurring tasks. I think they also offer a widget and phone app version as well.

      I checked out some other task management programs but thought most of them were too complicated. If a system is too complicated, I won't use it.
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      • Profile picture of the author JeffNormand
        Originally Posted by Amy Harrop View Post

        I've started using Hitask, at Hitask.com. Its easy to use, intuitive, and free. It lets you create and sort tasks by project and priority, and set recurring tasks. I think they also offer a widget and phone app version as well.

        I checked out some other task management programs but thought most of them were too complicated. If a system is too complicated, I won't use it.
        Ya I'm with you on this one, it must be easy and intuitive. I gave Hitask.com a try with their free trial, like it so far!

        Originally Posted by silverfern View Post

        I now use this script which is fantastic for keeping all my to-do lists together and organized:
        mytinytodo.net
        Thanks silverfern, I've downloaded the script and will try it out tonight. Looks solid.
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        • Profile picture of the author Stefan King
          I use "Getting Things Done," the popular productivity system by David Allen. You can buy the book on Amazon.

          The central concept is that you get all your 'projects' out of your head, and into a system of lists. Because your brain knows that all your projects are on these lists, it will not think about them when you are busy executing. No distractions.

          A 'project' is anything with more than 2 actions until completion, and can be done within a year. A person typically has around 70 projects going on at any given time.

          There are several types of lists you can use, but I only have:

          1) an 'Action list,' for simple things you can complete in 5 minutes,
          2) a 'Project list' with about 70 projects that relate to my 10 long-term goals,
          3) and a 'Wait for-list,' with things I'm waiting for to happen, such as replies to e-mails, scheduled incoming payments, and the like.

          I have two versions of these list: One of each on my iPhone, which I always carry with me. The others I have as tags in my GMail account: When I need to reply to an e-mail, it moves to the action list, etc.

          The advantage of the iPhone is that I can enter any new project or action immediately, so it will stop bothering me. And when I finish something, I can quickly check out what's on the list and pick one.

          Which project I choose to work on depends on my mood, energy level, urgency and so on. I simply decide with my intuition.
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      • Profile picture of the author jamesoeck
        Originally Posted by Amy Harrop View Post

        I've started using Hitask, at Hitask.com. Its easy to use, intuitive, and free. It lets you create and sort tasks by project and priority, and set recurring tasks. I think they also offer a widget and phone app version as well.

        I checked out some other task management programs but thought most of them were too complicated. If a system is too complicated, I won't use it.
        That sounds good for me after reading some of the above quotes I think yours is the best one so far. I will look in to it. I need all the help I can get to keep organized being in a wheelchair all day. Thank you for the tip
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      • Profile picture of the author jamesoeck
        Originally Posted by Amy Harrop View Post

        I've started using Hitask, at Hitask.com. Its easy to use, intuitive, and free. It lets you create and sort tasks by project and priority, and set recurring tasks. I think they also offer a widget and phone app version as well.

        I checked out some other task management programs but thought most of them were too complicated. If a system is too complicated, I won't use it.
        That sounds good for me after reading some of the above quotes I think yours is the best one so far. I will look in to it. I need all the help I can get to keep organized being in a wheelchair all day. Thank you for the tip
        Signature

        James Eckburg
        skype:jamesoeck1
        joeckburg@gmail.com

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  • Profile picture of the author brianboyer
    I don't really use a notepad except for on my computer. So I create text files of my plans and a checklist so that I can go through everything. That is mainly for new projects or things I need to work on, but for my daily SEO and marketing it is just kind of the same routine over and over.
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  • Profile picture of the author MrAQ
    One thing to consider is whether you need a management system for your personal life along with your business life?

    Ideally things would fit into one system and you could distinguish things.

    Also there are appointments (things to do at a fixed time or day), and tasks (things to do in an order but not bound to a particular time)

    It's a complex answer... that's why there is such an industry around time and goal management.

    I currently use Remember The Milk, but it is good to read other suggestions such as workflowy.

    AS they say, the best system is the one you will actually use
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  • Profile picture of the author chamaltatis
    For me I just list all my "to do" things in my laptop. It's a lot better if things are written because you get things to follow.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dedew
    ....and much more accessible! =)
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    • Profile picture of the author davidjames42973
      I have a daily calendar/notepad that I write in every day so I know what I have to do tomorrow. I wouldn't get as much done without it...
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  • Profile picture of the author Rukshan
    I use iPhone Calender
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  • Profile picture of the author Sojourn
    Surprised this one wasn't mentioned already: The Action Machine Online

    Free and with timers! Just bring it up in a tab, enter your tasks, save daily routines, and then click the timer to start each task. I probably doubled my output when I started using it. Which was actually just a confirmation of how much time I really was wasting (although I felt like I was working!).

    Can't take credit for it as I learned about here on another thread a few weeks ago and what a find!
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  • Profile picture of the author vliddico
    Originally Posted by JeffNormand View Post

    As my business takes more and more of my time, I realized the importance of having some sort of system for daily tasks.

    I currently just use a simple notepad, that I write in what I have to do on a daily basis, but I'd like a neat graphical tool with colors or something

    I was actually contemplating signing up for one of those project management systems online such as 5pm web , Salesforce, etc... man there are so many of them.

    What I need is something that can help me now even though I don't yet have employees, and then scale with me as I hire.

    Your thoughts, Warriors?
    HI Jeff,

    Here is what I use to get a huge amount done in my day, take it as a free gift (that goes to other warriors) Maximise Your Day And Earn More Money | Earn Money Blog (not affiliate link, no opt-in required)
    Dollar Productive Activity = What you need to spend your day doing mostly. Example: 1. Set PPC Campaign in FB 2. Create 3 Sale Product Review Videos 3. 5 Articles + Submission etc etc
    General Admin = What you do least in the day Example: 1. Check e-mails & reply 2. Check Traffic/Opt-in Stats 3. Social media playtime etc etc
    Calls = Most important people to call who you can help, contribute to or seek advice from, not for social
    The trick is to set your daily times, so your admin is all done by 9am and you can spend the day on activities that only produce results.

    Enjoy!

    PS. It works wonders if you have the discipline. *Important:* It's imperative you complete each number before moving to the next, this will produce excellence in your work, and is the basis for a whole lot of productivity.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Chung
    To Do List: www.teuxdeux.com Simple, easy to use todo list.

    Timer: focus booster - home; try the pomodoro technique Working in small chunks helps keep me focused, reminds me to take breaks, and allows me to get started working with minimal resistance (it's just 25 minutes). Once I get through the first time chunk I find I'm actually itching to get back to work and do more.

    I also use Post-It notes, arranged in 25-30 minute tasks if I can to correspond with each time chunk. When the timer starts I pick a post-it note off the edge of my monitor and work with it. If I'm done I throw it away. The post-it note clutter or lack thereof is a nice, quick indicator of whether I'm keeping up with the work. And it's a great feeling if I manage to clear all the post-it notes so I can see a clean computer monitor.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pinky Painter
    Yes, I'll write it down at my calendar book that I carry whenever attend any meeting. If I don't bring it, I'll jot down at my mobile phone as a reminder.

    This is a good practice of writing down every single, minor thing as we tend to forgetful. Sometimes, we are over flooded with too much information and our brain have the difficulty to remember everything.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMWinner
    I used post-it papers to remind me of the things that I should do in a day, especially when I have a project to work on. I also have my calendar of activities beside my computer on my table to keep track on what I should do the next day or any schedule listed on it.
    Although I am into article marketing, and mostly I offer services as an article writer and re-writer as of the moment, I see to it that I have my own set of time to work on my IM business. It is difficult to just choose which time I would like to work and that there are really times that I am overcome with the concept that I am my own boss. It is basically time management that most people should need to have, since it will always remind us the things that we should do in a period of time and there would be no cramming or overlapping of task.
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelallen
    If you want to take the whole scale of your business into account, I would suggest looking into something that helps you manage all of what you do, not merely one aspect.

    I've seen countless companies start with something like a basic contact manager, or toDo app - and then realize they need more and more. They deal with this by adopting 3+ additional, terribly integrated systems to manage everything they do, whether that be sales, project management, collaboration, finances, etc.

    The question is, what do you need to manage? I recommend checking out something like WORKetc. You can manage all business contacts, calendars, projects, time sheets, invoices, email marketing campaigns, expenses, etc in one web app. This system and others similar will take into account the entirety of your business, and leave room for growth; something a simple CRM or Todo app will not do.
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  • Profile picture of the author PLRExpress
    It's funny how most of us spend our days working on computers but have out notes on paper! We must be oldschool at heart!

    I use a notepad with different sites and projects across the top and different tasks beneath it. I hardly ever do what I planned to do though...
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  • Profile picture of the author lordkensal
    I use ToDoIst.com also has an Android App. I record my notes and ideas on Evernote
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    I use printed sheets on my wall. I like to have an overview of the day and weeks ahead.

    Each day is split into 3 core activities in order to ensure that all 3 aspects of my biz get equal attention.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
    I am a geek and I love technology and all but when it comes to creating to-do lists and managing my business, the more technology that comes into it the harder it gets.

    I just use a good ole pen and a couple of composition notebooks ($1-2 each at walmart) for management and it has worked perfect for me for about 2 years now
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  • Profile picture of the author JennyBizz
    There is something about manually writing your list on a notepad that helps to free the mind. It's nice to see that so many of us use the good old pen and paper method.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by thegreenninja View Post

      There is something about manually writing your list on a notepad that helps to free the mind. It's nice to see that so many of us use the good old pen and paper method.
      There is some scientific basis for the idea that not only does writing things by hand free your mind, it puts it to work.

      I read a book awhile back that quoted a study where one group hand-wrote a goal 100 times, one group typed it 100 times, and one group simply recorded it once by any method they chose. The group which wrote out the goal 100 times by hand achieved that goal more often than the other groups by a wide margin.
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  • Profile picture of the author mint24
    I used reminders and to do list in my cellphone.
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  • Profile picture of the author adrwcav
    My daily routine is simple. Find 100 leads to opt in to my main business. Sometimes I pay for marketing and sometimes I do free stuff like articles depending on how much time I spend. Some days I am too busy making BIG sales so I need to pay for the marketing. If I can find 100 subscribers a day I know my phone will be ringing off the hook.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Svacina
    Sorry I did't see this thread.

    Here is my thread that answers your question and gives some more info.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...affiliate.html

    Adam
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt Chrisler
    I use 3 different things to stay organized and on task.

    #1. To do list, simple, easy, fast, sharable: Ta-da List - Anytime I think of something I need to get done I add it to my Tadalist. Then I set Tadalist.com as my HOMEPAGE...so every time I open up the internet my To Do list comes up and reminds me to get to work!

    #2. A Daily Planner - Every Sunday I plan out my entire week so everyday I know exactly what I need to get done and don't waste time trying to figure out what to do today. Tip: With back to school shopping over, you can get a daily planner at a store like Target on sale for about $5.

    #3. 3x5 Notecards - I have a notecard for each of my websites and every time I think of something that needs to be done on that site or an idea I want to test out I add it to that sites notecard. This keeps things very organized by website and I never forget an idea anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aviator Joe
    using remember the milk, does the job well!
    Plus i've got different excel sheets all over the place
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  • Profile picture of the author lukemeister
    Lots of sweet ideas, I'm a big fan of notepads too

    I've got notepads and pocket-sized notepads all over the place - that's where I dump all my notes and incoming requests -

    Then from there I organize into some software called "MyLifeOrganized", which I've got synced between my 3 computers and Droid phone, to give me my action-oriented lists to plow through on a daily basis. It's a great feeling to only have to look at a list that is entirely actionable when I'm ready to get some work done

    Works pretty good, but the key for me is having notepads all over the place to capture ideas and thoughts and tasks
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  • Profile picture of the author oclseo
    Originally Posted by JeffNormand View Post

    As my business takes more and more of my time, I realized the importance of having some sort of system for daily tasks.

    I currently just use a simple notepad, that I write in what I have to do on a daily basis, but I'd like a neat graphical tool with colors or something

    I was actually contemplating signing up for one of those project management systems online such as 5pm web , Salesforce, etc... man there are so many of them.

    What I need is something that can help me now even though I don't yet have employees, and then scale with me as I hire.

    Your thoughts, Warriors?
    You can use basecamphq, Trusted by many, Basecamp is the leading web-based project management and collaboration tool. To-dos, files, messages, schedules, and milestones.
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  • Profile picture of the author buychargeall
    Google Tasks and Sites!
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  • Profile picture of the author jaiganeshv
    Im an idiot in management.. sometimes i write in a notebook like a school buy and enjoy it.. then notepad (love the plain text) sometimes excel...
    then influenced by some speakers to use a frenzy to do list... BUT i found writing in the notebook helps me. If not for scoring out but for remembering it for longer period and stressing on the activity.
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  • Profile picture of the author WakondaMarketing
    I still use sticky notes and I stick it right on my desktop computer. I also have a small organizer to have an organized way of managing all my tasks. Kinda old school.
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  • Profile picture of the author buychargeall
    Google Tasks on my desktop and smartphone keeps me in tuned. I also collaborate with my team using google sites task function.
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  • Profile picture of the author theKnurd
    I'm more disorganized than when I opened this thread.

    Besides the paper and pen crowd (which has some great input), here is a slightly organized list of software mentioned so far:

    Project Management - worketc, wedoist, teamlab, basecamphq
    Mind Mapping and Brainstorming - mindmeister, mindjet, freemind*, mindnode (mac only)
    Task Managers - hitask, todoist, rememberthemilk, mylifeorganized.net, teuxdeux, tadalist
    Powerful notetaker - workflowy
    Timer application - focusboosterapp

    I'm sure I missed or overlooked one somewhere. Look forward to trying some of these out to see what fits my needs.

    EDIT: Broke them down into categories. Also, other than one .net specified...almost everything is a .com. *freemind software is at freemind.sourceforge.net. Hope this helps!
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