Say Goodbye to Post It Notes, Scrap Paper, and Even Your Word Doc Files, The Digital Age is Here
Creating a to-do list has always been an effective way to organize tasks you need to perform. A to-do list not only reminds you of the tasks you have to complete for the day (or the week), but it also allows you to visually prioritize your tasks by taking note of their deadlines as well, which can be quite helpful. Now that the digital age is upon us, creating to-do lists has never been easier.
Looking At The Traditional 'To Do List'
Traditionally, to-do lists have been written on post-it notes, notebook paper, scrap paper or word documents. Some people don't even write their to-do lists down, they just attempt to keep track of them in their mind. However, in this day and age, there's no need to use any of these traditional methods. Introducing digital to-do lists: a much more effective and convenient option.
Why Traditional To-Do Lists Are No Longer Relevant
None of the traditional methods for creating to-do lists are very efficient. When physically written down, to-do lists often get lost or end up causing clutter at your desk, resulting in even more disorganization, making it more difficult to be productive.
While using a word document to type out your to-do list won't cause physical clutter on your desk, they will clutter up your desktop and are easily forgotten about. Even though clutter is not something you have to worry about if you simply keep track of your to-do list in your mind, you're much more likely to forget something -- and the whole point of a to-do list is to help you remember what your tasks are.
Why Digital To Do Lists Are Superior
The solution to the many drawbacks of traditional to-do lists is to make use of digital to-do lists. Not only are digital to-do lists much easier to actually keep track of and access, but they offer many additional features as well. The following are just a few benefits that some of today's digital to-do lists can provide.
Streamline and Organize Tasks
One of the issues with a written to-do list is that you're limited to just writing down the tasks you have to do. Attempting to organize them as you write them down can be tricky, and doing so after you've already created the list is going to require a lot of editing in the margins.
A digital to-do list will allow you to reorganize your list in whatever order you want, and you'll be able to add tasks in any sequence you like within seconds. This means that your digital to-do list will always remain organized, making it much easier to streamline your tasks and to keep track of what needs to get done.
The Ability to Track Progress More Effectively
Digital to-do lists make it much easier to track your progress, whether it's by seeing how many of your tasks you've completed or identifying which tasks are done and which still need to be worked on. You can add task layers so that you can see how close you are to completing individual tasks. You can also easily search through your to-do list to find what tasks have been completed, what tasks still need to be completed, and how much progress you've made on the tasks you're working on.
Additionally, you can mark down the deadlines for each task. In fact, many apps have reminder options that will notify you of when a deadline is coming up. The whole point of a to-do list is to ensure that you don't forget to complete your tasks, which makes reminder notifications particularly helpful.
Automation Sequences Attached to List Items
A digital to-do list can be automated in a number of different ways to help keep your list organized and easy to manage. For example, if you have a certain task that needs to be completed at the beginning of every month, you can program it so that it's automatically added to your to-do list every month.
You can also set up certain tasks to be automatically added to your to-do list when specific triggers occur. For example, if a client emails you, a digital to-do list can automatically add the task of replying to your client to your to-do list. You can even narrow down the trigger. Maybe you don't need to reply to a certain person every time they email you, but it's important that you read all of their attachments. Your digital to-do list can identify if there's an attachment or not and add the task to your to-list accordingly.
Collaboration Across Multiple People’s Lists
A digital to-do list can be shared. This means that you can provide access to to the list to everyone in your team. Tasks can be assigned via a digital to-do list to individual team members and you can set up notifications to alert you when those tasks are marked as completed. Not only does this ensure that everyone remains on the same page, but it allows each individual to both track and share their progress with the rest of the team, which will help boost productivity significantly.
Access On The Go From Any Device
With a digital to-do list, you'll be able to access your tasks from any computer, tablet or smartphone, which means you'll never lose track of any tasks that need to be done or any deadlines that are coming up just because you stepped away from your desk. This also makes digital to-do lists incredibly useful for anyone who travels regularly or who constantly steps out of the office to meet with clients or business partners.
Personalization of Interface, Style and Set Up
There are many digital to-do lists that give you numerous personalization options that make using your to-do list easier based on your preferences. Some tools even allow you to choose themes, which doesn't affect the function of the tool but is a nice personalized touch.
A majority of to-do lists will allow you to create your own categories and subcategories for the tasks that you've added, which makes it easier for you to not only manage and sort your tasks, but to search through them. Additionally, color coding is a feature that many digital to-do lists provide, making it even easier to identify certain tasks when looking at your to-do list.
As far as the main interface goes, this depends on your choice of digital to-do list. Some main interfaces will display the task with the nearest deadline first or may have a few basic categories you can click on to show tasks that have been completed, that must be done that day, or that don't need to be done until later.
Backup Your Data
One of the biggest drawbacks of traditional to-do lists is that they are easy to lose. With a digital to-do list, you'll never have to worry about losing it since all of your information is backed up and can be accessed from any computer or mobile device as long as you have an Internet connection.
How to Get Started with Your Online 'To Do List'
Finding a digital to-do list app to download isn't difficult. There are hundreds of apps available, many of which are free. There are a few things to consider when you download a to-do list app. First of all, make sure it will work on your device of choice. Secondly, make sure that you read through the feature list. Many free to-do list apps won't have as comprehensive of a feature list as purchased to-do list tools. However, there are plenty of free digital to-do list tools that allow you to upgrade to a premium version for a small fee.
10 Tools for Taking your Traditional 'To Do List' Online
The following are some of the top to-do list tools that are available that will allow you to take your traditional to-do lists online:
Google Sheets is one of the most basic digital to-do list tools available. Essentially, it's a free web-based spreadsheet that comes with Google Drive and Google Docs. You can use the spreadsheet format to create your to-do list, which can then be shared with anyone on your team. It's available as a web-based app as well as a mobile app for both Android and iPhone. It doesn't have many of the features that other to-do list apps have, but sometimes all you need is something simple and effective that can be shared, and that's what Google Sheets is.
Things by Culture Code
Things boasts a simple and intuitive interface that makes managing your lists extremely easy. It's one of the best to-do lists when it comes to keeping tasks organized. However, it is considered more of a personal manager, which means it's not suitable for sharing to-do lists. It's also only available on the Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad. There's also no free version available.
Trello offers a substantial amount of control, even in its free version. You can use boards to arrange large projects and then add all types of lists to break your projects down into sub-projects. Cards can be added to each list. Information that you can add to these cards include checklists, notes, due dates, color-coded labels, and attachments. These cards can easily be moved across different lists and boards. You can view your lists in a calendar format as well.
The business class version provides more storage space, better security, team overviews and more. An enterprise version is also available, which is designed for big companies that need sharing capabilities for multiple teams.
Asana is the to-do list choice for companies that need sharing capabilities between teams. Besides being able to view and organize to-do lists, you can also add descriptions, due dates, attachments, and instructions to your tasks as well as set up reminders. What's particularly helpful is the ability to view your to-do list as a list, as boards, and in calendar form. Any team will be able to track progress, assign tasks, post updates and collaborate using Asana.
A free version is available for up to 15 team members, while the premium version includes advanced search and reporting, unlimited dashboards, no team member limit, private teams and projects, and more. An enterprise version is also available for larger companies.
Fantastical 2Fantastical 2 is a calendar app built for Apple devices. Among its many features it offers is a to-do list. For example, the tool provides availability scheduling with coworkers, the ability to create multiple calendars, the ability to duplicate events across multiple calendars, the ability to view by day, week, month or year, notifications, and more. Additionally, a Mini Window feature lets you create and edit instantly, while the infinite list makes it simple to find all of your events and reminders.
Calendly is a scheduling software designed to be user-friendly and to help make scheduling more efficient and less time-consuming. The way it works is simple--it lets you set your availability preferences, which you can then share with anyone. Your clients, co-workers or whoever you shared the link with will then be able to schedule times for meetings or events, which will then be automatically added to your calendar.
Not only does Calendly work for all devices, it can be integrated with Office 365, Outlook and Google. It's particularly useful for team scheduling, group events, and metrics and reporting.
Wunderlist is a free to-do list app owned by Microsoft that's available on all major devices. It was named the App of the Year by Apple in 2014 and the best to-do list app in 2015 by The Verge. Features include the ability to group related lists into one easy-to-access folder, make comments and add notes on lists, share your lists, set reminders, set due dates, print your to-do lists, and more.
Todoist comes in two versions -- a free version and a premium version. The free version lets you create sub-tasks, dependencies, projects, and sub-projects. It also gives you the ability to color code your tasks, set due dates, categorize your tasks, and more. The premium version includes features such as automatic backups, filters, labels, email reminders, and push notifications. In addition to being available across all major platforms, it can also be downloaded as a plug-in for Gmail and Outlook and will integrate with Google Drive.
When it comes to digital to-do list interfaces, few are as visually pleasing as Any.do. Not only does it have a very simple and easy-to-use interface, it allows users to customize their themes. Any.do is available on both Android and iPhones as well as on desktops and through the web.
The free version has all the basic features you would want from a to-do list tool. You can easily drag and drop tasks as well as swipe tasks to mark them complete. You can also shake your phone to clear completed tasks and enter tasks into your lists using voice entry. The tool lets you share your lists and assign tasks as well. Premium versions include unlimited collaboration, unlimited attachments, location-based requirements, the ability to customize recurring tasks, and more.
Reminders is an Apple app that works on both the Mac and the iPhone. In addition to basic features, such as the ability to list tasks, include deadlines, and set reminders, you can customize your Reminder interface with a variety of themes, add tasks using voice entry, color code your tasks, and even manage all of your to-do lists across different accounts, including Yahoo!, iCloud and AOL. You can share and manage your Reminders to-do lists with others as well.
Make Your Top To-Do List Item ‘Digitize My To-Do List Today’
There are many digital to-do lists to choose from, some of which are free and all of which have multiple unique task management features that make them much more efficient, effective and convenient than traditional to-do lists. If you aren't using a digital to-do list yet, make sure getting a digital to-do list tool is at the top of today's to-do list.