Tools for Your To-Do List

July 29, 2011 by Rose Cook

As I write this month’s newsletter it’s 95 degrees out and we’re in the grips here of the worst heat wave so far this summer, maybe even in years. I really feel for anyone who has to work outside in these conditions. It makes me appreciate the little things such as a cool breeze or cold glass of lemonade. This kind of weather can really affect people’s motivation and energy and I for one, even sitting in the comfort of my cool office, am happy to find anything that will make my job easier.

As much as I love to be organized, sometimes my hectic schedule causes things to get a bit scattered. I can’t even blame it on the heat! Keeping a written to-do list on my desk was always helpful – I liked jotting things down as I thought of them, but it doesn’t do me much good on the road. Half the battle with any task is having the right resources to help you along. With the age of technology I’ve ditched my written lists and found a few excellent tools to help keep me on track both in business and my personal life.

Toodledo is one of my favorites and it’s free! Simplified, it’s a mobile to-do list that I can utilize right from my Blackberry or my laptop and sync them back and forth. The hotlist feature allows me to see my high priority tasks and any deadline items. It’s like a personal secretary right on my smartphone. I can organize my tasks into different folders and set to-do’s in pop-up calendars. It even allows me to set personal goals – and you know how I love those! My sister was even able to put the Toodledo app on her iPhone for a one-time cost of $2.99. Here are a few of the many other features this great tool offers:

* Time tracking. Estimate and keep track of time spent on a project. Log time for billing and even set multiple timers.
* Notes. Attach even lengthy notes to a task.

* Tagging. Add keywords to a task, such as “pending”, to help identify the task status more quickly.
* Share and collaborate. Easily add and allow others access to the priority lists you designate. This comes in handy when updating a project and keeping everyone on the same page.
* Customizable. Set only the functions you need.

In addition to Toodledo (Toodledo.com ), I’m also utilizing Taskjot (Taskjot.com ) to sync to my Blackberry. Taskjot can also be used without Toodledo and has much of the same functionality. A free trial is available, with a small licensing fee if you decide continue once the free trial period is over. If you’re on an iPhone, iPad or Mac, Omnifocus (Omnifocus.com ) is a similar professional grade task management tool I’ve heard good things about. Like Taskjot, a free trial is available before purchasing if you want to explore its usefulness further.

As I strive to be more focused on the priorities and less caught up in minutia, a tool like Toodledo is an excellent way to keep the mental clutter organized. Maybe you’ve found other options that have helped you as well. I’d love to hear from you. Any tips that can help make our work days go more smoothly are always worth sharing.

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