After working for over 20 years on various projects simultaneously I have tried to figure out the very best To Do system. I have done the hacked Get Things Done, Franklin Covey binders that were so stuffed that you couldn't close them, the Palm Pilot, Remember the Milk, and various other systems. Everyone of them had value, but none of them were just right. Kind of like Goldilocks!
What I needed was something I could write on, something that would remind me, and something I could carry around. I am a doodler by nature and being able to scribble notes is important to my thought process. It only took me 20 years to figure that out!
The Reminders: For things that have big deadlines, hard deadlines, or happen every month I use my Google Calendar. I set the To Do up as an all day event and just schedule it like I would a meeting with my team. This is great for paying bills, sending PR out on time, getting things to the printer. It translates to my phone, although that isn't totally necessary.
The Paper To Do: I created a To Do that has a section for Do, Go, Connect and a place to doodle. It also has the date, and three check boxes for things I would like to do daily (meditate, write and exercise). I fill out the To Do the day before with all the things I need to get done the next day. A typical list might have Send file to X, Finish edits on newsletter, design draft of promo, bathe Zeppelin, and find receipt.
I found it was critical to put my personal and my business life on the list. Although they may be segmented, they aren't separate. I am one person with a million things to do and keeping separate lists is impossible.
When I complete something I just cross it off. If I am not going to finish something or I am moving something I put an arrow next to it and write it on the next day's to do. It is that simple. Some days I get more done, but I am always hopeful.
This simple pdf form prints easily, is customizable, fits on a clipboard that I can carry to my meetings (I have a meeting one too that I'll talk about later) and is cheap enough that I can spill coffee on it and not feel terrible.
Most importantly it keeps me organized and gets things done! I included it here for you to download - enjoy. If you would like to know more about how I decide what is a To Do just ask!