How do you stay on top of all you have to do? That's a universal question and the subject of countless articles. It's a question I get often.
Since 2001, my to-do list has been digital. For the last five, "Toodledo" (Toodledo.com) has been the tool I use. It's free, web-based, and has companion apps for your mobile devices. Tons of information comes to us digitally. It makes sense to have a system that allows digital information to stay digital. But why Toodledo? With so many options available, why have I stuck with this one?
Three levels of sort
Many applications allow you to change the sort order. Typically, you can sort alphabetically, or by date, or by priority, etc. Toodledo is unique. It allows multiple sort levels. Every task gets a due date, and I sort the list by due date. For me, the date is not a deadline; it's the date I want to see that item again. Sorting by due date lets me see what's planned for today, tomorrow, and so forth.
For those who have lots to do, segmenting the day helps you gain more control. I want mine segmented into morning, afternoon and evening. I use "Priority" as a secondary sort. "Top" priority are for my five most critical tasks. "High" priority is for tasks planned for the morning. "Medium" tasks are for the afternoon. And "Low" priority tasks are for the evening.
Suppose I have 10 tasks scheduled for this afternoon. Five are errands. The others are things to do at home. Wouldn't it be good to have the errands sorted together? That's where having a third level of sort comes in handy. For me, that third level is "Star." The items with a star sort above the items without.
Sort Toodledo one time by Due Date, Priority, Star, and then leave it alone. Give each task a due date and priority. Toodledo handles it from there. It just works!
Details, start dates, Boolean search
A good task manager should do more than serve as a list of to-dos. When you do the task, there is often information you want to have at hand. Toodledo allows each task to have its own attached note. Not only does Toodledo have this feature, but provides it on the free version. A popular competitor allows the note only with the paid version.
With Toodledo, an icon representing the attached note is always visible. The icon changes its appearance depending on whether it contains information. Other task managers require you to open the task to see if more information exists.
Toodledo includes an optional "Start Date" field. Even though a task is scheduled for a future date, you can always handle it early. But some tasks cannot be done until a particular date. It's good to be able to assign a "Start Date" to tasks and hide those that have a future start date. Toodledo has it. Other competitors don't.
"Search" is a huge advantage any digital system has over its paper counterparts. Toodledo has a "quick search" to find words or phrases within the name of the task. Competitors do as well. But, Toodledo offers a robust Boolean search, which even extends to the note field of tasks. It allows you to construct detailed searches. You can find the exact combination of information you need.
And everything else
I have outlined the differences between Toodledo and leading competitors. Toodledo also has features common to other leading products that make life easier. Listen to this short podcast. I discuss the seven features to look for when choosing a digital task list: http://bit.ly/frankbuck31.
If your tasks live on a sea of sticky notes, maybe it's time for an easier way. A digital task list is the tool for a digital world. Why not give Toodledo a try? (An expanded version of this article appears on my blog: FrankBuck.org.)
Frank Buck is the author of Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders and was named to "Global Gurus Top 30" for 2017 and 2018 in the time management category. He speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach Dr. Buck through his website: FrankBuck.org. Follow him on Twitter @DrFrankBuck.