To-Do List

typically a lite Issue Tracker

  • often single-user (at least single editor)
  • flat, no Task Hierarchy supported
  • not much Meta Data
  • (but all that's a gross generalization)


My DayJob system 2021: see My CollaborationWare History

My personal system is still mostly PrivateWiki, WeeklyReview, EffectiveEntrepreneur oriented, with a heavy dose of Simplest Thing (focus, bottleneck) attitude.

Except my daily little chores are now in GoogleKeep instead of my PrivateWiki. It's simply easier to add and drag around on my phone.

I don't lose much sleep over never getting to things at the bottom of my list. Infinite List

I will use other tools (e.g. mindmap, pro/con table) to generate items on the list.

My (personal) system 2011-2013

My current method - focused on 3 big Most Important Tasks for the week and picking top 3 MITs for the day before starting anything.

I just have a Private Wiki note page for the week that has a long list of to-dos, many of which will never get done, and I review daily and weekly to move more important/urgent stuff to the top, then pull them into daily MIT list as appropriate. That also serves as my log of what I actually accomplished. See Hack Your Life With A Private Wiki Notebook, Getting Things Done And Other Systems.

Then at the end of the week, I make a new week-page and cut/paste the long list into it...

Most of the editing happens on my laptop, and it gets synched in SimpleNote so it's always available in the cloud.

If an item ties to a work-team item in an issue-tracker, then I include the URL in the item in my note-file.

If there's a future-due-date associated with something, I make sure I write my To Do item as a Next Action, and if it's too early even for that, I stick a date in the item so I catch that in my weekly review.

Sometimes in the past I've used a Mind Map As To Do List, when I felt I had to keep a bunch of future sub-tasks in mind for bunches of things. But using a MindMap on a small phone screen is often a pain, so I've dropped that approach for now.

My personal system - 2006-2011 - Mind Map As To-Do List

What I want (2010)

Goal: focus on short-list of things to do today (right now?)

  • easy to promote/demote
  • easy to review backlist
  • start with optional due-date

Portable: on a Mobile

Task Hierarchy

Repeating events, with times (to drive Alarm Clock)

  • more-than-weekly: "take vitamins", "exercise", "pick up kids"
  • less frequent: "change water filter": time isn't relevant, but want it to suddenly appear at top of To Do List, to then be dragged around as appropriate.

Interface to drag items around in list to change order/priority

  • ultimately to be able to say "this is what i'm going to do today, in what order"

Tags to provide various cuts of Context, easy ability to query on intersection of matches, then Drag And Drop priority

Ability to write Progress Note-s (Wiki) on node at any level (Node Web): ok that's a mess.

Multi-person: delegate, share lists, share notes.... the big mess

Edited:    |       |    Search Twitter for discussion