Home » Using a Professional To-Do List App

Many professionals use to-do lists to keep track of progress on particular projects while improving their time management skills. To-dos enable people to break major tasks or daily goals into smaller, manageable parts and then keep tabs on progress in an organized fashion, making them an ideal tool to organize your projects.

However, while deciding to use a to-do list is easy, choosing what online tools will work best for you can be difficult given the sheer number of applications available for download. You, therefore, need to carefully consider what application is best for you, and you should ensure that you’re properly using them to most effectively boost your productivity. This guide will help you choose and use the best applications to improve your time management like a pro.

Finding the Right App for You

If you’ve decided to take your to-do list to the digital realm, then you need to make sure that you choose the right smartphone application for your needs. Therefore, as you decide what app to use, you should consider what kinds of to-dos you plan to make as well as the various productivity features that you desire. Keep these factors in mind when choosing the best application for you.

Schedule Integration

Will this application integrate into your work calendar? Will it send you reminders and notifications for particular events? If so, then you’ve found an application that will integrate smoothly with your already-existing work calendars and schedules. Integrated applications will benefit you by ensuring that all of your schedules stay up-to-date, so you’ll never forget an event or due date again.

Sharing

Like most work-related schedules, you will often need to share your to-dos with supervisors and colleagues to keep them up to date with your day or a current project. Therefore, you should choose an application that can be easily shared across different platforms in case you need to share your to-do in the future. Stay away from programs like Apple’s calendars and notes that favor certain devices and instead opt for third-party software that’s transferable from iOS to Android to PC and beyond.

Additional Features

Many to-do applications have additional functions that further promote improved time management. Outlook, for example, fully integrates calendars and to-dos with your email, and Coorganiz offers a functional “diary” view that gives users a useful overview of their upcoming schedule. Other applications offer similarly useful functions, so you should carefully examine what they have to offer beyond the simple to-do when you make your decision.

Cost

Simply put, some applications cost money while others do not. If your professional life needs some serious organization, you may want to consider investing in an advanced application or subscription. However, if you only need standard to-dos, calendars, and the like, then you should try out free ones before paying up. If you decide to pay to upgrade your to-dos, keep in mind that you can always write off the cost as a business expense.

Most Commonly Used To-Do Applications

If you’re not sure where to even start, take a look at these popular and highly rated to-do applications.

  • Todoist.
  • Microsoft Outlook.
  • Asana.
  • ActiveInbox.
  • Coorganiz.
  • Google Keep.
  • Workflowy.
  • Toodledo.
  • Remember the Milk.
  • Wunderlist.
  • Evernote.
  • Trello.

From there, you should look carefully at each application’s functions and possibly download a handful to try them out, and then you can decide what application to use on a regular basis. Additionally, keep in mind that you will likely want to keep your professional to-do and personal one separate but in the same place, so you should choose a program that suits both your personal and professional needs.

Tips for Using a To-Do List App

Once you’ve downloaded and started to use a to-do app, you’ll quickly learn that the key to an effective to-do list is keeping it organized and professional. These tips will help you keep your to-dos in tip-top shape.

Keep it Simple

One of the most common to-do hang-ups is adding too many items to your daily to-do, which can quickly become overwhelming and defeat its entire purpose. As a general rule, you should have a maximum of ten items on a daily to-do, reducing that number if possible. This way, you can focus on the tasks that are most important, and you will envision a more realistic daily schedule for yourself.

Prioritize

Similarly, you should also prioritize your to-do as you write it. Mark the most important tasks that you need to accomplish as well as ones that are time-sensitive to visually remind yourself of what needs to be done first. This will help you avoid falling into the trap of accomplishing lots of small tasks in lieu of pursuing bigger ones in order to make yourself feel more productive. You won’t always be able to finish your daily to-do, but by prioritizing, you can ensure that urgent, unfinished tasks do not pile up on your desk.

Make a Separate Document for Non-Urgent Tasks

When crafting daily or weekly goals, you may think of a handful of tasks that would be nice to complete but aren’t your first priority. While you shouldn’t just forget about them, you also should avoid adding them to your daily grind if you have higher priority tasks to accomplish. Therefore, you should create a separate log of those non-urgent tasks and add them to your daily to-do when you have time to accomplish them.

Be Prepared to Share

Shareable calendars and to-dos are the future of workplace collaboration. Oftentimes, if you’re working with others on a project, you will need to create shared to-dos for it while sharing schedules and availability for group meetings or work sessions. You should, therefore, keep your professional to-dos neat and tidy in case you need to share with colleagues, meaning that you should keep personal issues in a separate to-do and use professional language in your to-dos.

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