How I use lists

Some weeks ago, at the beginning of a work meeting, I suggested using my list of open projects so we wouldn’t forget anything. Immediately, a workmate stared at me and asked, Don’t you keep a list to help you remember all your lists?

So, apparently, my workmates are so used to seeing me putting items on lists that they have concluded that I use a lot of them. Actually, I don’t normally use more than two lists:

  1. A list of open projects
  2. A to-do list

List of open projects

This is a document hosted on Google Drive. It’s pretty simple: just a table with three columns:

# Project Comments
Sequential number Name of the project State of the project

I update the relevant cells as the projects evolve. I don’t do it on a daily basis but approximately every 7-10 days. When there is a new project, I add a new row at the end of the table; when a project is finished, I leave it there for some time and finally delete it.

To-do list

I use Todoist for this. I write down all the tasks that need to be done and categorize them under the open projects I’ve got at any given moment. As I also use Todoist for personal purposes, it’s running all the time on my laptop or smartphone.

The big picture and the details

Do you work with lists? If so, how do you do it? I think my system works because it’s simple and allows me to see the big picture (the open projects list) and the details (the to-do list) at the same time. What do you think about it?

Picture: To Do List (Beth Snow)