Welcome to www.OnlineOrganizing.com -- A World Of Organizing Solutions Your Order Your Shopping Cart About Us Contact Us Site Map
Do You Need Help Getting Organized?Shop For Organizing And Business Development ProductsProfessional Organizing ServicesFind A Seminar, Workshop, Or Keynote SpeakerRead Our Two Free Monthly NewslettersFree Organizing Tips And AdviceResources For Professional OrganizersLearn How To Become A Professional OrganizerUseful Organizing Website LinksUseful Organizing Website Links

Search for:


You Are Here: Home - Expert Advice - The Organizer's Toolbox - Tip Sheets

NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   Tasks / To-Do's - Reminders - Delegation

Creating A To-Do List

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.


  • can help you take control of your time
  • gives a one-glance look at everything you want to accomplish
  • minimizes mind-clutter by keeping track of odds and ends
  • improves your memory by writing everything down
  • frees up mental "RAM" by emptying your brain of trivial items
  • helps you prioritize your activities


  • keep a notepad nearby so you can enter items as they occur to you
  • empty all of the to-do's in your head onto a piece of paper
  • don't worry about priority, importance, or time frame for completing
  • this is your "master to-do list"
  • don't try to tackle all the items on this list
  • you will build your "daily to-do list" from your master list


  • break your master list into meaningful categories by activity
  • home maintenance, work, calls, errands, to buy, etc.
  • break large projects into smaller individual tasks
  • assign a letter code to each item on the list
  • "A" = must do; "B" = should do; "C" = could do
  • prioritize items in each category by letter ("A" then "B" then "C")


  • limit your daily list to no more than 10 items you hope to complete
  • include no more than 2 large or difficult tasks
  • your daily list includes appointments and commitments to others
  • also include "A" items off of your master list
  • if you have time, fill in the gaps with some "B" and "C" items
  • leave room for urgent items that just pop up


  • not every item on your to-do list has to be done
  • the key to productivity is awareness of how you spend your time
  • what you do, how long it takes, and what benefit you get
  • create a log tracking your activities for a week
  • evaluate the time investment time versus "payoff" for each activity
  • how much benefit or enjoyment are you getting from each activity?
  • keep high-payoff and enjoyable activities on your to-do list
  • ask yourself if low-payoff activities need to be done at all
  • if they do need to be done, do they have to be done by you?
  • if they need to be done by you, could they be simplified?


  • tasks should be completed in order of importance
  • unless they have a specific time frame (like a meeting or class)
  • is this the best possible use of your time at the exact moment?
  • your goal is to complete all of your "A" items first
  • then finish as many "B" and "C" items in the time available
  • be realistic about how much you can accomplish in a day
  • create an agenda for your daily task list
  • schedule times for completing specific activities whenever possible
  • if you didn't complete a task, you had too many items on your list
  • move unfinished items to another day and re-evaluate the priority


  • if you procrastinate, create artificial deadlines to finish early
  • know your work style (long stretches or short bursts)
  • understand your high and low energy periods
  • plan your to-do's accordingly
  • make liberal use of memory joggers -- alarms, sticky notes, etc.


  • get your family to take on household responsibilities from your list
  • ask a co-worker for assistance with routine business tasks
  • ...and offer to help out the next time that co-worker needs a break!
  • make use of support staff (admin clerks, assistants, etc.)
  • outsource jobs to an independent contractor or freelancer
  • develop a local co-op for sharing time-consuming domestic chores
  • set up an informal chore swap with a neighbor


Would you like to reprint this tip sheet in your publication -- or distribute it to a wider audience? Click here for reprinting instructions.

Click here if you would like to submit a tip sheet or checklist...

Add this page to your Bookmarks!

E-mail this page to a friend!

www.OnlineOrganizing.com is a service mark of Bradford, LLC.
Content on this site is © Bradford, LLC, All rights reserved.

If you notice any problems with this site, please contact our webmaster.
And if you don't see what you need you are welcome to "ask the organizer" any question!

To see what people are saying about www.OnlineOrganizing.com, check out our visitor comments.

Click here to view our privacy policy.

Calendar Of Organizing Holidays And Events Blog Central Sign Up For Our Free Online Newsletters Join The Conversation At Our Organizing Discussion Board Advertise Your Company On Our Website Be An Affiliate Of www.OnlineOrganizing.com
Check Us Out On FaceBook