That’s something we all want to say if we have a list of things to do.
The problem is, there are so many tools out there today.
There are literally thousands of paper and digital planner options.
I’ve tried dozens of online planners, scores of apps, and several paper planners.
I’m always wondering: Will I get more done with a huge planner that has my day, week, month, and quarter planned out? Or will a simple daily to-do list work?
Planners That Sorta Worked
What I’ve had success is the 1-3-5 planner. That’s where you list your most important goal and do that first. It’s followed by three medium-importance things to do next, and then five other semi-important things to do.
What has also worked is a modified Eisenhower Matrix daily planner. Its key strength is helping me organize my days in a four-square based on the level of urgency and importance.
I did go through a Trello, Wunderlist, and MeisterTask phase. Along with a dozen other apps, they just didn’t seem to do the trick. I had too many options and ways to edit things. I was often just overwhelmed with the options and loopholes that paved the way for more procrastination.
The Planner That Really Works
Recently I started working with the Do It (Tomorrow) online app. It looks like a Moleskine notebook, and it only gives you two days to jot down your prioritized To Do list.
At first I thought it was stupid. Two days? I need to really plan my days out!
But then I soon realized that I’ve got so much to do in a day, two days is enough to look at.
The mindset and method is that you quickly have to prioritize what really needs to be done.
You can move Today things to Tomorrow and vice versa. You can also move items up and down a list: and that is it. That is literally all you can do on this app.
And the truth is, it works. I still use a basic calendar (iCal), but this app works for my daily tasks. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Update: James Clear (the productivity guru) just wrote about this method on his blog. He tells a great story about how Ivy Lee taught this method to one of the richest men in the United States. I was so glad that this two-day concept got some outside validation. Seems like I’m sticking with it.