Five “To-Do List Managers” Everyone Should Know About

If you make your to-do lists like most people, they probably consist of some low-tech, old-school items like lined paper and a pen.  Don’t be ashamed; many people still make all of their to-do lists this way even if they like to think they’ve fully embraced the computer age.  Speaking from personal experience?  No comment.

However, we live in an era where technology rules.  We communicate through social networking sites, get our news from Twitter, and carry our addresses in a pocket-sized piece of hardware (sorry, little black book).  So with our lives becoming busier and more stressful by the day, why shouldn’t we use software that allows us to make things a bit easier (and reduce clutter and waste)?

Here are a couple of ideas to get your to-do list up to date and help you manage all of life’s impending tasks.

  1. Microsoft Outlook. Whether you use it at work or at home (or both) it is an extremely effective scheduling tool designed to help you manage your time and your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.  Use it at the office to copy and paste job requests from your email to your calendar or set it up to forecast and prepare for personal events (your cousin’s wedding is in three months, so schedule in deadlines to purchase airline tickets, shop for a dress, and order the wedding gift online for delivery before departure), remind you of doctor’s appointments, or set up annual services (air conditioner/furnace cleaning, replace batteries in smoke alarms, etc.).
  2. reQuall. This iPhone app is unique amongst its competitors for several reasons.  First off, information can be entered either verbally or through text.  And while you can use it for standard task management, it also has functionality for shopping lists (which, let’s face it, we can all use), recording ideas (hands free!), and a contact list (possibly redundant since your phone already has this feature, but you can tailor it to specific areas like work, groups, etc. associated with your lists), as well as a reminder service and the ability to sync with an online server.  The app is broken into three sections (time, things, and people) to help keep your info compartmentalized.
  3. Zenbe. Another one for your phone, this handy to-do app may have simple functionality, but it has two features that others do not: it can sync up with an online account and it allows you to share your lists with others.  Don’t have time to get to the grocery store?  Send your husband a link to the list (while you run to the car) and let him do the shopping.
  4. Remember the Milk (RTM). This program is more than just a clever name in the arena of web-based to-do list managers.  While it touts simple and streamlined functionality (create, organize, and complete your tasks), it offers the ingenious addition of integrating outside apps.  You can link it up to your online calendar, email, and even Twitter.  Bonus: it’s free!
  5. Ta-da Lists. If you haven’t quite graduated from the tech-lite to the real deal, there’s still something out there for you, and Ta-da is it.  A super-simple program, it is almost like your pen-and-paper list in that it gives you just what you need in an electronic format (no crazy bells and whistles, just the ability to make, edit, and check-off your list).  It also boasts a sharing function that allows you to forward your list to others or simply make it public.

Kyle Simpson

Kyle Simpson writes about training for a career in the medical field.

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