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To-Do List Apps: 5 Easy Tricks for Using Them Better
Oct. 12, 2017 | WSJ | By Chris Kornelis.

Evernote, an organizational app includes a myriad to-do list capabilities and allows the dispensing with conventional written lists.

Best practices:

* Empty Your Human Brain Into Your Digital Brain
“Your brain did not evolve to remember, remind and prioritize beyond about four things,” “Your head is for having ideas but not for holding them. So get all the ideas out, not just part of them. Otherwise, you won’t trust your head and you won’t trust your list.”

The Things 3 app is uniquely set up in this regard: The app, a complete overhaul of which was released last spring, has an “Inbox” specifically designed for a brain dump.

Put any idea or task into the Inbox—or even direct Siri to put a thought in the Inbox—and leave the item there. When you’re ready to get organized, mouse-click each Inbox idea or task and drag it to the specific list where it belongs, or schedule a time to complete the task.

* Detail the Whole Task
“Most people’s to-do lists don’t work very well because they don’t specify an action to be taken for each item. Put actionable items into your app—input “Make a reservation at The Cheesecake Factory for Mom’s birthday,” rather than something that requires even 10 seconds of analysis, such as “Mom’s Birthday.”

Trello, an app that allows users to drag-and-drop digital cards onto various vertical boards, makes it easy to visualize every one of your to-dos at a glance and make sure each is actionable. But the onus is on you to do so.

* Write Down When and Where You’re Going to Complete the Task
E.J. Masicampo, co-author of a paper exuberantly titled “Consider It Done!: Plan Making Can Eliminate the Cognitive Effects of Unfulfilled Goals,” says one of the biggest to-do list mistakes people make is failing to commit to a time frame to accomplish each of the tasks on their lists. “If your strategy is to go to the list and pick something to do,” he said, “eventually your list becomes a graveyard of things that you never felt like doing.

* Embrace Anxiety and Satisfaction
Merely writing down a to-do task can give you a feeling of having made progress. But Mr. Masicampo cautions against letting that give you a false sense of completion. “There’s a balance,” he said. “You want to have some anxiety, otherwise you won’t work at all.” And, of course, it’s far more satisfying to cross a finished task off a list.

* It Could Come to This: Delete the App
Some people are not ready to give up paper, and that’s OK: “I know a bunch of tech people who are going back to paper because there are fewer clicks. It’s easy input and output. You don’t need to slow yourself down too much to use it. Tech sort of pretends that it’s going to speed things up, but it doesn’t.”
David_Allen  Evernote  false_sense_of_completion  GTD  lists  mobile_applications  paper-based  productivity  Things_3  tips  To-Do  Trello  work-back_schedules 
october 2017 by jerryking
Digital diaries are no match for our paper past - FT.com
August 31, 2014 3:54 pm
Digital diaries are no match for our paper past
By Lucy Kellaway
Lucy_Kellaway  Moleskine  calendars  writing  journaling  analog  artifacts  handwritten  paper-based 
september 2014 by jerryking

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