Thanks to people like Chris Bowler and Ben Brooks, I’ve come across some articles recently about evil to-do lists and putting everything on your calendar instead. Ben thinks it’s stupid, and Chris wasn’t inclined toward it, but seems to think some of the arguments make sense.
The basic gist of the articles against to-do lists is they leave too much choice and allow too little commitment. Putting everything on your calendar forces you to make time to do it, allows you to see availability, and forces you to say “no” more often. I’m loosely trying it out, and I do like that I am more aware of my calendar and time allotments.
In school, everyone received a paper agenda, and we were trained to use it, to rely on it. A mix of calendar and task list worked well. I don’t feel like it’s so easily implemented in apps, though.
Task and Calendar Apps
I’ve tried both 2Do and Omnifocus when it comes to task apps. They each have things I like, but I didn’t work well with either one. I failed to check or add to them regularly. So what would happen? Most of my important stuff would get done, and the less important—or unimportant!—ones would be left to languish. Meanwhile, Fantastical 2 is the only calendar app I’ll bother using; it’s especially nice on Mac, but I’ll talk about it more soon.
Regardless of the method you use, the key is to get things done without delay. Use lists or don’t. Use a calendar or don’t. Use paper, or apps, or don’t. But when it comes to things you need to know, know what they are, when they’re due, and who’s expecting. And know when to say “no” to other things.