Library School + Life Tip #9: Keep a To-Do List

Ah, the proverbial to-do list! We all have them, whether short or long, written or in our heads. One of the biggest lessons I learned last semester, when I added grad school to full-time work, was that keeping a written to-do list is so helpful!

There are many ways and places to keep a to-do list, and my to-do lists vary, based on what’s going on, and how MANY things I have going on at one time. Sometimes I try to keep a list in my head, and that method’s pretty good for the short-term, but not so much for the long-term. Other times, I use a bigger piece of paper, but I find I have the most success with keeping a list on the computer.

Why keep a list? Won’t a calendar do? Well, for some tasks and events, a calendar works just fine. But when I have a lot going on, or a task or assignment has numerous steps, a written list helps a lot. In fact, sometimes just the act of writing (or typing) things down helps me to remember things better. On top of that, the list will sometimes help me think of additional steps, or even a better way of doing something.

Sometimes my to-do list is short enough to fit on a post-it note (like a grocery list, especially when I keep forgetting to buy the same thing over and over–but that’s another issue!) But other times, I use my online to-do list at Remember the Milk (or RTM). RTM allows you to create multiple lists based on categories, or tabs, that you can create and edit.You can add and change due dates, and check things off when they’re completed (the best part!).

I’ve recently added the Remember the Milk app to my iPad, and it’s great! I’m trying the Pro version for the next month (for $2.99), which allows for unlimited syncs per day between the online account (always free) and the iPad/iPhone app (also free). One sync between the app and the online account per 24 hours is free. I’d almost rather pay for the app and not have to pay a monthly fee for syncing, so we’ll see if I continue the Pro account.

I also use Evernote for some to-do lists, mostly for ideas or projects that are in the early stages, when keywords and ideas pop out while things are simmering in my head. My to-do lists in Evernote usually don’t have due dates yet.

So, do you keep to-do lists? If so, what’s your favorite method?

Clipart from


About Lesley Looper

I'm a full-time library employee. I enjoy reading, photography, travel, blogging, and geocaching.
This entry was posted in Class, Decisions, Library School + Life Tips, Technology, Time Management, Work, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Library School + Life Tip #9: Keep a To-Do List

  1. Pingback: Déjà Vu | Lesley's Journey through Grad School

  2. I should try making to do lists more often. I have an app on my phone called “Reminders” that allows me to create list and then check them off when I’m finished.

  3. My favorite app for keeping a to do list is “Do It Tomorrow”!

  4. Pingback: Advice and Tips for Library School from a First Year MLIS Student

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