All posts tagged: To Do List

My System: “The Daily Mirror”

Who: Rachel Simon, novelist, memoirist and speaker. System: Communicate daily to-do list tasks via sticky notes left on the bathroom mirror. How does it work? “If there’s something I need to remember, I write it on a yellow sticky note and put it on the bathroom mirror so I have to see it. ‘Mail check on Wednesday’; ‘Review my Powerpoint.’ I wrote a sticky note this morning that said ‘Call Margit.’ “ Well, I’m glad you did. So how does this system work with your husband? “My husband is also creative (he’s an architect) and we’re secluded in separate studios for good part of day. Our house often has the feel of an artist colony. So this way we’re able to have those household conversations you need to have, like ‘would you reread blog post I wrote?’ Or ‘when are you going to work on broken toilet?’ Or even, ‘remind me to tell you about conversation I had with my father.’ “ Does he respond? “Sometimes the way he’ll respond is that he’ll write something right on the yellow …

Why I’m Thinking of Trashing My To-Do List

(Photo: Nancy Gonzalez/ TueNight) I’ve always got a to-do list going. Occasionally that list is in the “Fresh” stage, when most of the items have been recently added. Sometimes, roughly half of the items are checked off, with the rest awaiting completion – I call that the “In Progress” stage. But most often, my list is in the “Can’t-Stand-to-Look-at-It” stage, where the tasks that remain glaringly undone remind me of failings both large and small. One such task that lives on every list I’ve compiled over the past six months is “Get Direct TV.” It’s a concise and seemingly benign line item, yet its simplicity belies the pain-in-the-ass job that it actually is. Because of the smart phone, no place is sacred or safe from the tyranny of the list. Sitting on the toilet, I type “Almond Butter” into the subject line so I remember that we’re out of it. Instead of “Get Direct TV,” the phrase should really read: “Do a competitive analysis of all TV/internet/phone service providers in my area by calling each …

Don’t Think, Act: Life According to Buster Benson

As a system-obsessed person, I am in awe of Buster Benson. A man who was once Erik Benson and then Buster McLeod and now Buster Benson. (At least that’s as of today.) He isn’t afraid to test and retest; reinvent and rename. He doesn’t worry about it, he just does it.  And if he can’t figure out how to get it done, he’ll build an app for it. “If I have an idea, I don’t do a to-do list. I just spend a couple hours building it to see if it’s interesting to me or not,” says Benson. The former Amazon.com developer and current CTO and co-founder of Habit Labs, 35.96-year-old Benson creates apps that track “habits” and, ideally, help people tackle their big lifestyle hurdles (diet, exercise, smoking etc) that have them stuck. He estimates that he’s created about 30 of these apps to date, including seasonal food-finder Locavore; the list-making 43Things.com; the health-improving game Health Month; online “morning pages” journal, 750Words; the recently launched Gonna Try; and the burgeoning Budge. His apps are marked by intuitive and …