How to Crush Your To-Do List with Wunderlist
A few weeks ago I decided to give Wunderlist a try. Since then my to-do lists have become much easier to create and manage. A lifelong list maker, I feel like I’ve seriously leveled-up my productivity game.
Kicking it old school
To-dos often get metaphorically stuck in my paper notebook or literally to my computer monitor. Yes, I am still attached to my old-school methods of note taking. Doing this means I either end up with a bunch of tasks that stay in my notebook, or a colorful array of sticky notes bordering my monitor — or both!
At my day job, my teammates aren’t very interested in an online project management tool. I have used both Asana and Trello before — on my own and with my team — but found that oftentimes they were too robust for my needs. I decided I needed something more streamlined for my own to-do list.
Sometimes all you really want to do is write down your tasks in a simple list with no need to organize them as part of large, complex projects.
First I created a list called “Work”. Then I added my to-dos one at a time, in rapid fire. I got everything out of my notebook and into Wunderlist. Then I went back over my list and started adding due dates and reminders.
I really like the user interface since it’s clean and uncluttered. Click on a task and options pop out to the right without navigating away.
You can quickly and easily add subtasks, notes, files, and comments to tasks. You can even create a voice note right in Wunderlist and add it to your task! I haven’t tried this feature, but it’s intriguing and potentially very useful.
Sorting tasks can be done manually or automatically by:
- alphabetical order
- due date
- creation date
- assignee (stay organized with friends!)
I’ve been sorting my tasks manually so I keep the most important things top of mind. You can also star high-priority tasks.
My favorite feature is being able to isolate what’s due today or this week on a single screen. This helps me stay focused but also decreases anxiety because my mountain of upcoming tasks is hidden from sight.
Short on time? No problem! Fifteen minutes before leaving on Friday afternoon last week, I powered through four smallish tasks in my list. Things I didn’t have time to complete, I easily moved to Monday.
Your list in sync
In meetings, I rarely bring my laptop since it’s a beast. When updating my team on my current tasks, I simply pop open the Wunderlist app on my phone. Adding new items that came up in the meeting was a cinch. Wunderlist is available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, Kindle Fire and the Web so you can keep your lists synced across all your devices.
Adding new lists helps keep things organized in other areas of life outside my day job. As new to-dos come up, I create new lists, as necessary, to keep related tasks grouped together:
I love, love, love a paper grocery list, and have been using them for years despite being a technologist. Adding grocery items to Wunderlist for a BBQ I was hosting this past weekend was a breeze. Walking around Costco with my phone in hand was convenient and easier than my usual paper and pen method. I may convert to this method permanently!
Forget for a Moment Foundation
I volunteer with the Forget for a Moment Foundation as VP of Communications, and when things come up, I often can’t deal with them right away since I’m at my day job. Quickly adding them to Wunderlist allows me to table these tasks and go back to them when I have the time.
I may have only just started using Wunderlist a few weeks ago, but I already feel the effects of increased productivity and organization, with far less stress. I think this paper-loving list builder may have been converted for good!