If you currently manage your tasks by keeping them in your head or writing them on post-its which hopelessly hang from the bottom of your computer screen, waiting to be done, only to be forgotten as soon as they fall off and land behind your table, I would strongly suggest you switch to a digital version.
I admit there is a certain magic in writing your tasks on a piece of paper and checking them off or striking them through. If you have a reliable system for organizing your work with a pen and paper, by all means, continue to do so.
If, on the other hand, you find yourself forgetting to do things, try one of the apps below. I covered the simplest and most affordable options, so if you just want to experiment, you won’t have to invest anything other than a bit of your time.
If you are looking for a simple solution, Momentum Dash is your man. It’s a browser extension available for Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Every time you open a new tab, Momentum will show you a beautiful picture, an inspiring quote, and place where you write down your tasks and the main focus of the day.
Main focus of the day is a productivity hack for your brain and Momentum was wise enough to base their entire concept around it. To boost your productivity, you’ll want to make a to-do list for your day and mark one item as main item. Whatever happens, and we all know how easily plans get out of hand, make sure you do this one main task. Even if you don’t do everything you planned, completing the main task will make you feel productive. And you actually will have been productive, because that was the most important thing to do!
For 4.95$/month Momentum Plus will give an option to set up multiple do-do lists, take notes, connect to other to-do software solutions like Trello, and more. Even though this is not expensive, the basic version is, in my opinion, all you need to be productive. Make your to-do list, set the main focus of the day and get going!
When you decide to take things to the next level, I suggest you turn to Trello. It is simple enough for the keeping a groceries list, and at the same time powerful enough to handle serious projects. It’s available on the web, on your phone and as a desktop app, so it will be there for you whenever you need it.
Trello is a virtual cork board. You create a board. You add columns (e.g. ToDo, Doing, Done) to it. You add cards (i.e. tasks) to columns, and then move them around. Those are the basics. When you are ready to take it to the next level, you can start adding deadlines to your tasks. You can add cover images to make your board nice and shiny. You can use colourful labels to mark certain types of tasks (e.g. red for main task of the day).
If you don’t know where to start, check out my instructions for creating to-do lists. Create Braindump, ToDo, Doing, Done columns and work your way up form there. As you get used to using Trello, you will start introducing more and more columns. For example Waiting column for tasks for which you are waiting for other people’s input, etc.
When you reach the limits of the basic functionalities, for 5$/month you can subscribe to Trello Gold and use various power-ups, integrations and automations. I won’t go into details in this text because the point was handling tasks for free, and Trello does offer a lot of functionality in the free version. I easily managed software projects with up to 5 people with the free version, so you are probably good to go. Just give it a try.
Have a lovely and productive day ?