Why Your Calendar Should Be Your To-Do List (Task Manager)

(light music)

- [Scott Friesen] Is your to-do list driving you crazy?

Are you a little concerned about the length

of all the tasks that you're facing right now?

Well, probably the top two questions I receive are,

number one, Scott, what do you recommend

as the best to-do list app?

And number two, Scott, how do I manage all of these tasks?

It's so overwhelming, I'm looking at this huge long list

on either a sheet of paper or within my app,

how do I manage all of these tasks?

Well, today I hope to share with you

how to solve both of those issues,

both of those questions,

and you might be a little surprised by my answer.

If you are a subscriber of Simpletivity,

you're probably familiar with my video

on using a calendar as a to-do list.

And today I wanted to revisit the benefits

of using your calendar as your to-do list,

because it's gonna help you with both of those issues.

First off, in terms of which app you should be using,

or at least be considering,

and number two, how to manage a very lengthy to-do list.

Now, the number one reason why I recommend you explore

using your calendar as a to-do list

is because you're already using it.

You're already using your calendar

to manage all of your commitments,

all of the places that you need to be,

and you're going to be more productive,

you're certainly gonna be a lot more efficient

if you don't have to switch back and forth

between more and more apps,

from your calendar app to your email

to your to-do list to your project management list.

If you can minimize the number of applications

you need to go to to figure out

what you should be focusing on,

you're going to be more productive.

So, since you're already here in your calendar,

why don't we maximize the capability of our calendars

by adding a to-do list.

And here you see, up in the all day event area,

is where I keep all of my tasks,

all of my to-dos.

And one of the great things,

not only do I not have to travel to a different page

or to a different location,

but I can see the relationship between my tasks

on a given day and my other commitments,

whether these are physical commitments,

places where I need to be,

or perhaps they're just phone calls and other meetings

that I'm going to be joining that day.

Too often, our to-do list apps do not allow us

to see our calendar events

on the same screen or at the same time.

And so, we're sort of managing them separately,

we start to look at a long list of to-dos like this one here

and we say yeah, that looks good,

and yeah, I think I'll accomplish that all in that day,

but here you see I have quite a few meetings

scheduled for that day,

maybe this isn't realistic that I accomplish

all six of these tasks while I have a minimum

of four hours of meetings that day,

and perhaps I'll have a few more meetings

by the time I get to this date.

So, seeing the relationship is a great benefit

of adding your tasks, adding your to-dos here at the top.

Now, just as of note,

you can do this for virtually any calendar application,

this is usually the area reverse for an all day event,

and if I go up here and click and want to add another event,

let's say I'm gonna email Ted regarding the meeting,

it is, yes, it is going to technically

be created as an all day event, but again,

I'm using this are to manage my tasks and manage my to-dos.

It's not gonna stop you from adding an all day event,

maybe you're going away on a holiday

or going away on a vacation,

but you can either use a different colored label,

you could use all caps,

you can always make a distinction between your tasks

and your all day events.

Now, in terms of managing a very lengthy list,

let's take a look at that in a bit more detail.

In your to-do list app manager,

it's probably so easy to add tasks

that they just start to bulk up on a given day.

And most to-do list applications

give you a due date feature,

that's a pretty standard feature,

right, with our to-do lists?

When is that task supposed to be due?

But what they often don't ask you

is when do you wish to accomplish that task,

or when do you actually wish to start working on that task?

'Cause that's a little bit different than a due date,

and pretty soon we have a large number of tasks

with the same due date,

and then we start to differ, right?

We push it one over, we push it one over here.

Well, when you see all of your commitments

on the same screen,

you can be really honest with yourself

and say you know what?

This is not realistic,

the marketing report does not need to be done that day,

so I'm gonna push it over here until Wednesday.

Now again, getting back to that differ capability

within a traditional to-do list app,

usually it's just a standard differ to the next day,

but because, in our calendar, we can see the next day,

both the task that we want to accomplish that day

and our meeting commitments,

instead of just differing it one day,

we may say you know what?

This is already starting to pile up,

I know what the other commitments are this day,

I'm gonna take this one and I'm gonna move it to Thursday,

or maybe I'm gonna move it to next week.

I can push things around and easily see

where I am working on different tasks.

When you have 17 or 23 different tasks

here in the event area, yeah,

that's gonna start to squish

and push everything else down here in your calendar view,

but you're probably not going to keep it at that length.

I honestly feel that limitations can be liberating,

and in this case, we want to see that,

we want to see if something is piling up on a given day,

and then we can start to be honest with ourselves.

Do we need to push things around?

Do we need to renegotiate deadlines and so forth?

Far too often, I find people complain

that when they're using their traditional to-do list app,

they're regularly arriving at work

or they're starting their day

and they've got 20 plus or 30 plus to-dos for that day,

and they spend so much of their time

just differing or reorganizing or managing their to-do list.

It's an awful lot more difficult

to have a day piled up with tasks in your calendar

because you can see it grow in this type of view.

You can see it grow at the same time,

you can see its relation to other tasks as well.

And speaking of those relations,

I wanna highlight a few other things here.

So, for example, in this Tuesday list,

I've got a task that says email team

regarding a software update.

Makes sense, I've decided that that's a good day

to notify the team of the software update.

However, if I look down below,

I'll realize that I'm actually

meeting with my team earlier that morning,

maybe I don't need to send out an email,

maybe I can take this task and reserve five minutes

to share that information with my team in this meeting.

If I was only viewing this in my to-do list app,

I probably wouldn't even be aware of this team meeting,

and I would leave it here.

Another good example would be if

when we look at the Friday column,

here you see I'm gonna be away all day,

or most of the day for a conference,

but at the top I've got a task that says

meet with Karen regarding a particular topic.

Well, if Karen works in my office,

I want this to happen in my office,

and I'm not gonna be able to do this at the conference.

Because I can see the relationship between these two,

I can pull this one back and say you know,

I'm gonna fit that one in on Thursday

when both myself and Karen are within the office.

So, I would encourage you to explore using your calendar,

it doesn't matter if you're using Google Calendar,

whether you use Microsoft Outlook,

whether you use virtually

any other type of digital calendar,

you can use your all day events as tasks,

you can use it as your to-do list.

And if you're already using your calendar as a to-do list,

I would love to hear your feedback.

What are some of the pros, some of the cons

that you've experienced

by using your to-do list in your calendar app?

Please leave a comment down below and share your feedback.

If you liked this video,

I'd love to get a thumbs up from you,

and if you didn't like it, well, please just be honest.

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Remember, being productive does not need to be difficult.

In fact, it's very simple.