Most people are familiar with the concept of a To Do list. They're fairly common. In its most basic form, a To Do List is literally just a list of the things you have to do.
In practice, this often involves writing a list of five things you have to do on a piece of paper, then losing the piece of paper, writing a list of the four things you remember on another piece of paper, finishing two of them before losing that piece of paper, writing up a third list with the two remaining items and two new ones, and then finding the first piece of paper and realizing you never did that important thing.
For this reason, some people prefer to write their list in a notepad file on their phone or computer. The way that works is to list the five things you have to do, finish one of them, add five new things you have to do on top of that, finish a few of them, add five new things you have to do on top of that, repeating for years until you have a very large file that ends with a list of things you meant to do a decade ago.
It's possible this would work better in a spreadsheet.
A survey found that half of all To Do list users will write down a task they have already done, just to mark it complete. There's nothing wrong with that; the world can be pretty overwhelming these days, and sometimes it's nice to get the cheap thrill of accomplishing something on your To Do List. So go ahead, make your first item "Make a To Do List". Feel that rush when you mark it complete. You're doing great.
Fewer people make a Not To Do List, but the items on them tend to be much more exciting. Things like, "Drink bleach straight from the bottle", "Bet your children's college fund on the roulette wheel", "Walk to Alaska without wearing any clothes"... the possibilities are endless.
This free To Do list template will let you manage daily tasks for your business, assign tasks to other people, set due dates, and track the progress and status of all your tasks. And because it's such an easy-to-read and simple To Do list template, you can share the spreadsheet with other people in your organization and be confident that they will fully understand what it means and why it's important. Not like when you tried sharing your poetry. Genius is never appreciated in its own time.
This is a very basic To Do list template, the type of list you might make for a simple project without too many complicated multi-part tasks.
The first step (and the first column) is simply to make a list of all the Tasks that need to be done. That's where many To Do lists stop. But that's just where this template begins.
Status indicates the status of each item, whether it's on hold, completed, or still in the planning stages.
Priority lets you see at a glance how important each task is. Note that this comes before the Due Date column. Many people confuse what is urgent with what is important. You can be smarter than those people, and this spreadsheet will help.
Owner indicates who on your team is responsible for each task. That way if something is behind schedule, you know exactly who to talk to.
Any relevant files can be attached in the Attachments column, ensuring that you or anyone else tracking the progress of this task can see all the detailed information.
For any less detailed but more essential information, a Notes column is provided.
That depends: Do you want to get everything done?
The fact is, if you're reading this, there is already a list of things that you need to do. An "ethereal To Do list" exists conceptually for all of us, and we don't really have much of a choice about it. Are you launching a new project? All the necessary tasks for it are on your ethereal list. Did you need to send out a few emails this week? That's on your list. Did you ever deal with that financial issue? That's on your list too.
What you need to realize is, you already have a To Do list. Your ethereal To Do list is populated with the list of things you need to do. So the only question is, how are you going to handle that list? You can ignore it and fail to do anything, but that seems bad. You can keep the list mentally—which many people do—but you're probably going to forget some things because the world is constantly demanding your attention and mental energy, and your brain is not a computer.
But since you have a computer, why not take advantage of it to clearly lay out everything on your list? Turn your ethereal To Do list into a well-organized tangible list, where you can see everything you need to do, how far along it is, how important it is, when it's due, and who is making sure it gets done.
Possible exception made for babies who do not yet possess the concepts of time and object permanence.
The rest of us have things we need to do. Whether you're launching a new ad campaign or an orbital spacecraft, whether you run a large business organization or a small hot dog stand, whether you have 50 emails awaiting your reply today or two things you need to write this week, we all have a list of things we need to do.
Remember, you already have a To Do list. You're just deciding whether you want to keep it organized in a spreadsheet or try to remember it perfectly.