Finding the right app to manage tasks and to-do's can be frustrating. So many tools and techniques to choose from! But what if you could manage your to-do list within an app you already use? In this video, Scott Friesen shows you how to create the ultimate task manager using any calendar (including Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook).
Are you frustrated with your to-do list? Well, then this video is for you, because I'm going to show you a more effective and easier way to manage all of your tasks, and best of all, you don't need to install anything new. No, all you need is your calendar. Hello everyone, Scott Friesen here at Simpletivity, helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress. And whether you use Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, or really any other calendar, you may have the very best to-do list already. So why should you use your calendar? Well, one of the biggest problems with to-do list apps is it forces you to go somewhere else or to check in on yet another app, whether that's another tab in your browser, or perhaps another app on your phone, you have to remember to go there and to update it and engage with it. But when it comes to your calendar, you probably never have to remind yourself to go there. You're always engaging with your calendar to take a look at what's coming up and where you need to be. Now, in today's example, I'm going to be using Google Calendar, but you can apply these exact same steps with virtually any calendar app. So here within my calendar, at the very top, there is always an All-day event area. And you may be familiar with this, for example, this Friday is a holiday, so maybe I'm going to signify that it's a holiday by listing it here, or maybe if I have some upcoming vacation time or I want to remember someone's birthday, I'll put it up here as an All-day event. But this area can be an extremely effective place to manage your to-dos and to keep them in line with the specific days that you'd like to accomplish them. So for example, here on Tuesday, I'm going to come up here to the All-day event area, I'm going to say email the team agenda, maybe that's something I need to do today, maybe I want to call Jane regarding the upcoming meeting, and maybe I need to review the budget proposal. Okay, so just a couple of tasks that I need to accomplish today. So the first key benefit is that all of the tasks that I include here will not go away. Whether I scroll up and down, those tasks will remain front and center. And even if I switch to my Day view, you can see that those tasks will remain front and center. And remember, if you want to improve your chances of accomplishing the things you set out to do, you need to make sure that they are visible. So this is a great way to make sure that your tasks are front and center. And just like a traditional to-do list app, if I go and edit any of these tasks, don't forget that you have a full description area down below, so if you want to add some bullet points, if you want to add some text, if you want to add some links, for example, or if you want to add some attachments, you can do that here, as well. In fact, many calendar apps will allow you to add those attachments directly here, not only via a link, so you can have that information at your fingertips when you are creating or when you come back to engage with this task. But the second big benefit of keeping your tasks here in the All-day event area is that you can see their relation with everything else on your schedule. Too often, we are engaging with our to-do list in a bit of a vacuum, without our calendar front and center, but really, I need to be able to determine how many tasks can I accomplish today, based on my schedule, based on how many meetings I have, and also what's happening in the coming days? So for example, as today draws on, maybe I come to this task and say, "I don't really feel like doing this today," so I'm going to click and drag it and move it to tomorrow. But wait a minute, that quarterly budget review is tomorrow, and these two things are related. Am I going to have enough time tomorrow morning to review the budget proposal? Or do I need to ensure that I accomplish this task today? Seeing that relation can be so important when we are managing and also changing the date of our tasks. For example, maybe I want to email the team agenda to my team about what's happening on Friday, but wait a minute, I'm going to be at an all day conference on Thursday, I'm going to be busy traveling and networking. Am I going to remember to do this with all of the other things that I have going on? No, maybe Wednesday is a better time for me to accomplish this particular task. We can even go one step further and color code our tasks with some key events on our calendar. So here you can see this weekly review meeting is in a green color. I could come in here and I could simply change it to the same color, so I can see the connection between this task here and what's on my calendar in just a few days' time. Now, when it comes to managing any to-do list, it's important for us to be able to prioritize certain tasks. And you may be wondering, how do we do that within a calendar app? Well, there are a few different methods. So in this example, maybe I need to make sure that I review this proposal today. What I'm going to do is open up this task, and at the very front, I'm going to add a special character, such as a period. And when I hit save, that's automatically going to sort it to the very top of my list. And this is the case for almost all calendar apps, including Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook. Another way in which we can apply prioritization to our list is by changing the color. So for example, maybe this task number three, I'm going to change to this red tomato color, and I'm also going to do the same thing to this budget proposal here, I'm going to change that color to a red color, as well. Now they stand out that much more and I'm going to do everything in my power to accomplish these two tasks first before I get onto anything else within my list. Now, at this point, you may recognize the many benefits of managing your to-do list right here as a part of the All-day event section of your calendar, but there's one thing that might concern you. If you get to the end of today, what's going to happen to all of these tasks? They're not going to automatically move to the very next day, because they're listed as an All-day event. And that's absolutely true, nothing is going to automatically defer or push these events into the very next day, but I actually think this is a productivity positive and not a negative, and here's why. Sometimes all of the automation that we have in our tools makes us a little lazy, and we don't engage with our tasks as closely as we should. That's often why we find ourselves with a large quantity of tasks, because they've simply collected all of the things that we haven't accomplished, and pushed them into the current day. With this method, it forces you to engage with your tasks at the end of the day, and decide, does this deserve to be moved over? Yes, I do need to accomplish these two things, but you know what? Task number four, I can do that on Friday. And you know what? I'm going to spend some time calling Jane, despite how busy I should be with this conference. It forces you to think about what you are doing and what you can accomplish in a given day. So while at first glance that may seem like a con, in reality, this can help you to be more productive and more in tune with your to-do list. Now, I've seen firsthand how this calendar to-do list method has changed the lives of thousands of people, but I'm sure you may still have questions or maybe additional suggestions. If so, be sure to let me know in the comments down below. And if you're looking for even more ways to be more productive and to enjoy less stress, be sure to subscribe right here to the Simpletivity channel. Remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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