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Taming the To Do List

By Char

I am a list person. If it isn’t on a list, the chances of it getting done are slim to none. So, it is Monday and I am faced with another clean slate – a whole week to accomplish the things I need and want to get done.

Like Wendy, my list of things that need to get done will not fit in a single day this week. I need a little more wiggle room. In the past I have used my Excel spreadsheet template to list tasks by client (get a blank template here), but I am finding that my scheduling needs are evolving.

I haven’t abandoned my spreadsheet yet, but I am testing out two new tools this week. One is a free (with an inexpensive upgrade) task management program called HiTask and the other one is Microsoft Outlook 2007 (I know, I can’t believe I am considering this either).

HiTask is a free web-based tool that is super easy to use. You do not have to give them any information about yourself in order to use it – you just create a user name and password – that’s it.


You can track tasks, set up meetings, create reminders, keep notes, and track birthdays with their very easy to use interface. The only drawback is that with the free version you can only keep track of 5 tasks at a time and you can only share your calendar with 3 friends. The premium version is only $15 per year if you want the upgraded functionality.

MS Outlook 2007 is also very slick, but I am having a hard time giving up my Mozilla Thunderbird for email. If I use Outlook, then it will synch with my Treo phone and I can have all my appointments, meetings, contact information all up to date and correct on both devices.

What works for you? I want to know!!

And, I will be posting my Monday Motivation list at some point, but I have an appointment now – my Treo alarm is calling me!



My problem was not having my computer with me while I was out and about. But, the generic printed organizers/to-do lists from Staples weren’t working either. I found an awesome planner called Planner Pad. There is a category section, then a daily to-do list, then an appointment calendar by time. I use the category section for school courses and web projects. It works great for me.


I’m very listy too. In fact, it’s not unknown for me to have a todo list where one of the items is ‘complete other todo list’.

I have tried every web tool that you can think of, but I’ve now settled on Outlook 2007. It has some nice bits (like the instant list of upcoming appointments) and some duff bits (like the fact that ‘whole day’ entries don’t show up in that instant list..?!?

And… It syncs with both my mobile phone and my PDA. No brainer really!


Jenn – thanks for the recommendation – I’ll have to look for it next time I’m at Staples.

Paul – I have a feeling I will end up using Outlook due to the syncing capability. Thanks for stopping in.


I use a speciall calendar software called NORA NT running on my office server that exports to Outlook. I only use Outlook on my computer to sync with my Windows Mobile 5 smartphone. I use Microsoft Outlook Web Access for emails (direct push) with (the free LIFE version) which I sync with my smartphone, too. Most important device is my smartphone. It holds all my contacts, emails, tasks and my calendar. Outlook Web Access gives me the chance to print emails and runs as a backup. This will work with your Treo, too. If you sign a pro version of mail2web you even can use it with your current emails addresses and your domains.


Thanks for the tips Ingo! Outlook 2007 is looking better everyday just for the syncing option.

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