Will you ever get control of your To Do list?

I got “told off” last week by one of the coaches/mentors on my Mastermind group when he saw the length of my To Do list!

He said that he worries when he see’s lists that long, that half of what’s on it probably aren’t the right things to be doing.  I tried to explain that a lot of it was ideas I’d had about things I maybe could do at a later date and that I’d just added them to the list so I didn’t forget them, but that didn’t stop the telling off ;-)

What I didn’t tell him (but he’ll know now) is that I have a number of different lists:

  • My day-to-day tasks IN the business and appointments are managed through Outlook
  • My sales process tasks are in my CRM
  • My marketing and working ON the business tasks were on the A5 sheet that I got told off about!

The first two systems work well but I have to admit the A5 sheet was a little out of hand.  Because it was manual I wasn’t able to categorise it or prioritise it.


By chance last week I received an email from someone whose list I’m on, telling me about www.trello.com which comes with both PC/Internet access and an App for my iPad/iPhone.  Anything with an App appeals to me because it means that I can access it all the time, wherever I am, so I thought I’d have a look at it to see if it could help me sort out the great long marketing To Do list I had on paper.

I’ve only been using it for a few days but already I’m loving it!  It has allowed me to have different lists, which means I can separate out the things that I need to work on now from the ideas that I don’t want to forget for some-time in the future.  You’re also able to create mini-to-do-lists for each task, attach files for reference, add due dates and labels, and if you have a number of you in a team that collaborate on work you can all have an account and share lists, assigning different tasks to different people.

If you need your To Do list to be a bit more interactive and manageable than a list of tasks on a sheet of paper, I definitely recommend you take a look at Trello.  I can now clearly see what things I should be doing now and what are the ideas that I can come back to when the time is right.


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Where do you keep your whip?

One of the biggest problems I find with working for yourself if not having a boss.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being my own boss and I’m not sure, after 8 years of working for myself, that I’m employable any more.  However, the downside of not having a boss is the lack of accountability.

I’m certain we all get our customer’s work done, we have accountability for that from our customers, but it’s the stuff we should be doing for our business that’s too easy to put to one side when it gets busy – and there’s no-one to ask us why we haven’t done it and when it will be completed.

I had a conversation with someone a couple of weeks ago about how their blog was late going out again, and how good I am at getting my email out each week.  On reflection I realised that there is, in reality, only one reason that this email comes out regularly each week.

Interestingly, it’s not because I have a boss cracking the whip, it’s because I have a VA who has time set aside each week to send this email out on a Tuesday afternoon.  There are many weeks that I don’t know what I’m going to write about and I know that if I was sending the email myself it just wouldn’t get done.  But because I have someone else involved in the process, I know that I have to get something onto Dropbox by Tuesday morning so that she can get it sent out.

I have other forms of accountability set up at a more strategic level but I’ve realised over the last couple of weeks that from a practical, getting things done point of view, having other people involved in your processes is also a really good form of accountability. 

For those of you who have teams (in-house or outsourced) I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from.  If you’re someone that’s working on your own and struggling to keep things going, I would really advocate getting someone else involved, even if it is just outsourcing some things to a VA.  It’s really helped me to keep things happening that I know from experience have fallen by the wayside in the past.

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How to ... Share folders on Dropbox

Here's a quick video explaining how to share folders and documents from Dropbox. 

If you need to collaborate with someone on some work Dropbox is a great way to ensure you all have access to the appropriate documents without having to email back and forth every time someone makes a change. 

Also, if you want to just share one document but it's too big to email then send a link to that file and people with the link can access it even if they don't have a Dropbox account.

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