Whether it is doing the shopping or planning a complex project it is essential to know what needs to be done and when.
The simplest form of project management is the to-do list, where we put in written form the tasks that we know will slip our mind. The basic to-do list has evolved from scribbles on the back of the hand to fully integrated mobile apps that know our location, relationships and priorities.
So why should students learn how to manage a to-do list?
- They will develop fundamental organization skills
- They will improve time management skills that are applicable to school, work and future study
- They will understand basic project management practices
- Organized students are less stressed and can manage their workloads better
- Achievements can be visualized resulting in feelings of reward and completion
I have tried multiple to-do list apps and I keep coming back to Todo.ly. Todo.ly is a free online to-do list and task manager that lets you create lists and manage them from anywhere. The app is extremely intuitive and the reactive web interface feels very familiar and functions much like a locally installed application.
Todo.ly walks the line between to-do list and project management tool by allowing users to create multiple lists or projects. You can see in the example we have created a number of projects. Within each of these you are able to create sub-projects to further organize tasks. This is particularly useful for students to divide their lists between school subjects and social or personal lists.
Filters allow you to focus on certain tasks based on schedule and due date. New tasks are placed in your Inbox until you assign them a due date or move them to a project. This means you are not searching through projects to see what needs to be done and can take each day as it comes.
Drag & Drop:
The interface for Todo.ly is one of it’s strongest points and is what makes the application so simple and intuitive to use. Projects can be re-organized into sub-projects or become an independent project by dragging and dropping within the project space. Tasks can also be re-ordered and swapped between projects by dropping to new locations.
Task scheduling takes the to-do list concept to the next level by allowing users to place completion dates next to each task. This means not only is a student defining what needs to be done, but they are setting dates by which tasks need to be complete. This is a fundamental skill that students need to develop before heading into their senior years and absolutely need to master before reaching college.
Task priority is another aspect that even organized adults fail to execute correctly. There are certain tasks that must be completed for a project to be successful, while others do not have as large an impact. Prioritizing tasks allows students to understand this definition and will assist in focusing on high priority tasks and overall planning strategy. You can see in the below example certain tasks color-coded by priority.
As well as the potential for this tool to be used to teach students, it is also a great tool to manage your own time, classes or personal projects. We use Todo.ly on a daily basis to manage small projects and individual to-do lists.
So what do you use to manage your own time and what works well for your students? I am always on the prowl for the next best task manager so drop a comment below and let me know.
Image courtesy of Flickr, puuikibeach