What Is a To-Do List?

A to-do list is a simple list of tasks individuals aim to complete within a specific time period. Individuals can organize to-do lists by priority and write them on paper or on a digital to-do file as a memory aid. To-do lists help manage time and schedule work effectively.

Why Are To-Do Lists Used?

By listing the tasks they need to complete, individuals feel more confident they haven’t left any work-related activity behind. They can plan ahead which tasks need to be prioritized and which ones can be put on the back burner.

To-do lists help people in a professional environment feel less stressed as they have things under control. When they plan their workdays by writing down their goals and challenges in advance, they can avoid wasting time determining what to focus on next. 

The Advantages of Using To-do Lists

Here’s how to-do lists positively impact individuals’ personal and professional lives.


With to-do lists, individuals can prioritize their tasks based on their importance and urgency, thus working on their time management skills. This way, once they’re done with their current tasks, they’ll immediately know what to focus on next without losing time or going through the workload or project schedule again. Individuals simply need to work their way down the list.

Increased Motivation and Productivity

A to-do list allows users to keep track of everything that needs to be wrapped up in a day and get started on the next day’s tasks immediately.

Plus, it’s quite satisfying to cross the finished tasks off the list. The feeling of accomplishment and self-satisfaction leads to an increase in productivity and morale.

Increased Personal Time

A healthy work/life balance is when individuals make sure to spare some time to do the things they love, aside from attending meetings and doing chores. This is where to-do lists come in handy. Individuals often plan their tasks with a timeframe estimation and allocate some time for relaxation and enjoyment too.

What Types of To-Do Lists Are There?

While you can still write to-do lists by hand, nowadays, individuals tend to create digital to-do lists using software like Microsoft Word, Excel, or Google Sheets to save time. This way, they can access them on their desktop devices or smartphones without worrying about forgetting them at home.

To-do lists can also come in the form of a dedicated to-do list app or be featured in a time tracking software. Many to-do list apps are available online with free and paid subscriptions and usually include the following options for optimal results:

  • A quick and easy way to add or organize tasks using a variety of methods. 
  • A feature to set priorities.
  • Reminders for any self-set deadlines. 
  • An option to assign tasks in a group.  
  • A feature to synch data across different platforms.