#AtoZChallenge | U is for Uncluttering, organizing and moving my To Do List to the cloud.

We have a deep kitchen sink, but as our family eats meals throughout the day, it starts to get piled up with dishes. Once we add a few of our taller Calphalon® pots into the mix it gets too crowded. The endless supply of dirty dishes starts to encroach onto the surrounding counter. The clean side is no different. Our drying rack is no match for the shear volume so we have to lay drying towels along the back of the counter to hold the overflow of clean dishes and the endless supply of empty seltzer cans that my youngest and I produce in a given day. Between the dirty and the clean, this area of the kitchen is often the messiest and most cluttered. I hate it.

I am physically uncomfortable in a cluttered space. I’m happiest when my house is clean. Fortunately, at least when it comes to the kitchen sink, my husband feels the same so we can usually keep ahead of the onslaught.

The same need for uncluttered spaces applies to my to do list. I like a nice, organized list.

If I searched my hard drive right now, I’d probably find old excel files dating back almost twenty years with titles like “house projects”, “gardening plan” and “renovation”. I use to have Doctor Who sticky notes with barely legible instructions scribbled across them hanging from my computer in multiples. My refrigerator mirrored the messiness of the sink with hand written lists and reminders organized on scrap paper and hung by magnetic clips at eye level helping to remind me of what I needed to do that day or that week.

When my girls were little, I used the Mom’s Plan It Calendar each year. With rows to track activities by family member and a pages for contact information and notes, It gave me a place to track and monitor the ever evolving activities and schedules that come with having young children in the house. I even kept all of the calendars thinking some day I might want to look back and scrapbook moments from the past. Maybe someday.

I’ve always been drawn to ways to keep track of life’s busyness. I’ve written down thousands of to do lists both large and small.

Technology has taken my ability to immerse myself in my deep need for organization to a whole new level. More importantly, it’s let me unclutter my lists and hone in on those truly important tasks to be sure I’m moving myself in the right direction. It can be far too easy to fill up my to do lists with the necessities of life instead of those things that make life joyful.

For the last three months, I’ve been using an app called Todoist. While it takes an investment of time to get it setup and organized, once done it is a great way to track upcoming tasks. Tasks can be grouped by projects and sections, color coded and labeled for easy filtering and shared with others. There are many other cool features too.

When I setup my projects, in addition to basics like laundry and grocery shopping, I focused my attention on including concrete tasks and activities for those areas of my life that bring me bliss. I even have a project that I setup called Creativity & Bliss where I track my One Little Word project and other creative pursuits.

I also transferred all of my blogging activities to the app, which has been especially helpful to me as I begin focusing on my blog again. Below is a screen capture showing a snippet of the blogging tasks that I set up on todoist as I prepared for this blogging challenge:

Like most organizational tasks it does require upkeep in order to be truly effective but I am reaping great rewards from that small investment.

Below are a few of my favorite aspects of using todoist for the last three months:

  • I can add tasks to todoist easily and quickly. It’s a cloud based app so I have anytime anywhere access. I’ve downloaded it to my computer, laptop and phone. Whenever something pops in my head, it gets added to todoist.
  • I can cross completed tasks off my list. Crossing off items on my to do list has always been a powerful motivator for me. Todoist not only lets me close out tasks as I complete them but also lets me set daily goals.
  • I can breakdown my more creative goals into concrete daily and weekly tasks that remind me to prioritize them in my life.
  • I can plan my day and week at a glance. I can filter and search the data as well as prioritize on the fly allowing me to get even more done each week.

Since I started using the app, I’ve completed over 5,000 tasks. Some as simple as posting a tweet others more involved and multi-step but all leading me towards my goals both big and small.

Why does this bring me bliss? It provides a way to focus in and prioritize those activities that are truly important to me. It reinforces those steps and actions needed to bring more bliss into my life.

Do you have a productivity app that you use?


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I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2020. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Bliss. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.

34 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge | U is for Uncluttering, organizing and moving my To Do List to the cloud.

  1. Stu says:

    Wow. I just had a mild anxiety tremor reading about your lists. Deep breath in, hold, then out. Better now.

    I am the Anti-List. When I see all the things I need to get done or want to do, the lists overwhelm me. Except for grocery shopping, any list I took on my own or had foisted on me caused a bit of stress. I’m not pragmatic. Non-linear thinking is how I operate.

    I’m glad you find succor from your endeavors. I try to follow the “list” in my head. We all work the best as we can in our ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      Everyone has their own system and I completely understand where lists can be overwhelming. For me, it definitely works. I love the satisfaction of checking off a completed task. I’m glad you’ve found what works for you!!

      Like

  2. Aarti says:

    Whoa…I am nowhere close to this..No I don`t use any productivity apps..Maybe should give this a try…And I was intrigued by the kitchen sink..there`s a joke in my city that the utensils in the kitchen sink procreate…you wash one and another appears magically 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tamara says:

    You have completed 5,000 tasks? *Mind blown*

    My most recent “organization” project is to consolidate my grocery shopping list with my Mom’s as I go to the store for the both of us, and I have to avoid running back and forth to get everything in my cart. I do this in an Excel sheet.
    Other than that I use Outlook calendar, “Reminders” (comes with the iPhone, great to schedule tasks either to dates or locations. As you arrive at a location where you have a task to complete it’ll pop up, very helpful) and “Evernote” a synchronisable note program that lets you add pictures and links, I mostly use it for ideas.

    My U is for the bleak uniformity I as a Swiss perceived upon returning from the Costa Rican 🇨🇷 jungle.

    https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2020/04/a-z-2020-switzerland-uniformity.html

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alexandra Heep says:

    I have never made lists because I don’t want to spend the time writing things down. I also don’t use apps because I only have a phone with limited storage, so apps don’t fit on it. However, I admire people who have the patience to deal with lists and follow through! I also don’t feel comfortable in a crowded space, but the only time I had that sort of organization is when I lived by myself. Good thing that your husband seems to be on the same page, that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Crackerberries says:

    OMIGOSH a ‘to do list’ app… one more thing to add to my list of things to look into. My lists are endless and my hubby thinks I have way too much clutter. We do agree on a clean sink and the dishes are always done. However my office desk is neater than his bench in his shed…I think they both need to have some clutter removal. Maybe I should have him get the app. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  6. slfinnell says:

    I had big plans to organize but sewing for income took over. Just glad I don’t have to file for unemployement or one of those small business loans. Now you know why I’m late on visiting everyone lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Shilpa Garg says:

    Wow! I thought I was organized, but you are SUPER organized!! I use the good old paper paen or my phone notes for keeping a track of my to-do tasks. The Todoist App looks great! I am checking it right away! Thanks for sharing about it and inspiration too ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dyannedillon says:

    I could use some work in the ol’ organization department. I WANT to be organized, but sometimes things just get away from me. Like lists. More times than not, I have lost my list by the time I get to the store…. (Thank goodness for the Notes app on my phone! I keep a lot of lists there.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      That’s me with my reusable bags. I can’t seem to hang onto those things. I have the best of intentions and 9 times out of 10 I forget them in the car. Although, with the current situation, I can’t use them anyway.

      The notes app is great too. I’ve used that in the past. I’m liking todoist more though because my husband and I can share lists which is both a good and a bad thing.

      Like

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