Some helpful advice for to-do list makers in Basecamp, Backpack, and Ta-Da List: In "Clearing Up a Blurry Work Life" [NY Times], Gina Trapani, the founding editor and lead blogger for Lifehacker, the popular site that offers “tech tricks, tips and downloads for getting things done,” offers her secrets for writing a successful to-do list.
There are lots of ways you can make a to-do list into something that actually gets done. Often when people get to the point when they are writing it, they are doing a brain dump. They just have to just get things down on paper. But to get to the point where you’re checking things off, you want to make it a do-able to-do list. Things need to be as easy for yourself to do as possible. So you have to break things down into tasks. We sabotage ourselves by writing down things like “Plan the anniversary party” or “Learn French.” Those are projects, not tasks and don’t belong on your to-do list.