To-Do List Idea - How To Create Great To-Do Lists In Excel
It’s easy to lose track of all our daily tasks. After all, the world we live in today has developed lots of things to distract us from accomplishing what we want. That’s why having a to-do list is essential.
From smartphones to TV and streaming services, we face distractions that cost us time and effort. Having a to-do list that reminds us what needs to be done is a clever way to keep your things at home and the workplace organized.
The thing is that a manual list doesn’t cut it; they don’t work in a digital world. You can misplace it, tear it apart, etc. Instead, you should use software that allows you to track daily tasks and prioritize tasks.
That’s why in this article, we cover how you can make a to-do list using Microsoft Excel, which is a more efficient program than just listing your duties on a sticky note.
What Is a To-Do List
A to-do list is a document where you can track activities. Here you can list ideas and other sorts of important tasks that you want to remember. It will all depend on the daily goals that you try to accomplish.
For example, you can set a reminder about spending half a day with your family to improve quality time.
Now, you can create your own list in two ways:
- A written to-do list.
- A digital to-do list.
The first one could seem like a great idea at first. You can pin-board it to your work, take it with you wherever you go, and provide clarity when you need it. However, they are not as reliable as you think because you could lose them, tear them up or even erase them unintentionally.
On the other hand, digital to-do lists are way different. They have the same functionality as the previously mentioned – to list ideas and leave unimportant work for later. But, the main difference is that they need a to-do list app where you can manage it all.
Essentially, a to-do list helps you to:
- Avoid feeling overwhelmed by your tasks.
- Keep track of each task that requires you to focus.
- Organize by priority your duties.
- Establish due dates.
- Not forget about important things.
- Keep track of your progress.
- Add additional information and details to your tasks.
- Make sure you get everything done daily.
- Control and manage how you spend your time.
- Schedule things for tomorrow.
- Have space to have fun with your friends and loved ones.
Important Things To Include In To-Do Lists
Now, as you may already know, you can’t add everything you want to your to-do’s. The idea is that you only add those daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly tasks that are important to you so getting organized is easier.
Now, before you start adding relevant tasks to a general list, you can create more than one list. They can be established according to the place you’re located
For example, your home to-do list should look like this:
- Clean restrooms.
- Prepare tomorrow’s meals.
- Wash clothes.
- Send an email to my insurance company.
- Schedule doctor appointments.
You can also include side-hustle tasks in this list, such as:
- Write an article for my blog.
- Post items for sale on the Facebook marketplace.
On the contrary, a job to-do list may include:
- Go to the office at 7:00 AM for a meeting.
- Send the report to my boss.
- Measure success rate in the company’s blog.
The basics of a to-do list are that you have a complete list of duties to do and make your life easier. Of course, there are certain things that you can leave out of it.
When To Use A To-Do List
The right time to use a to-do list varies according to your situation. These are some of the moments when we recommend starting a list:
1. You lack productivity and can’t focus on important things.
2. You see that your personal life is affecting your work life and vice versa.
3. You’re afraid of losing control over your productive life.
4. You feel stuck with all the things you have pending.
5. You can’t prioritize your tasks.
6. You can’t find free time in your day to rest while doing something else.
7. You can’t see the near future when you’re not busy.
If you’re facing any situation like this or similar, you first need to use a to-do list tool to recover a sense of control. When you prioritize your activities and track each process, you’ll have more dominion over yourself and your daily tasks.
When you create a to-do list, make sure to establish a due date. So, for example, a daily to-do list should include only the reminders and activities of the day. This will help you remain focused on what’s important.
If you have projects to complete, organizing them by priority is also helpful. This way, you can start deciding what’s more important and deliver your work with time-management strategies.
Advantages & Disadvantages of To-Do Lists
Just as with everything in this world; there are good things and bad things about to-do lists. So, if you’re still not sure about the benefits of a to-do list, we have developed a table with advantages and disadvantages.
Types of To-Do Lists
If you didn’t notice before, two types of lists stand out when creating your to-do list. It doesn’t matter whether you write down things on paper or you use a program like Microsoft Excel to develop them.
An infinite list is a general to-do list where you can add all sorts of tasks. It’s the most common list that you can find because it gathers everything you’ve ever planned to do. It will never be completed since you constantly add and complete activities over the day.
Most people use them during the week to remember everything. The whole thing about infinite lists is that they can develop frustrations and stress because you may feel you’re not moving forward.
So, if you want to avoid this, the first step is to create a finite to-do list and don’t stick with this one.
Contrary to infinite lists, a finite to-do list has a beginning and an end. They are also established for a situation or motive. For example, your supermarket list, job list, workout list, etc.
The most common way to use this sort of list is by creating a today’s or a project’s list. To give you an example, imagine you have a store. You are tasked with checking the stock. So, you’ll need to complete different steps to do it. The project’s list allows you not to miss one.
Creating a To-Do List In Excel
The best program you can find to create a to-do list is Microsoft Excel. With this software, you’ll get to develop a fully automated list.
The official Microsoft Excel allows you to:
- Establish a color code for your tasks.
- Sign in to Microsoft 365 and save your list in OneDrive.
- Add calendar features.
- Watch your tasks be completed automatically.
- Create box buttons that you can fill manually when you complete a task.
- Group tasks based on your preferences.
- Set hours, days, or months as due dates.
- Create a task flow based on a single situation.
- Make a chart defining how fast you finished activities.
- Writing notes.
- Use your phone in the morning to set up your daily tasks.
- Edit each aspect of your list.
Once you have created your to-do list and start crossing out activities from it, your sense of accomplishment will fill you out.
Key Elements on Excel To-Do Lists
Now, before you can create a final to-do list in Excel, there are some key elements that you need to take into consideration. They will allow you to test different types of list models and figure out the one that works best for you.
These elements are established to recognize a task in the list, they are:
- ID: When you give an ID to a task, you are identifying it. It makes it easier and faster to recognize when you have a large task. And if you’re creating a group to-do list, people can see it better too.
- Name: The name of the task is more of a description. This needs to be clear and concise. For instance, Meetings with support teams.
- Due Date: A due date is the task’s deadline. You need to know when you must complete it and tackle the sense of procrastination.
- Importance: Organize your tasks by priority. It’s the only way to know which one must be done first.
- Status: The status measures how much you have progressed. You can use something clear like “not started” to control your list.
How To Create a To-Do List In Excel
Now that you have everything you need, here’s how you can create your to-do list in Excel and replace your mess with a simpler way to do things.
If you don’t have Microsoft Excel 2021, you can get Microsoft products online in RoyalCDKeys or other third-party sellers for a low price.
Open a New File In Excel
Start Excel and open a new document or workbook to create your to-do list. For this example, we’re using Microsoft Excel 2021.
To open a new file, you only have to:
- Select the File tab.
- Choose New.
- Select a blank document to start working.
Type Column Headers
Once you’re in the document, it’s time to start creating your to-do list. Begin by typing the headers of your list.
Some of the headers you can use are:
- Due Date.
- Task Name.
You can add more information to understand better your chores or cross data – if it’s an important list. This way, you don’t leave any task that could be important hanging.
Enter The Task Details
Now it’s time to type down your tasks and have a glance at how your to-do list is starting to work.
Here’s the information you’ll need to add to each header:
- ID: You can use it to add a code to each item on your list. Since this is a new list, you could start with number 1 as an ID.
- Due Date: This is the day when you’re supposed to finish your task. It’s a reference to know how much spare time you have to complete it. This is optional if you’re developing a Today’s List.
- Task Name: It’s the task name that you’ll give the item. For example, “start the advertising campaign for my product” or “create a menu and refer a link to it.”
- Status: Set how’s the progress doing. For example, “not started”, “in progress.”
- Comments: Any comments about your task like “I’ll complete it on the weekend.”
Now that you have added all the information you need. You can automate it a bit to find the task you're completing at the moment.
To do this, you need to:
- Select the range of cells where all your information is located in Excel.
- Go to the Select Data option.
- Click in Filter.
Edit The To-do List
Now, it’s time to edit your tasks according to the list type you’re creating, whether you can add tasks or not.
For example, if it’s a Today’s list, you won’t get to add more items than the ones you’ll complete during the day. You can add comments to each item you are completing and then mark them as “successful” or “clear” once you are done.
To-do List Idea On Microsoft Excel - Summary
Having a To-Do List on Microsoft Excel 2021 is the best way for you to have your life organized. It also helps you make sure that your tasks are completed most efficiently.
When you use spreadsheet software like this, you, as a person, can avoid using paper for your lists. With Excel, you can have your documents on cloud storage that you can review each period of the day.