The Power of To-Do Lists

In an earlier post, I discussed using Google Calendar for keeping track of your schedule and using Tasks for important information. However, as previously discussed, I understand that you may like to write things down using a pen and paper. Therefore, I wanted to provide you with five different types of worksheets (Basic To-Do List, Daily To-Do List, Prioritized To-Do List, Quadrant To-Do List, and ABC To-Do List) that can be used to create a variety of to-do lists to aid you in your online courses.

Type 1: Basic To-Do List

  • The basic to-do list is the standard catch all type of list. You put all things you have to do (not necessarily in order) and check them off as you complete them. Personally, I think the basic to-do list is a great tool if you are trying to write down all you need to do (i.e. brainstorming). I do suggest organizing your list even further (using one of the other methods discussed below), in order to get the maximum benefits. However, this provides a great starting point. Below is an example of what a basic to-do list could look like.TODO1
  • Basic To-Do List Worksheet (PDF)

Type 2: Daily To-Do List

  • The daily to-do list aids in breaking down the basic to-do list into everyday tasks. For instance, your online class may have weekly postings (e.g. due every Monday evening) that you have to complete. Instead of waiting until the last day, you might put on Tuesday of the previous week, “Begin drafting GWS 150 Post 1”. Below is an example of what a daily to-do list could look like for an entire week.TODO2
  • Daily To-Do List Worksheet (PDF)

Type 3: Prioritized To-Do List

  • The prioritized to-do list is a variation of the basic to-do list. Rather than listing all tasks you need to complete (which may not include the due dates), the prioritized to-do list allows you to organize your tasks/assignments/tests by due date and priority (importance of the particular item on the list). Below is an example of what a prioritized to-do list could look like.TODO3
  • Prioritized To-Do List Worksheet (PDF)

Type 4: Quadrant To-Do List

  • The quadrant to-do list is a combination of the basic to-do list and the prioritized to-do list. However, rather than you assigning the type of priority, the quadrant to-do list allows you to visually determine what is important immediately. You would clearly tackle tasks that are on your “Important and Urgent” list then possibly rotate between your “NOT Important but Urgent” and “Important but NOT Urgent” tasks. Tasks that may be ways to procrastinate and really do not need to be accomplished can go into the “NOT Important and NOT Urgent” section (e.g. updating my iPod with new music). Below is an example of what a quadrant to-do list could look like.TODO4
  • Quadrant To-Do List Worksheet (PDF)

Type 5: ABC To-Do List

  • The ABC to-do list essentially combines the previous four types of lists. You can list tasks that you need to complete in any order ( like you would in a basic to-do list), yet assign the date to make a list each day (like the daily to-do list). You can also designate the priority of the task as A (tasks of highest importance), B (tasks of medium importance), and C (tasks of low importance) which is similar to the prioritized and quadrant to-do lists. Below is an example of what an ABC to-do list could look like.

Examples of ABC tasks:

  • A: Absolutely must be done today
    • Finish editing and post discussion post for GWS 150
  • B: Best done soon
    • Complete research for PSY 399 research paper
  • C: Can be done anytime
    • Read Game of Thrones seriesTODO5



The following worksheets were obtained from the Academic Success and Disability Services, University of Redlands.

Questions? Contact me!

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