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To-Do List Formula: A Stress-Free Guide To Creating To-Do Lists That Work!

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,611 ratings  ·  227 reviews
Finally! Discover How To Create To-Do Lists That Work!

Do you feel frustrated because you can't seem to finish every item on your daily to-do lists? Do you feel discouraged because you're not effectively managing your workload and responsibilities at your office and home?

If so, it's not your fault.

Millions of people are using to-do lists that set them up for failure.
Kindle Edition, 109 pages
Published August 1st 2016 by Damon Zahariades (first published 2016)
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3.92  · 
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 ·  1,611 ratings  ·  227 reviews

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May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a practical guide to techniques and strategies for creating task lists and is a good refresher even for veteran list makers. If you've already tried different methods, skip the first two sections (which cover reasons that you fail to get things done with your to-do list, assessment of your task management skills, and pros/cons of some common task management methods).

Start with Chapter 7 to learn the techniques for effectively creating and managing a to-do list, including the following:
Emma Sea
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, productivity
I really like Zahariades's writing style: short, sweet, and kind of bossy. There was a fair bit of repetition and filler in this book, but I picked up some solid, actionable key points. 3.5 stars
Deepak Imandi
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
It gave a summary of methods already existent and strived to create a perfect To-do list. Overall an OK read. But it gave me a fantastic insight that we need to mention the purpose of our task, like for eg. If task X is completed, what do you really get?
That itself is sufficient to give a 4 star to this book.

Alicia Fox
Nov 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is useless trash. I didn't realize that self-help/organizational drivel could get quite this bad (though why oh why did I ever doubt it).

Summary: "Here are some brief descriptions of leading list types. Pick one that works for you. Stick with it."

I'm seriously considering getting into the self-publishing racket. This author earned money from this poorly-written pamphlet! That's bonkers!
Miguel Panão
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Practical and simple

Damon’s book is short but highly insightful. I learned a few important tips that I'm eager to experiment. This immediate desire shows how this book designed to motivate you might produce a significant impact in your productive life.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This book gets better the further you read. I almost quit because I was impatient with all the pages discussing the whys and wherefores, although they might be useful to some people. The actual "guide to creating to-do lists" doesn't begin until page 45. That content I found valuable, although I still found myself skimming a lot to get to the real points. His system seems like it might be a tad overly complicated (for me) but I will definitely apply all the concepts. I would have appreciated the ...more
Monica Willyard Moen
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Practical and immediately actionable

Have you ever tried to get a handle on your crazy work life or home life by making a to do list? Did it work for you for a while, and then you got overwhelmed by it? That’s what happened to me, and I thought I was the problem. Actually, I didn’t know that there are good and not so good ways to make to do lists. Once I started using some of the ideas in this book, I started getting more things done and reaching more of my long-term goals on a consistent basis,
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very quick read that details how to create effective to-do lists, along with options for tools to maintain said to-do lists. It's a lot of seemingly common sense advice that may not actually be common sense. It's yet to be determined whether using the methods in this book will actually help increase my productivity, but I definitely feel like it is worth giving them a shot, especially since the methodology is so simple to follow that it doesn't feel like something I would get bogged down in.
Lori St.Aubin
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Short read with good practical tips.

I enjoyed the short read with tips on how to achieve productivity. When describing examples of unproductivity I could relate all too well. I look forward to trying the process.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quick, helpful read

I am already adept at the to do list but have recently gotten bogged down since returning from maternity leave. These tips have me feeling refocused and ready to roll on Monday morning.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this book as part of my personal improvement program to be more organized! Previously I thought I was doing well just to MAKE a to-do list but after reading this I see that lists should really be further delineated by “time it takes, deadline date, difficulty” and several other factors. Seems like a good idea but not sure the info calls needs a whole book!🙄
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just what I was looking for

I recently started using the task management application, Todoist, and I wanted to read a book or guide that would help me develop and refine my strategy for developing a task management system. This book is just what I was looking for. In a straight forward and even insightful manner, the author lays out the various approaches you can take for keeping to-do lists.

You can read this short book in one setting, and then use his recommendations for developing a strategy o
May 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not. A. Fan.

Too wordy for the content.

Redundant at times.

Less info on systems he doesn’t recommend would have been great; after all I am reading your book. Perhaps even a list or table.

Too many steps and rules. I did not get great value for the time spent reading this (had to skim at the end bc OMG verbose for no reason).

Two stars because there were a few useful ideas.

Mary Kay’s six most important things is more doable for my bandwidth. I don’t want to spend my life in a system managing ta
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great overview of to-do list issues

Confirmed what I believe about To-do list processing and the tools I use. My problem is too many tools. If only all the apps supported the same meta-data in terms of due dates, context and categories etc my system would be perfect ;-) Good detail and certainly worth the short time it takes to read. Top of my list... get my daughter to read it.
Sandi Dickenson
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I gave it 5 stars because it was worth reading. My spouse and I have incorporated many types of task and project theories in the past 30 years and this book described them all.

We are now retired and my feelings of being overwhelmed by tasks comes from self imposed deadlines. We pretty much have equally divided the day to day tasks of living. For example, he shops and cooks and needs input from me while I clean and handle health care and need input from him.

So even though I am "in charge" of a
I've been keeping to do lists for a long time. LONG TIME. Never understood until reading this book that I have been hampering my own successful completion of tasks and driving myself crazy with frustration and stress. I feel that I am just spinning my wheels and getting farther and farther behind in the endless brain dump that are my many lists. I always joke with people, often saying "my to do lists have to do lists." I started keeping lists in order to help with getting better sleep because I ...more
Just finished reading the audiblebook “TO-DO LIST FORMULA: A STRESS FREE GUIDE TO CREATING TO-DO LISTS THAT WORK!” by DAMON ZAHARIADES and narrated by JOE HEMPEL. Millions of people are using to-do lists that set them up for failure. No matter how hard they work, they're left with a laundry list of unfinished tasks at the end of each day.
You can probably relate from experience. If you're creating to-do lists like most people, your lists are almost certainly failing to do their job. You're probab
J Crossley
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was able to glean a lot out of this book. There were things that I did with my to-do lists that were hindering my progress. The biggest issue that I have with my lists is time. The author said, “It’s common to think we can accomplish more than is actually possible during any given day.” This statement is what happens to me all the time. I somehow think that I have unlimited time to accomplish tasks. Then I get to the end of the day and I feel frustrated.

Something that I learned is that I will
Katie Bailey
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Good info but repetitive.

I love to-do lists. I'm not kidding, even my to-do lists have to-do lists and I'm always experimenting with new ways to make them more productive. So when I stumbled across this book - a short read that was free with Amazon Prime - I couldn't not read it.

The book is very repetitive at times, the reasons for certain systems working or not working all boil down to the same basic things and are all mentioned repeatedly. If you took out all the repeat info, you could easily
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting Read

First, it takes a while to get started, which is odd for such a short book. Sometimes I felt it could have been even shorter if he'd gotten to the point sooner. Basically, it was easy to read and understand. It explains the need for this type of time management system. You get a list of other systems with their pros and cons. Finally, you get his recommended system, which seems to be a very well-defined plan. I just finished the book, so I haven't fully integrated the system into
Prashant Dabholkar
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nice short read - complete it in a day but remember for ever

This is a nice short book by Damon. He first explains what are the hindrances for people to competing items on their todo lists. He then goes on to explain what are the systems out there and then details the components of a perfect todo list system. There are also some tips at the end to keep things running.

What did I like
The length of the book
The clear sections and bullet points
Easy to understand language and succinctness. The author d
Diego Fernandez
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A surprise

I got this book for free in Amazon's "Great On Kindle" deal.

I read many books and articles about time management and personal efficiency. So my expectations were low, but this short book was a delightful surprise.

The advice is straight, and orders of magnitude more useful than the famous GTD book.

I not only have read GTD but also I participated in a GTD workshop given by David Allen's consultancy firm... I found this book to be more valuable, that's why I gave it 5-stars. Of course, t
Cynthia L Gath
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book!

What I really liked is the way he gave explanations of different methods with pros and cons. In each section he gave instructions for the reader to examine each method and how it might benefit their needs either as designed or in parts. His explanation of how to create a to-do list based on his own experience makes perfect sense. I have attempted most of the methods he mentioned but never motivated to commit to one for long. After reading this book, I understand why none of them reall
Angela Obeso
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Great overview of multiples types of to do lists and items to consider while making your list. I picked up this book because I've been feeling extremely overwhelmed by the number of to do items on my list, the number of tasks I've forgotten lately, and the lack of time to get them all done. This book has provided me with some excellent techniques to try and I'm already feeling more under control. I very much appreciate how he emphasizes that your to do list must work for you and how each of his ...more
Katrina Moody
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fairly quick read and while it didn't cover anything new to me, it was a great way to reset some habits I've gotten away from since moving to using a Bullet Journal.

Especially important to me was the whole idea of not just prioritizing the items on your list, but which items go on a daily list versus a different one. The author recommends focusing on a few things and having quick everyday items (checking email, etc) that can be done in a few minutes at a time in their own place, conq
Sarahmarie Harwood
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
Truly Outstanding

There is a seemingly unending collection of books addressing productivity and time management on the market. Each seems to push one method of another as "the absolute best" .

That is what makes this book useful at the same time it is a joy to read. The author reviews a number of different to-do list systems or strategies and points out the plusses and minuses of each.

Then, in a straightforward format, he guides the reader in developing a to-do list system that works the best. Tr
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Solid actionable overview of the most popular task methods

Straight forward with no word-stuffing fluff. If you want a through overview of all the most popular list, task, and time management methods AND you want examples of how to put them to use, read this book. I'm an avid planner so a lot of the material wasn't new to me but I still had a few "ah ha!" moments because of his examples and breakdowns. I also realized there were a few systems I had been completely underutilizing. (Is that a real
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The only book you will ever need

Giving this book 5 stars because it was an easy read, no fluff, but it went right into the meat. Book explored many formulas for staying productive and the pros and cons of each method. I totally agreed when he said lists and calendars should be used together, that's what I'm currently doing. I don't need a bunch of different app but I'm using what I'm already using, Google calendar and Alexa lists. I live a simple life and don't need a bunch of apps to manage it.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
95% of this book is practical, actionable guidance

This is a powerful collection of fresh task management best practices, delivered clearly and concisely with compelling arguments that support them. I have learned and applied many many task management systems (incl. most of the top 10 Damon describes). His guidance builds on their strengths and addresses their weaknesses. Highly recommend this book to anyone juggling more than 3 heirloom plates on a daily basis. It's worth the 90 minute reading t
Joseph Sanchez
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Read

I throughly enjoyed this straightforward guide on creating an effective To Do list. What I appreciate the most is the flexibility it provides in using the most features of other systems. I love how each chapter builds on the next and how in the end the author neatly ties it altogether. I am not an avid reader and most of the self help guides I purchase I never get through them, however, this is one of the first ones. Again, I enjoyed the guide and would highly recommend it to anyon
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“The right verbs encourage execution. They encourage you to take action. The wrong ones do the opposite. They encourage procrastination. Verbs like explore, plan, and touch base lack specificity. As a result, they’re less effective than verbs like research, draft, and call. These latter choices have more impact because they imply specific actions. They leave nothing open to interpretation.” 1 likes
“No longer. I now organize tasks based on various contexts: by project, type, and location. I maintain multiple lists accordingly. (Note that these lists are” 1 likes
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