I sometimes feel like being tech-savvy is almost a requisite for a Gen-Yer. I’ll certainly admit that I love the awed reactions of older generations when technology works effortlessly for me (I try and explain that it’s intuitive and then am reminded that it’s intuitive if you’ve grown up with it). Technology has been a wonderful resource for me, particularly for finances and productivity. I keep track of my spending online, I do 90% of my banking online, and I use my computer timer to encourage productivity. Invariably though, I’m done in by To Do lists.

It’s not for lack of trying. After years of experimenting, I still don’t have a reliable system. I’ve tried using the menu bar app Check Off, including To Do’s in my calender (with alarms) and notes jotted on my phone. I’ve even gone low-tech. I keep a small memo notepad with a mini-pencil in the spirals for making lists on the go, and a whiteboard list of reminders by my desk. I’m generally saved by remembering what needs to get done, but I’m left with a flawed system and the German side of me is screaming for order. No pun intended, but what to do?

My current system is a combination of two methods and hinges on the fact that I always have my phone on me. For time-specific items, I rely on my calender, which I can sync with my computer. For general events, I use my phone’s notepad. Neither method is as emotionally satisfying as checking off something or striking an item from my list but it has been relatively successful to date.

I’m invariably done in by long term items, so I also have to employ some restraint in the creation of my To Do list. My primary list on my calender and phone contains only items that can be completed in a single effort. Long term To Do items are relegated to a separate list. While the items on this separate list are occasionally doomed because they’re less frequently checked on, having two lists means that higher priority items are more likely to get accomplished.

There always seems to be too much to do and not enough time to get it all done. How do you keep track of what needs to get done? If you keep a To Do list, how do you get the most out of it?