Where do you keep your contacts…the addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of the people in your life? We’ve realized those things are best kept digitally. That way, we can get to them from any device. Likewise, a huge segment of the population keeps a digital calendar.

But what about the to-do list? We see sticky notes lining computer monitors, notes written on napkins, and overwhelmed people trying to keep it all in their heads.

And where do people have the most trouble? It’s not retrieving a phone number. It’s not showing up for a meeting Tuesday at 9:00. The problem is keeping up with all the to-dos.

In 2001, I retired my paper planner in favor of a digital calendar and digital to-do list. I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

Here are 10 reasons why life can be easier with a digital list:

  1. You’ll never have to re-write a to-do list. Whatever doesn’t get done today rolls over to tomorrow.
  2. You’ll never have to re-think repeating tasks. We all have things that come around every week, every month, or at the same time every year. With a digital list, enter the task once. When you check it off, it goes away and returns the next time it needs to be done.
  3. It’s all in one place. Say goodbye to scraps of paper everywhere.  
  4. It goes anywhere. Good digital lists are web-based. You can get to your list from your computer both at work and home. It’s also accessible from your mobile devices. If your phone is always with you, so is your to-do list.
  5. It helps you get your email empty. Many emails hang around in the inbox because they are reminders of things to do. A good digital task list allows you to forward emails to it.
  6. You can add to it with your voice. The biggest drawback to a digital list has been having to use a mouse-sized keyboard or type with two thumbs on a piece of glass. Voice input has taken things to a whole new level. Smart speakers such as Google Home or Alexa allow us to add tasks without even touching the phone.
  7. Other selected people can add to your list (if you want them to). You can also add to theirs.
  8. You can find things in a flash. When Joe walks in the door, how quickly can you find everything on your list related to him? With a digital list, type his name into the search window and work through the agenda.
  9. The digital list can talk to other services. Automation is one of the best time-saving opportunities we have. A task can link to a website, an Evernote note, or a document in Dropbox, just to name a few. All the reference information needed when working on that task is now at hand.
  10. You can keep up with what you did and when you did it. People talk about how they like to mark through a task and see what they have completed. A digital list can date/time stamp a task when completed. A quick search provides documentation of what you did and when you did it.

If you want to take the plunge and go digital, the candidates are plentiful, and most have free plans. I recommend Remember The Milk (RememberTheMilk.com). Asana.com and Todoist.com are also excellent.

Get rid of the scraps of paper and say goodbye to re-writing lists. Give a digital option a try.