Types of Daily To-Do Lists to Choose From

July 12, 2020

Daily to-do lists are the best way of ensuring that you achieve everything that you want to achieve in a day in a timely manner. There are actually many types of daily to-do lists that you can choose from though, so I am sharing the ones that I have come across that could work for you. As I have done, I recommend trying different ones to see what works for you. I personally use the chronological one, but will occasionally use the other ones depending on how structured I want my day to be or what my mindset is. I also use Microsoft To-Do to create my lists and I highly recommend it because of its amazing features and how easy it is to use!

Note that although a few of these types are already slight variations of each other, you can still create a combination of them (such as a timed priority list). I also want to mention that you always need to be realistic about what you can do in a day. You can always move the tasks you don’t finish onto the next day’s list, as long as you aren’t procrastinating them (they should be one of the first tasks you do the next day).

Once you have decided on your type, I encourage you to read my post on ‘Tips for Creating To-Do Lists’ if you need help with constructing the list and its tasks.


This first type of list is very straight forward; you simply write down all the tasks you want to do in a day and pick whatever you feel like doing at whatever points of the day. This one is good as you are able to do tasks based on your mood and capabilities at a specific point of the day, and it is very flexible. However, this can mean that you only choose the easier tasks and procrastinate all of the harder tasks, so you need to ensure that you are still being productive.


This type of to-do list is essentially putting all of your tasks into the order that you want to complete them, but not giving them specific times or time frames. This one is great for making sure you do certain tasks before others, possible doing the harder ones before moving onto the easier ones. It is also good because it doesn’t limit the tasks to a time frame, so you don’t feel guilty if a task takes longer. This could turn negative though if you spend too long on one task from lacking an end time, which puts the whole day out of rhythm.


This type is very structured as it involves setting the specific times of every task throughout the day. This is useful as you are able to plan what you can fit into a day better than the chronological list because you will allocate each task a start and end time. You can also use time as a motivator for what you want to achieve; for example “I can push through five more minutes of this unpleasant task and then it will be time for this better task”. However, I’d recommend leaving more time than what you think for each task as it is horrible to be behind on a precisely scheduled list. This type of list could also mean that you don’t complete tasks or you finish tasks abruptly to meet the time frame, which isn’t ideal.


For this type of list, you narrow your tasks into your top 3 – 5 tasks and list everything else as a bonus. The more obvious tasks, such as meals, can be removed to narrow the list down and because you don’t need to schedule them at a certain time or in a specific order. I found out about this type of list from the wonderful Chloe from @a_little_insight on Instagram. She shares her priority lists often on her Instagram so I highly recommend giving her a follow to see this type of list in action. This one is amazing for determining the importance of your tasks and achieving them in the order of most to least important. Additionally, you feel great about yourself from completing these tasks, as their labels of ‘priority’ and ‘bonus’ evoke positivity that motivates you.


You could also make a list where you assign tasks under categories, such as study and hobbies, and give each category a block of time in the day. Then you could use meals, exercise or any other shorter tasks to break up the categories. This type of list is beneficial as you can logically group tasks together, especially since they often share a location or pieces of equipment. Your mind will also become focused on that particular area which will make each task progressively easier. On the other hand, you could get bored quite easily from doing similar tasks in one big block of time, so you may need to take more frequent breaks or create more variation within the category.

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