The All-In One System

We all keep many types of lists, even if in our heads: our life priorities, our current objectives, our lifelong goals. More than likely we also neglect just as many of these lists! This is a method which can help keep you on top of many different things.

This system uses

  • Any of the other to-do systems that work for you (paper, electronic, et cetera). Preferably use one which allows you to easily ‘star’, or highlight, tasks – possibly in different ways.


1. Collect all your lists that you have in life (some of them are mentioned above). Chances are you forget to read or think about some of these lists.

2. Think of how the ones you neglect can be converted into ‘next actions’ – small, concrete acts you can do to begin your task right away. For instance, having good health could be one of your priorities you want to maintain, but ’10 minutes of T’ai Chi’, ‘make doctor appointment’, or ‘Research healthy meals’ might be associated next actions.

Or, you might want to move overseas in the next five or so years. If so, ‘Find the names of online real estate firms (for the country you wish to move to)’ might be an appropriate next action.

3. Add all of these new items into your regular, daily to-do list. If you feel that one is pressing, neglected, or important, ‘star’ or raise it near the top of your list.


  • We make daily judgements about the relative importance of items on our to-do list. Putting long term, general, or yearly items on our daily list merely centralizes this same process – and stops us having to do this multiple times.
  • General goals or intentions need to be converted into actionable items to be successful. This system removes the tendency for long term goals being forever deferred until ‘later’.
  • We only need to check one place in order to work out the best use of our time.
  • Brings hidden, important items into the same location as the louder, urgent, but perhaps less important things.


  • This can result in a truly enormous list. If keeping short lists is a problem – this might not be for you!


  • Long lists can be reduced by keeping electronic lists, or by combining with a method such as a ‘Personal Kanban’, that can keep your focus just on the few things that our minds can handle.
  • If you wish to combine multiple lists, but still remember where they came from, consider a color code, or other notational system when you enter them.

Our Rating

rating: 4.0 stars
It might just be the answer for some who are laboring under much too many lists.

Your Thoughts

Have you tried this system? What are your experiences working with it? Any pros, cons, variations, or tips?

One Response to “The All-In One System”

  1. James says:

    I came across your site as I was browsing Quora! Very cool!

    I love how you cover the full spectrum of to do list apps and systems. Not just electronic!

    I would like to invite you to check out it’s a very full featured, but simple to use GTD web app. Please let me know what you think!

    Thanks and Best Regards!

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