Using Email As a Down & Dirty To-Do List on the Go

Using Email As a Down & Dirty To-Do List on the Go

Mike Tyson
Sep 27, 2010

To-do lists come in all shapes and sizes, which is great. Despite the variety, however, some still find themselves looking for a perfect fit for their lifestyle. After the jump we'll tell you how we use email as a crude method to record our thoughts when we're away from our computer.

We use the Omnifocus program on our laptop/desktop that works very well and is highly detailed. They do offer an iPhone app but we were a bit skeptical about purchasing it due to its price tag and also the bulky nature of the app itself. When we were on the go we needed an efficient way to quickly write down/reference notes when genius strikes. Instead of using a to-do app or the default Notes app, we opted for a simple, albeit a bit crude, solution:

Email. We began a simple mail thread named "Notes". Whenever we have a brilliant idea or reminder, we plug it into the email on our iPhone and reply to ourselves. In no time we've created a long chain of important notes and to-dos. When we complete a task throughout the course of the day or add it in Omnifocus later, we eliminate it from the chain so we're sure we have to most up-to-date tasks in our email. For a more in-depth note taking approach, we imagine creating separate folders or emails for individual places or subjects (for instance: the kitchen or school work).

This has been a very effective way of quickly recording our thoughts when we aren't around our computer. Does anyone else have ideas for hurried note taking in a digital format?

[Image: John Olson jwolson via the Creative Commons license.]

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