5 ways a ‘Done List’ is better than a ‘To Do List’

What is a Done List, you might ask. To the people who swear by the usefulness of the To Do List to drive their productivity and to raise their efficiency, the mention of a Done List might come as a surprise. A Done List is the one that puts together the things you have accomplished. A To Do list helps in organization and in setting priorities and a Done List helps in inspiring and in driving productivity. 
A Done List might be considered the opposite of a To Do List in the way that it lists out the things that have been completed or the learnings that have come about in the course of a day or the brilliant ideas that have been brainstormed. But the fact is that these lists are not opposites but are complimentary. When used together, these can drive your productivity much higher. 

A To Do is Possibility and a Done is Results. Here are Five ways a Done List is the better half of a To Do List. 

1. Done Lists focus more on the things you have accomplished. This is the reason that a Done List is far more satisfying to create and behold. To Do Lists tend to be long and even when you tick off more than 70% of the items, the remaining ones point an invisible finger at you, making you feel guilty. To Do Lists generally stay incomplete. 

On the other hand, a Done List has the things, projects, goals that are all complete and it is for you to happily run down your eyes on the things that you have accomplished. 

2. Done Lists are a better tracking tool. Sure, To Do Lists put all the things that you need to accomplish in one place so that you don’t forget the little things with the larger projects but the Done List tracks what actually gets accomplished. It is a better way to know how many things really got through. This is especially required when there are a number of projects or tasks that need to be completed. Without a Done List, anything that has been finished may get buried in the deluge of tasks and you may not even realize that you are doing good and are on track for many things. 

3. Done Lists are great for productivity analysis. With the Done list you really know how much you have accomplished by looking at the things that have been completed. It helps to inspire and is useful for further planning. 

The Done Lists provide a different perspective of the Doing-game in helping with the review of the goals reached. They are motivating because the results are real. 

4. Done Lists are overwhelming in a positive way. For a To Do List, the sheer number of things that need to be done can be overwhelming. For a Done List, the number of things that have been accomplished could be positively overwhelming and boost self esteem and confidence. 

5. Done Lists complete the picture and provide a balance. The To Do List is about expectations. The Done List is about results. So, analysing the things done can lead to better planning through an evaluation of why some items don’t make it to the Done List. 

How do you manage your tasks and goals? Do you prefer making lists? 

This listicle is fourth in the series of ‘Friday Listicles‘, a weekly feature that professes our love for anything that is presented in a numbered or bulleted form, paving the way for a happy weekend. 

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5 Inspirational Quotes on Writing 

1. “Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right—as right as you can, any-way—it belongs to anyone who wants to read it.”

-Stephen King in ‘On Writing’

I find this quote very inspiring, especially when I struggle to revise and edit, wondering what to keep and what to cross out. I understand my responsibility for my writing to be meaningful because when I share it, it is no longer mine alone. 

2. “Rereading old books that I love. I think the writing energizes and inspires me as much as it did the first time. I also watch a lot of TV. Immersing myself in other people’s stories really helps me.”

—Brandy Colbert, author of Pointe on how to defeat the writer’s block. 

There are so many times I hit it, the writer’s block. The books I love always tell me the what and how and I come back brimming with ideas, wanting to recreate the magic. 

3. “Originality is partly a matter of having your own influences: read evolutionary biology textbooks or the Old Testament, find your metaphors where no one’s looking, don’t belong. Or belong to the other world that is not quite this one, the world from which you send back your messages.”

– Rebecca Solnit, writer

I find this advice beautiful… Of belonging to another world because that is what I feel, when I spend too much time in my head. 

4. “Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.” 

– Charles Bukowski, poet. 

This relates to life and to disappointments and to the misery we feel occasionally. I may feel that when I am trying to write something ambitious but I always remember that I have been able to finish and that it turned out alright. 

5. “We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” 

– Toni Morrison, in her Nobel lecture, 1993.

This is the only true reason that I am inspired to write. To create a measure for my life. 


Do share the writers quotes that inspire you and make you want to take up that pen right now… 

This is the third in the series of ‘Friday Listicles‘, a weekly feature that professes our love for anything that is presented in a numbered or bulleted form, paving the way for a happy weekend. 

Top Ten Things You Have Always Wondered About Listicles

…But did not know whom to ask. 

1. Do listicles present content in a short and snappy format? 

Snappy, yes. Easy to digest, yes. Fun, yes. Short? Not always. A listicle could be like this one, listing the top ten, which is not so time consuming or it could be ’99 ways your pet needs attention’. It does take a little longer to read 99 bulleted points. 

2. Are listicles… Umm… what is the word… distracting

The modern living is characterized by distractions in the form of multitasking and aimless surfing on the Internet. But listicles are feel good and fun and take into account that the average reader’s attention span is in seconds (How many? When? That is the topic of another listicle). The listicle has evolved as a direct result of these tendencies. 

3. Does the listicle sacrifice good content for more eyeballs? 

Not really. Just because it is capsulated information does not mean it can be any less effective than compelling arguements and a structured approach to the topic on hand. 

4. Is the listicle an art form

To answer this, let us ask ourselves some more telling questions. Is the listicle a form of short art? Is it at par with a haiku? Is it like a limerick with a decided structure and a lot of punch? Is it like a cartoon in the newspaper, tellingly commenting on the social change and the political milieu? Is it like a doodle? Isn’t a listicle akin to finding a gem from the rubble? 

5. What makes a listicle easy to read

The listicle needs to be succint. It must have a structure. And yes, it has a linear structure. It takes a mass of information and breaks it down into pieces. It presents those pieces, often with no regard to the increasing or decreasing significance of material presented. 

6. Can a listicle be akin to snacking

Yes, of course. It may not be the main meal and not as nutritious but important and tasty and fun. 

7. Do the listicles have a genre

The listicles are very versatile. They can be a take on the important with the downright silly; must know facts with totally irrelevant ones. 

8. Can a listicle be just words

It is perfectly alright to put together a list of the funniest cartoons or gifs. The only thing that matters is a central theme. 

9. Are the list posts better than the Why posts and the How to posts and videos? 

If you are targeting word nerds and information freaks and bored readers, then yes! 

10. Do the listicles offer extraneous information? 

As a rule, they should not but there are times when you want the listicle to list the top ten reasons for something and you can only come up with nine. Like now, like this one. 

Please add to the list to tell us what ways a listicle is attractive to you. Are there any listicles that you would want to read or write? 

This is the second in the series of ‘Friday Listicles‘, a weekly feature that professes our love for anything that is presented in a numbered or bulleted form, paving the way for a happy weekend. 

7 Reasons Why We Love Listicles

Why is it that making lists is simply irresistible to us? From having post-its stuck to all sorts of surfaces to having scraps of paper scattered around with little reminders to having lengthy do-its that are made first thing in the morning, we have come a long way. It used to be personal; rummaging around for the lists in the recesses of our handbags or neatly folded away in our wallets. The obsession is now public; from the insufferably loud support for the BuJos… the Bullet Journals that are the superpowers when it comes to organising our thoughts, activities and destinies to the way journalism and content on the web is now arranged for consumption. 

The Internet is awash with all sorts of lists, a veritable cornucopia of the ways we love this or dislike that and the ultimate listings of the books we cannot miss and the sound tracks we ought to have on our playlists. These lists have spawned a new way of journalism, called the listicle. A listicle is the combination of the words ‘list’ and ‘article’ and is an article that is presented in the form of a bulleted or numbered list. 

Are these listicles popular? Very! Here are the reasons that find resonance with so many around the globe. 

1. Bite sized information – In today’s information overload, anything that can be read quickly, understood without much effort and digested immediately looks attractive. The listicles score high on all these counts. Not only does the title get to the point immediately but the content of the listicle is concise. There is no beating-about-the-bush, no preamble, no middle and no ending. All that the listicle wants to tell you is right there, at a glance. 

2. The Certainity Factor – The reader knows exactly what she is getting into. The listicle promises and delivers. You know what the article is about and you know how long it is going to be. At a cursory glance, you know that “12 ways to improve your Communication with your colleagues” is going to take a lot lesser time than “99 ways to train your pet”.

3. Easy Peasy – The ease is in the reading and the writing. No more extra checks for grammar and worrying about words being in context. The prose is not convoluted and there are facts, facts and possibly some more funny facts (assumptions) in the listicle. 

4. The Illusion of Completeness – after reading “78 Greatest Music Tracks of All Time ” there is no way a reader is going to read another article to see if she missed something. There is something about the listicles that make everything sound so definitive. 

5. Ticking them Off – As every self respecting List Lover would tell you, half the pleasure of list making is in the ticking off of the items ; the listicle readers can justifiably tick the ones they have read and experienced. And if they are reading of something that they know nothing about because they were led to the listicle by their morbid curiosity, then the pleasure is in mentally ticking off the points that they are reading. 

6. Stress Relief – The sky rocketing stress levels means that you need something to calm those swirling and murky thoughts in your mind. Putting down things in staccatto helps in writing out everything that is bothersome or has been around for too long to ignore now. Put down that stress on the paper or the screen and put away seeing the shrink. That is possibly what the writers of those listicles do when their editors/employers tell them to come up with a definitive and all encompassing article on something like the social etiquette. 

7. Memorisation – Easy memorisation of the organized information is one of the best benign effects reading a listicle brings ( even for the ones that you hate to read).There is no need to categorise information that has been presented in rambling paragraphs, looking for salient points and reducing the need to draw inferences from the data presented. The listicle has done it for you. Of the “19 best LBD styles”, you are bound to remember around 6. 

Now, go gorge on them. 

There are so many ways that we love the listicles. Let us count the ways. Tell me what is it about a list or a listicle that draws you to it. 

This is the first in the series of ‘Friday Listicles‘, a weekly feature that professes our love for anything that is presented in a numbered or bulleted form, paving the way for a happy weekend.