Why I stopped making lists and why you should too.


I was always a list maker. I was a Getting Things Done fan. Remember “GTD”? Lists in–lists out. To Do lists, Not To Do lists. I was a list-a-holic.

I made a discovery a couple of months ago though. About then, I started looking at a Kickstarter item I’d ordered months ago ( and kicked in the corner). It’s call the Productivity Planner. It’s put together by the same guys that brought us the Five-Minute Journal in 2015. I liked the Journal so much (using now year three?) that I bought their Productivity Planner too!

On the surface, the Planner looks like another “list system”. However, the discovery I just made about the Planner is that it is designed around a couple of different concepts (more than a couple really). One of these concepts comes from Gary Keller. Keller in The One Thing — which I read many month ago–talks about identifying the One Thing, which if you accomplish it, will make everything much easier or even unnecessary–that is, an end to lists! This One Thing is one of the grounding concepts used in the design and implementation of the Productivity Planner. One of the first things, the Productivity Planner asks you for each day’s plan is: What is your most important (One) thing?

The other concept or tool used in the Productivity Planner is POMODORO. I had stumbled on the term Pomodoro in more recent months. I knew it had something to do with a small, tomato-shaped timer. What I didn’t quite realize was that Pomodoro was also a technique or tool for improving personal productivity.

The Pomodoro technique was one that was invented my a man named Francesco Cirillo in the 80’s, and gained a huge cult following. Cirillo’s book, The Pomodoro Technique, just came out this year. However, rediscovering Pomodoro here in the Productivity Planner, and having a chance to play with it, I can see where Pomodoro is slated to become a great tool for me. It just fits. And no more lists!

So, here’s to a productive rest-of-2018. My Productivity Planner–the print version–is well under way. And practicing Pomodoro is as well!