17 Free Printable Task List Templates (Excel, Word, PDF)

We all feel like we could accomplish more and have more free time if we stayed organized. There’s a slew of organizational tools, but which one prevails? A task list or a to-do list is an organization method you should have in your productivity toolkit. Instead of wishing for more hours of the day, learn how you can use a task list. We have done all the hard work to enable you to free up time and enjoy what you love.

What is a Task List?

A task list is a sheet containing tasks you want to accomplish within a specific period, usually within 24hrs. You usually enlist task lists in order of priority and time. Task lists can be personal or enlist sub-tasks of a project.

Note: A common mistake people make when using task lists is enlisting too many tasks. Instead of cluttering your list, write general descriptions of the task and keep them to a maximum of 5 tasks per day.

What is a Task List Template?

A task list template is a pre-designed editable task list that contains headers, columns, and rows for recording task information. Templates make preparing to-do lists hassle-free. All you need to do is fill in the template and save it. The templates add a sense of timeliness which is vital for completing your set tasks.

Task List Templates & Examples

    The Benefits of Task Lists

    A task list should not miss in any person’s productivity tool belt. The handy list is beneficial in the following ways:

    • It is easily the most efficient way to organize and manage your daily life
    • You accomplish more by breaking down goals into tasks in the list
    • You prioritize tasks that motivate you and matter
    • You won’t forget your obligations
    • Tasks lists enable you to visualize your progress and track it easily
    • Better memory

    Why Don’t Task Lists Work for Some People?

    Task List has a 41% incompletion rate. Not because they are hard to prepare or hard to follow. Why?

    Overambitious Task Lists

    It is okay to be ambitious. But you need to understand a task list is not a vision board. Instead of listing ‘save $100,’ write ‘don’t eat take out today.’ You will be accomplishing your saving goal through simple tasks.

    Too many items on the list

    When it comes to tasks lists, a little goes a long way. The more tasks you have, the harder it is to accomplish them, especially if you hit a snag in time management. There is no set limit for tasks you can include, but keep them 2-5 per day for optimal results.

    Including easy tasks

    Don’t write the super-easy tasks. You won’t have time for the hard tasks. Prioritize tasks that have meaningful significance in your career or daily life.

    Creating boring lists

    When you see a lengthy task list with lots of tasks that bore, you won’t put in the effort. A well-written task list uses flowery language to make the tasks more appealing.

    Different Task Lists You Can Use for Maximum Productivity

    You can use the following types of lists to boost your productivity:

    • Vision List: A list of the things you want to achieve in life
    • Maybe Someday List: Things that don’t matter a lot but you want to do them someday
    • The 100-day to-do list: A list of things you want to achieve in the quarterly period
    • Weekly List: To-do list for the entire week
    • Done list: A list of tasks you’ve completed
    • Daily List: A task list for the day
    • Not to Do List: Tasks to avoid that take up your time for nothing.

    You can create other custom lists depending on your needs. A to-do list is as simple as putting a pen on paper and writing your list away.

    Tips to Write Prepare a Better To-Do List and Get More Done

    Most people shudder at hearing task lists since they sound like some mandatory chores that are meant to bore you to death. But task lists can be fun and effective if you know how to prepare them. Here are tips to aid you in writing one:

    • Keep tasks on your list to a maximum of 5 per day
    • Start with the hardest task on your list. Accomplishing a hard task gives you the motivation to tackle the simpler ones
    • Create manageable workloads
    • Block off time in advance for the period you intend to accomplish your task
    • Create a task list on a preceding day for the tasks (after leaving the office)
    • Create visual task lists that keep you on your toes throughout the day.

    Note: Task lists are not micromanaging tools. You cannot write refill your stapler as a task on your to-do list. The list’s essence is to remind you of priority tasks that better your life’s social and economic aspects.

    Common Task List Mistakes and How to Fix Them

    No one is perfect. We understand mistakes happen when creating and using a task list. We are here to outline common task list mistakes and how to avoid them all.

    1. Too Many Items on The List

    Time is limited, and you can only accomplish so much. Set the maximum number of tasks you need to achieve on that day. Focus on the urgent tasks and avoid the never-ending list.

    2: Mixing up Tasks

    Our brains are wired to try and connect everything we do and experience. People have difficulty using the to-do list when it has tasks like till the land and preparing the invoice for the company ABC. Try to write tasks that are relatable to the day.

    3. Not Having A Starting Point On The List

    Most people don’t know which task to start with on their to-do list. If you face such a challenge, eat the frog first. When you accomplish a complex task, you will have the energy to handle the simpler ones. Keep yourself motivated by listing the tasks in order of priority and complexity beforehand.

    4. Preparing the List on The Day

    Newsflash, if you don’t plan your time, others will plan it for you. Instead of starting your day preparing lists, prepare on a preceding day.

    5. Not Tracking Progress

    A counterproductive practice is failing to track progress. Once you have completed a task, mark it off and remake your list. Evaluate the time it took you to perform a certain task and use it as a basis for future list-making and time allocation.

    Final Thoughts

    Don’t you feel a sense of satisfaction when you tick off tasks on your to-do list? When used correctly, to-do lists make you a better manager of your time and enhance productivity. Download a template online and get started on your task list. Keep in mind the set limit and focus on priority tasks.