Done Lists?

Most of us keep to-do lists – some are more extensive than others. My work to-do list permanently sits on my desktop and is usually about 5-6 pages long. I have it split up into multiple categories, including materials to buy, general tasks, meetings, reports, website updates, grant applications, current large-scale events, current activities in development, activity/program ideas, conferences, recruitment events, and questions and updates for bosses and other meetings.

When I’m done with something, I delete it. I’m starting to think that isn’t such a great idea. At least for the big things.

Lately I’ve been thinking about creating a “done” list. This wouldn’t include every little mundane thing I’ve done, but it would basically be a list of accomplishments…the things I’ve brought to this position that weren’t there before. These would be the things that I could bring up if I needed to write a report about what we’ve done differently this year, or if I had to justify my existence – or at least the existence of my position.

So, I started a Word file with a bullet list. It’s alright, but doesn’t seem good enough for some reason. I’m looking for a better way to log this information.

Does anyone else keep a list like this? If so, how do you do it?


Comments on: "Done Lists?" (7)

  1. For the bigger things, I would put those straight onto your CV!


  2. Cath has! And she's posted about it before so search her archives


  3. My lists are pretty primitive and don't have a lot of categories. I have a new to-do list every month, with categories such as review papers/proposals, funding (proposal writing), papers (as in write, edit, submit), meetings, service (committees, writing letters of recommendation etc).

    Nominally, the stuff to do is in black.
    When something is done, I change the font color to blue and strikeout, so I don't delete the item. If something hasn't been completed or for whatever reason needs to be transferred to the next month, that gets color-coded as tan to remind me to put it on the next month's list.

    Then from the cumulative list I pick topics to put in my weekly to-do's, which I delete every week.


  4. I started using Workflowy ( after Cloud suggested it. When you complete something, you can mark it as such but not delete (unless you really want to!). You can easily toggle between viewing completed items or keeping them hidden. So they're out of the way when you don't want to see them, but there when you need a record of what you've already done. I highly recommend it!!!


  5. I have an “accomplishments” folder in which I put copies of emails from people saying “good job”, summaries of projects I've completed, and the like. I'm not super good about keeping it up to date, but anytime I get laid off, it gets a big update!

    Also, I save my yearly performance reviews, which generally list what I've done for the year.

    Some bosses have asked for weekly bullets- if one does, I save what I send and use those to help me build the year end review. If not, since I am now in charge of a department, I generally have a timeline showing all my projects, and can refer to that.


  6. Ella – yes! I plan on doing that, but there's a lot of awesomeness to filter ๐Ÿ˜‰

    SM – thanks! I'll take a look!

    GMP – so, do you keep your lists from each month as an archive of some sort?

    Dr. O – thanks for the suggestion!

    Cloud – good ideas! I do have a “positive portfolio” in which I keep nice emails from people about my work ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. I think this might be the post SM was referring to (good memory!) I've relaxed a bit since I wrote that post, but still keep track of the big stuff (i.e. grants and papers).


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