Productivity Hack: The To-Go List

If you’re like me, you have a lot on your plate while at the same time spending a considerable amount of time on the go. It’s especially the little idle times that add up. The short travels to and from a meeting or to and from the office or when you’re waiting for someone to show up. For me this can easily add up to one hour on a good day – more on bad days.

Like everyone I’ve always tried to read, listen to podcasts or find something from my todo list I could do. But picking something from all the different kinds of tasks is overwhelming. So recently I’ve started to tag tasks specifically with “to go” if I think I could work on them on the go. (In GTD-language I’ve introduced the context “@to-go”.) Every time I’m on the bus now or in some way idle or bored, I take a look at only that list and pick an item to work on.

Ideal Tasks

The ideal task is something you can get done on your phone or on a sheet of paper and also in a few minutes. So this category is perfect for things like: researching prices of a new piece of hardware, outlining a project or a blog post, writing short emails, etc. It helps if you have a simple note system at hand for saving the work you’ve done on your phone.


You don’t even have to finish that task completely on your phone. You can do a lot of preliminary work on the go, save your progress and complete it when you’re back at your desk. For example narrowing down the choice of external hard drives to one or two can be done on a phone. But buying the one you chose is easier at a computer.

The Outcome

My todo list is full of small tasks that I tend to not do while I’m at a desk because they somehow seem too small to bother with. I’ve tagged them all and now I see a lot of these tasks getting done. This not only feels awesome it also moves things forward a lot faster than before.

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