Three Ways to Build a To-Do List That Actually Keeps You On Task

We asked three entrepreneurs how they stay on task. Here are three styles of to-do lists that actually work.

January 26, 2021 1 min read

This story appears in the January 2021 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »


“I make lists. Lots of them — analog style,” says Rebecca Minkoff, founder of her eponymous fashion brand. “It focuses me on my tasks and goals and keeps me from being a slave to my inbox. And crossing them off definitely feels like an accomplishment.”

Related: To-Do Lists vs Calendars: It’s Okay to Have Both

2. Intentional

“Every day, write down a list of 10 ideas,” says James Altucher, angel investor, author, and podcast host. “It could be 10 book ideas, business ideas, things you learned, ways to help an industry. Creativity is a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, it atrophies.”

Related: The Amazing Side Benefit of Writing a Daily To-Do List

3. Obsessive

“I keep a list of everyone I’ve recently worked with or met,” says Jon Oringer, founder and executive chairman of Shutterstock. “Each is rated on an entrepreneurial scale of one to 10, with notes on what they’re good at, and what role they might play in a startup. CEO? CTO? Board member? The start of a new company is often a line in the spreadsheet.”


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