Does someone who has a case management system really need a to-do-list? It is apparent what to do next by looking in the system, so there is no need for you to remember anything yourself.
And what about those who have a CRM-system? The next activity for the client you are working for at the moment is ready and the system can remind you when it is time to do the activity if you want it to.
Not to mention the project-tool. Whoever uses one or several of these, for instance Sharepoint, have all the steps of the process readily available in the tool, so why should they need a to-do-list as well?
The only straight answer to these questions is:
Depends on what?
You need a separate to-do-list …
- if the activities in the system are so ambiguously formulated that you still find other ways of remembering to call someone, e‑mail, check, or schedule something, et c
- if you only update the case or project prior to the coordination meetings or even just before closing the whole case or project
Here is the deal: If you do not use the case management system to keep track of all the ”small things” you have to do such as calling, e‑mailing, writing, sending, call someone back, convene colleagues for meetings et c, then you still have to keep these things in your head or written on notes, in an app or somewhere else. You have no use of the system in terms of ”remembering” what you have to do.
If you do not believe you need a to-do-list since you already have a project-tool, a CRM-system and a case management system, then at least ask yourself the following two questions:
- Do you write down things you need to remember to do in someplace other than in the system(s) you are using?
- Do you check several tasks off at the same time in the system, and not very often at that, rather than checking the tasks off one by one as you complete them?
If you answered ”yes” to one of these questions, you need a real to-do-list in addition to whatever system you are currently using. If you already have one, then you have already dealt with this issue. If not, then determine what the one and only location you write down all the tasks you need to do, which you do not do immediately, will be.
If you are lucky, you will be able to add the tasks to your case management-/ project-/ CRM-system so that they automatically synchronize with your digital to-do-list, for instance like you can for Outlook’s Tasks (if you are using Outlook for e‑mailing).
Clear overview once again
If you get yourself one single to-do-list, in spite of having a case management system (or something similar), you will have a clear and concise way to gather all your tasks which are not concerned with the cases you are managing in the systems. You will thereby get a much clearer overview of all your commitments and will be able to influence your working-situation to a greater extent. With less things cluttering your mind, you will be able to focus on and think about much more important matters. You will also be less distracted by something you happened to catch a glimpse of since it was at the top of the pile, and will be able to maintain greater focus in your work.
What have you combined?
Have you combined a to-do-list with some form of cooperative system so that it actually works well for you? Tell me!