To do: re-think this whole “to-do list” thing


My wife doesn’t make to-do lists. And yet she gets a ton of stuff every day. She seems to know what to do and she gets it done.

How? You’re asking the wrong guy. I’m the guy who loves to make lists, try out different apps and different systems for managing my lists.

How about you? Are you a list maker? Or are you more like my wife and usually know what to do?

You know what? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we get our most important things done.

There seems to be a growing trend against the primacy of the to-list. I see articles that say “to-do lists don’t work” or to-do lists cause us to emphasize quantity over quality, or we should use our calendar to schedule our entire day.

I say, do what works for you (and quit spending so much time reading articles about lists).

Let’s say this is to-do list for today:

–Call Max to schedule lunch for next week.
–Review/respond to email.
–Pick up dry cleaning.
–Review lease for Smith.
–Meet with Sally about changes to website.
–Prep for Anderson trial.
–Order new desk lamp.
–Review/edit Blackthorne amendments.
–Finish laundry.

It should be clear that prepping for the upcoming Anderson trial is the most important thing on this list.

It’s the “one thing” that has to be done today. Everything else is number two.

And nobody needs an app to tell them that.

Evernote for Lawyers


No list? No clients for you!


Most of us marketing folks go on and on about the need for a list, especially an opt-in email list. If you don’t have a list, you’re probably sick of hearing about it. If you do have a list, you know we’re right.

With a list, you are one click away from new business. Send an email, clients call. Without a list, what do you do? Please don’t say, “call prospects and ask if they’re ready for an appointment”.

With a list, you can remind people who you are and what you do. You can introduce a new service. You can ask for (and get) subscribers to promote your webinar or local event, Like your page, or forward a link to your new blog post. You can get former clients to hire you again. You can get referrals. Lots and lots of referrals.

Without a list. . . you do a lot of waiting.

You’ll hear some “experts” say that email is dead or dying. They are wrong. Email is as strong as ever.

There’s nothing wrong with social media. It just doesn’t pull in clients like an email list. Not even close.

Advertising is fine and dandy. But instead of “call or don’t call” give them the option of getting more information by signing up for your list. You’ll be able to get your name and message in front of them again next week, next month, and next year.

Networking is awesome. So is public speaking, blogging, and writing articles. But if you don’t build a list, you’re only getting a small percentage of the results you could get from those activities.

If you want to know how to start a list (or grow one), you can learn what to do in “Make the Phone Ring”. It’s not hard to get started and make the phone ring. What’s hard is waiting for the phone to ring.