Tasks vs. Events

Many people seem to have trouble differentiating between tasks and events. In other words, when does one put something into their ToDo List versus their calendar? Some say to skip the calendar entirely, and just put everything into your task manager along with a due date. Coswallop if you ask me. There is a very simple way to determine what should go where so that you have the benefits of both the task manager and the calendar.

Here's how it works:

When something is presented to you, you're either going to need to do something, or be somewhere at a certain time. If it's the former, you have yourself a task and it goes into your task manager. If it's the latter, it's an event and can find rest in your calendar. Again, if it's dependent on doing something: task, if it's dependent on a time and place: event.

Some examples:

  • Haircut: Event
  • Scheduling a haircut: Task
  • Meeting: Event
  • Test: Event
  • Study for a test: Task

You can also make a ToDo "linked" to an event. For instance, many of my events are tests, so I might, say, add a task to study for a particular test in my task manager and assign it the same due date that it is scheduled to occur in my calendar. Why the redundancy? Well, think of it like email. You might have an email that requires an action, so you create a task that is "linked" to that email (you might actually even drag in a real link that opens up the email). Basically, not every event will be linked to a task, and not every task will be linked to an event. If anything, that would be the exception. And thus you get the advantage of having all your tasks in an app designed to manage tasks, and all of your events in an app designed to manage events with all its added benefits - Day/Week/Month view, and better appointment managing to name just two.

The fact of the matter is that if you strictly follow this system, you'll hopefully find - as I did - that it really makes things far simpler. You'll know exactly where to put everything, how to put it there, and where to go to find it. There won't be events mixed in with your tasks if you don't want them there, nor will there be tasks where you don't want to see tasks. Using this system gives you ultimate control.