Above: Benjamin Franklin’s to-do list, and what it would look like, in Evernote.
For as long as humans have been able to write, they’ve have been scribbling lists and to-dos in an effort to remember important information.
Lists showcase our ability to break down tasks into smaller elements. Lists are also the foundation for how we classify and define things, and they guide our ability to tackle projects and daily tasks.
Throughout the course of history, there have been many important figures who have leveraged the power of checklists to get through the day-to-day. Thomas Edison crafted ‘things doing and to be done” as a way to schedule time for inventions like the cotton picker and electrical piano.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the most important figures in American politics and science, used checklists as a way to track his time and measure progress.
While Franklin never lived to see the arrival of cell phones and the Internet, the principles of his scientific studies and discoveries in physics and electricity have fueled a world as technologically-advanced and mobile as ours is today.
You don’t need to be an illustrious inventor or prolific politician to help wrangle your busy schedule. But, it made us wonder what Franklin’s to-do list would look like if he was an Evernote user. Interestingly, the elements of his daily routine fit seamlessly into the foundations of Evernote’s checklists, with the exception of the ability to ping Mr. Franklin on his mobile device with a Reminder about what needs to be done.
The simplicity and utility of lists remain an important measure of how you can use to-dos for pretty much all life’s chores: shopping lists, travel planning, project tracking, gift giving and virtually anything you can dream of.