• Tom Peters explains the “To-Don’t List” in this one-pager and in this short video.
  • The book I mention in the video is The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. (Buy it at Amazon,, 800CEO, or IndieBound). You can learn more about the research on their web site.
  • I keep my “Done List” using I Done This, which has a free version for individual users. A simple notebook or journal also does the trick.

21 Responses to “Pinkcast 1.16: 2 lists better than a to-do list.”

  1. Jim Cull says:

    Another helpful session. Thanks Daniel.

  2. Not only useful, but fun. Thanks!

  3. Sarah says:

    Excellent! Thanks Dan! Love your pinkcasts!! Some more good ideas – will definitely give those two new lists a try. 😉

  4. Dan,
    You came across as warm and engaging – this is clearly something you care about. I shall do it – it seems such a great idea / two great ideas.

  5. Tom Mackey says:

    Yes! Crossing off something done is a pleasure and one that will not get in the way of making America great again. Thanks Dan!

  6. Kristen says:

    Love the Done list app idea! I have been jotting things down daily when I remember, which feels great.

  7. Becky Blanton says:

    This isn’t just for adults. KIDS love to keep an “I did this” list too.

  8. Richard Carey says:

    I had a CFO who I discovered began his to do list with two things he had accomplished the day before. I had forgotten about it until today’s Pinkcast. He explained to me why he did this. First of all, he felt that he started the day with success. Second, it reminded him that he was meeting goals and gave him courage to begin the next day. Thanks for helping me to remember this good idea as well as have a not to do list..

  9. Govinda Rajan P says:

    This is ah-so-simple and yet so effective. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hoo says:

    Thanks Dan! Have you heard of Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach. He has interesting insights about what you talked about today.

  11. Atul says:

    Thanks Dan. Absolutely agree with the concept that feedback motivates. Todist ( provides feedback on a karma scale based on whether or not you met your Daily Goal. Small trick but motivates wonderfully. They also provide you with a separate list of your completed tasks. Highly recommend it and would like to hear your thoughts on it. I am not affiliated with them, just enjoy their product.

  12. Cathy Green says:

    Look forward to Pinkcast each month. Concise, good info. I will admit a thought once a month was a bad idea. Too long in-between pink casts but it is perfect and always comes around at a good time. The done list is a great idea!

  13. Blanca says:

    Love the two lists in this Pinkcast! I just connected I Done This and and sharing this with my coach. Looking forward to feeling like I’ve gotten more done during the day. Great idea. Thanks, Dan!

  14. Jeremy says:

    Perhaps a silly question – but is keeping track of your checked-off To Do list the same as a Done List? I keep my daily To Do’s in Evernote and move the daily note into a designated Notebook when they’re completed. Admittedly, I don’t review it very much – but it certainly wouldn’t take much to do so. Good work as always, Dan.

  15. I do the To Do list and often catalog my accomplishments. Still, I don’t get as much done as I plan or would like. I am excited to giddiness by the To Don’t list. That’s it! Name the distractions in advance put them on a list I review each day. I’m going to create that right now, before I accidentally get lost in doing the stuff that pulls me off focus.
    Thanks, Dan, for another brilliant moment in my month!

  16. Walter Akana says:

    Great and fun ideas! Confession, though. For most of my career my “To Do” list has essentially been my “To Don’t” list. Writing down all the things that I thought I should be doing freed me to focus on the things that mattered. Weird, I know!

  17. Another terrific post, Dan — thank you! The “To Don’t List” reminds me of a terrific speech I heard from Marcus Buckingham as part of his “Strengths” presentation. Basically writing down the things you LOVE versus the things you LOATHE. The Love stuff, obviously, is what makes you feel strong when you do it. The Loathe column is for those things which sap your energy, make you feel drained and bored. It really helps formulate your own personal mission statement to define the type of activities — at work or at home, in relationships, etc. — that are intrinsically motivating (something I also learned a lot about through your writings, thank you very much!).

    Here’s a link to the Buckingham Strengths worksheet from

  18. William says:

    Cool ideas, Pinkman!

  19. Jes says:

    I track these using Trello. It helps me prioritise my top 3 things to get done each day, then see the things I have done (I track for a Week), but I will add a “To Don’t” after watching this… Thanks Dan!

  20. Garry says:

    Awesome Dan, I especially love the done list. Have never thought to do that before, see real value in that. Thanks for sharing ??

  21. I loved this Dan, thanks so much for creating. It also reminded me of focus and there’s a great article on Warren Buffett’s 5-Step Process for Prioritizing True Success. He says to list all the things you want to do – e.g. a list of 25 and from this narrow down to the 5 you will focus on. And that’s all you focus on – leave everything else till you complete these 5. If anyone is interested you can read it here:

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