In My Toolbox: Wunderlist

I like lists. I like making them, and I love checking things off them. I confess to being guilty of adding things to lists that I’ve already completed just so I can feel like I’ve accomplished something.

With seven (!) releases scheduled between now and January 2017, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially when I look at everything that needs to be done for my self-pub releases. I needed something to keep track of it that would give me a boost at the same time.

I’d been using Google Calendar to track things like blog posts, deadlines for various pieces, and the like. It’s been sort of handy – it emails me reminders, and I can color code things so I know which items are for my own projects and which are promised spots for others – but it was lacking something. I had a difficult time accessing it on my phone, and I didn’t like having to look at the calendar view just to see everything.

Enter Wunderlist.

Jo, the reviews editor for Vampire Book Club, uses Wunderlist to keep track of all of the reviewers to-read-and-review lists, enabling her to cross check who’s got which book. I asked her about it, and she loves it. So I decided to check it out myself.

Now, I know there are programs designed specifically for writers, but I wanted something simple and streamlined. I didn’t want to have to tab through a bunch of shit just to find what I was looking for. I figured if Wunderlist didn’t meet my expectations, I’d just delete it because, hey, free app!

I’m kind of in love with this thing. Wunderlist lets you install it on multiple devices, and it syncs up so everything’s on the same page. I have it on my laptop and my phone.

Here’s your starting screen (laptop view). Lists you’ve created are on one side:

Wunderlist 1

Once you’ve started making your lists, you can view them all at once:

Wunderlist 2

Or you can view them one at a time. Subtasks help you keep track of all the steps you need to take to complete something. The notes isn’t the most robust for a writer, but it works for my purposes. If you’re looking to remind yourself of something – need to research blah, had an idea for blah – it’s just fine:

Wunderlist 3

I wasn’t looking to Wunderlist as a tool to organize my writing, but I did need something that would remind me, like Google Calendar does. Ta-da! You can set due dates:

Wunderlist 4And reminders that something’s coming due so you remember to do it:

Wunderlist 5

When you set up Wunderlist, you’re essentially creating an account, so those due dates and reminders get sent to your inbox. Thanks, Wunderlist, for reminding me formatting was supposed to be done by the 15th:

Wunderlist 6

Now if only it had a way to negate the guilt you feel when you haven’t completed a task by your appointed deadline…

If you’re low-tech like me, or just hate a bunch of frills you won’t use, Wunderlist is a pretty good bet. You can star important items so they’re always on top, and you can share lists with others (handy if you’ve got a writing partner). Plus, free. I like free. It works on both iPhone and Android platforms, though I don’t know if it works a bit differently on Apple products (I’m an Android/PC gal), and I’m not sure how it’ll work if you’ve got one of both. I imagine it works just fine. Want to try it yourself? You can download Wunderlist here, or just go to your phone’s app store and search “Wunderlist”.

How do you organize your authorly tasks? Do you ever feel so overwhelmed you want to curl in a ball and cry for mommy?

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