Gabe whipped up a great list of checklist tools. My favorite aspect of his post is that there’s no clear winner. There shouldn’t be.

Checklists can come in all forms, and the ideal format depends entirely on the application. For me, checklists make sense when I need to see not only what needs to be done, but also what I’ve already done. Apps that automatically “vanish” completed tasks fail to do the latter.

For me, sometimes there’s just no substitute for a spreadsheet for large checklists, especially if each item can have multiple statuses or dimensions. Sometimes adding more columns is way more efficient than adding more tasks (rows).

For packing lists, I’ve tried so many apps, but OmniOutliner is the best for me. It’s simple checkbox feature is perfect, and I have several templates I use for different types of trips.

Sometimes an Apple Note will suffice, and sometimes I just “x” lines in Drafts for a quick and dirty grocery list.

When I’m working with large numbers of LaTeX files on my Mac, I use file colors, prefix schemes, and even moving files from one folder to another to keep what I’ve processed and what I haven’t.

Checklists are as old as civilization and are one of the most fundamental ways to augment the human mind, which needs help seeing where it’s been and where it needs to go. Everyone can benefit from checklists. Just check out The Checklist Manifesto.