News — 18 January 2011
The Evil To Do List Will Kill You

This is Mel Gordon, co-founder of I’m going to start using this blog as a place to talk about the start-up world. I’ll reveal the behind the scenes of TapHunter, our team, our wins and our challenges. So please feel free to ask questions and chime in.

All too often my day ends with a FULL to do list and a stack of business cards. How can one person possibly get through the day with such a crazy pile and still feel accomplished or like your moving forward?

Each night I start fresh. I throw away that yellow piece of paper and I reestablish the next day’s top 5 things that must get done. All other tasks that are slightly important or unimportant get moved to another day. Those top things should have other people’s names next to them. If you don’t have people to delegate to as the founder of your own company you won’t make it. You won’t make it a week. And if you do make it a week you won’t make it a month being successful. Believe me. I tried.

Here are some of the tools I use to help keep organized and on task include:

  • The Action Method notebook by Behance. A great little find that is based on “Your Passion is Your Work, Treat it Well.” I filled one up and am I my second one. It’s an inexpensive way to test your brain in just plain getting shit done.
  • Our team uses Basecamp by 37signals. Basecamp is an easy to use project management tool. If yo

    Organized and Taking Action

    u have more than 1 person on your team you need this. Plus they have a cool story from their startup days.

  • Breath, take a walk around the block (maybe 3 times), grab a cafe Viennese with a friend for 10 minutes. It works. These are all things I did just today to keep a sane and clear mindset. Without a clear mindset you’ll never conquer your to do list.

The to do list that kills you equates to the entrepreneur that doesn’t make it very far. How do you stay organized? What tools do you use?

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Melani Gordon

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  • Don Faust

    Mel – It’s been a little while since I checked out Tap Hunter, but I’ve seen a Tweet here and there. I see you have expanded to other cities now – congrats on everything! I am especially happy that you added Philly – such a cool east coast city and lots of micro brews around. I always liked going to Monks Cafe for their Belgians. However, we’ve since moved to Seattle in the last year, so I’m even happier to see the Seattle site also – will have to check things out.

    Thanks for this post – I’ll have to check out your recommendation on the Action Method notebook. I am a organization person myself, but I like simple tools that are not overkill when I have so much other stuff to do. I have just recently become more involved in Chris’ travel site to put two heads on it, so I am learning as much of the techie things I can and still providing photo content. We have so much to learn and so many action items. With different work styles, we need a simple way to stay on prioritized tasks.

    The think the thing that helps me the most at this point is creating a simple electronic To-Do list and adding entries into a calendar – both of which remind me.

    The bad news is that we need better organization and time to enhance the site. The good news is that late last year Chris won Silver Award (2nd best) in Leipzig, Germany for best travel blog from the Society of Travel Writers, as judged by a university journalism department.

    Good job on everything – I really like Tap Hunter.

  • Don Faust

    Oh – and say hi to Flash. We miss Costa Rica!

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  • Tap Master

    Hi Don –
    Thanks a million for your comments back. It’s so cool to hear from you guys. Maybe our paths of beer and travel will cross soon.