It’s important to write down everything you need to do. You won’t forget anything, you free your mind to think about other things, and you get to cross things off a list.

There’s something about crossing things off a list that’s very satisfying. It stimulates the reward centers of your brain, releasing a little dopamine for a job well done. You can see your progress as you progress through the day.

When you complete a task in OmniFocus, it might stay visible until the current view refreshes. Then it disappears. For a while, you can adjust the view settings or check a custom perspective (if you have OmniFocus Pro) to see what you’ve done, but eventually, the tasks will be gone for good.

This is good for focus (hide completed tasks so you only see what you still need to do) but it’s bad for tracking what you’ve done. Here’s a TextExpander macro that will help you keep a more permanent record of your accomplishments in an appropriate place.

The following script will build a list of all the tasks you’ve completed today, grouped by project.

Role — Family
 ✔ Have wedding rings cleaned
 ✔ Build a toy box camera

Sharpen the Saw
 ✔ Read for 30 minutes

If a project will be automatically completed when all of its tasks are completed, the number of remaining tasks is included after the project.

July Budget (3 remaining)
 ✔ Balance checkbook
 ✔ Cover overdrawn envelopes

Pay July Rent (completed)
 ✔ Write out check for July rent
 ✔ Drop off rent check

I have this script assigned to the TextExpander macro .ctasks (short for completed tasks). Create a new script, change the content to JavaScript, and paste the following code.

Now, anywhere you’re typing, you’re just a few keystrokes away from a complete list of everything you did today.

  • Conclude your daily planner page in Evernote with everything you got done.
  • Create an end-of-day journal entry in DayOne.
  • Send a status update to coworkers who might be interested in what you got done.
  • Record what you did in a work log.

Tracking what you need to do is essential for short-term productivity. Tracking what you’ve done is key to long-term growth.

Question: What do you learn from tracking what you’ve done? Share your thoughts in the comments, on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.