Survey shows nearly four out of five Canadians depend on to-do lists to get them through the day

    Eight-country study ranks Canada first for to-do list use, but last for
    efficiently completing daily tasks

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - A new survey reveals people around the
world are dependent on to-do lists to get them through their day, with
Canadians the most prevalent users of this organizational method. The
Microsoft-commissioned Kelton Research survey polled thousands of respondents
in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Japan, Germany, Spain
and Italy, and shows Canadians rely on daily to-do lists the most with nearly
four out of five (78%) counting on them for daily direction. Despite this
tendency for organization, the survey shows Canadians are among the worst
procrastinators and experience frustration with their lists of daily tasks.
    According to the survey, Canadians leave some items on their to-do lists
for an average of 26 days before completing them. This problem was evident in
results from all countries surveyed with Canada and the U.K. sharing the top
spot. Italy was the most efficient country with respondents reporting that
they leave tasks on their to-do list no more than an average of 14 days.
Compared with the U.S., Canadians share similar outlooks on to-do lists but
are not as productive as their neighbours to the south. Fewer Canadians (77%)
than U.S. residents (84%) complete more than half of their tasks in an average
    Ellen Damaschino, certified professional organizer and creator of
organization consultancy Neat, assessed the global importance of to-do lists
and believes people can start checking off more items on their to-do lists by
using electronic rather than paper lists. With nearly 49 per cent of Canadians
saying they spend an average of one hour per week making, rewriting,
consulting and checking off items on their to-do lists, mobile devices running
Windows Mobile(R) software help provide Canadians with the flexibility to
choose the device that best suits their needs as well as an ideal solution for
making quick edits on the go.
    "It's no secret that people all over the world are extremely busy and
often stressed out from juggling multiple aspects of their lives," said
Damaschino. "They're looking for easy to use tools that can help them regain
control and get them through their day. I want to give people a new
perspective on every day organization and show them some innovative methods
for accomplishing this in their daily routine."
    The survey indicates that four in 10 (40%) Canadians feel frustrated with
simply finding the time to get everything done on their lists and a similar
number of respondents (41%) say accomplishing all of the tasks on their lists
has frustrated them. Prioritizing tasks is an exasperating experience as well
for nearly a quarter (24%) of Canada and nearly all (96%) of those who keep a
to-do list admit they have neglected an important task because they've
forgotten to put it on their list.
    "Windows Mobile software helps people make the most of their time by
providing a choice of devices that allow them to check e-mail, manage
calendars and contacts, edit documents, surf the Web and enjoy entertainment
while on the go," said Alec Taylor, director, Mobile Communications Business,
Microsoft Canada Co. "The variety of software available for the wide range of
Windows Mobile-based devices helps turn a smartphone into a companion for all
aspects of life, including to-do lists, and can introduce greater flexibility
into the management of daily tasks."

    In addition to the stats above, the survey found that:
    -  Canadians are keeping lots of different lists. Among the nearly half
       (47%) who keep multiple lists, the most popular are for tasks that
       revolve around their household (66%), their personal lives (65%), and
       their jobs (61%).

    -  Two in five (40%) also keep lists of new ideas they want to pursue,
       and nearly a quarter (24%) use lists to track personal goals and

    -  When it comes to their daily to-do lists, nearly nine in 10 (87%)
       Canadians simply start with the most important item on the list.

    -  Canadians are more likely to start with the hardest item on their list
       before the easiest item (54% vs. 46%), but they're split on whether to
       play now or play later. About half (51%) address the least enjoyable
       item first, while the rest (49%) start with the most enjoyable item.

    -  Canadian men and women are divided on the best way to manage their
       many tasks. Among those who keep multiple to-do lists, men are much
       more likely to use these lists for long-term goals. Women, on the
       other hand, focus their list-making on things that need to be done

    More worldwide survey results, tips on how to be more productive and
information on the latest Windows Mobile-based devices are available at
    For the latest news regarding Windows Mobile in Canada, please visit the
newly launched Windows Mobile website for Canada at

    About Ellen Damaschino

    Ellen Damaschino is a certified professional organizer based in Portland,
Ore., and creator of Neat ( She works to help people
organize their personal space and understand the obstacles that prevent them
from reaching their life goals. Combining her personal and professional
experiences, Damaschino brings a fresh and unique approach to Neat. From
bedrooms to buildings, she enjoys the spectrum of space management challenges
while teaching others about the many benefits of simplicity.

    About Microsoft Canada

    Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. is the Canadian subsidiary of
Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software,
services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full
potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting
and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in
Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has 10 regional offices across the country
dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place
and on any device. Visit Microsoft Canada's web site at

    The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
trademarks of their respective owners.

For further information:

For further information: Michael Sznajdruk, High Road Communications,
(613) 688-1189,

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