The Most Impressive To-Do List of 2013

Meet the winner! (Or at least see his to-do list!)

Brandon Bethea is the founder of a Fin Forward, a charity that takes cancer survivors on shark dives, and other once in a lifetime opportunities.

“I deal with the ultimate "to do" lists--bucket lists,” Bethea said in his email. He shared his own ambitious bucket list: 50, Countries, 50 states, 30 Shark Species, 7 continents, 1 trip to space (he says he’s currently at 36, 25, 13, 5, and 0)

Slow down!

Sometimes we get too caught up in our lives and forget to enjoy what's really important. Thanks for the reminder, Marisa Flores. "This is a picture I took of my to-do list compared to a colleague's daughter who was playing during a meeting on a Sunday. This seven year-old reminded me to slow down once in a while and not try to fill every minute."

A look into a random day

A self described design aficionado, social media enthusiast, and health nut, Sandy Pham's list is simple and organized.

Cheese = World Domination

The kind folks at Tom+Chee sent along this cute (but also slightly terrifying) to-do list, showing how grilled cheese is at the heart of world domination.

Color coded, highlighted, and crossed out

As an accessories buyer, Madeline Tolle has a lot on her mind--especially during the holiday season. "This 3-page long to-do list was the road map for making the holidays bright."

Sometimes less says more

Alexx Miles had a good 2013. "In 2013, I did everything I put on my to do list. I graduated college, I found my dream job, moved to New York City and am learning that having a lot on my to do list feels like the right thing to do."

Busy and Organized

Katy Winans sent along not just one to-do list, but eleven! Eleven! "While everyone is scrambling around trying to close new business, I prioritize and stay ahead of the game by keeping simple, handwritten to-do lists."

A rollercoaster ride of a year . . . with a happy ending

Kristina Hackett had a year of mixed emotions. Just take a look for yourself.

To-dos on top of to-dos!

Cassie Ladd is busy: her to-do lists is actually a host of lists, one for each hour. "This is the week before Christmas with three social engagements, 5 business meetings, several writing assignments due, gym times, vet visits and about 20 holiday related tasks."

A to-do's got to have the rythym

Mike Scott's percussion ensemble rehearses on the weekends and he teaches 6th graders during the week. That's a lot to keep up with. Scott shared with up a piece of his Evernote to-do list.

The Most Impressive To-Do List of 2013

The winner of the Best To-Do List contest helps cancer survivors swim with sharks, while the runners-up help us keep perspective on what’s important.

You accomplished so much in the past year that we were exhausted just reading your to-do lists. But it’s what you plan to do that really caught our attention.

Many of your lists illustrated the challenges you overcame in 2013, starting your own business or navigating life’s bumps.

One refreshing finding: despite our dependence on technology, a surprising number of you still depend on good old fashion pen and paper to do lists. Although a there were a lot of tightly written color-coded lists with check boxes (like Katy Winans’ dizzying lists of tasks), some of our favorites were the most simple:

  • A colleague's daughter put Marisa Flores’ frenzied first year of entrepreneurship in to perspective with her enviable To-do’s of TV, eating, and sleeping.
  • Alexx Miles admitted that while there’s a lot left to do, 2013 was a year of getting a lot done with the simple blank "Sh*t I’ll Never Get Done" list.
  • Cory Ward’s colorful chalkboard drawing as a plan to world domination via grilled cheese.

But the winner, Brandon Bethea, found a way to tug on our heartstrings and inspire us to take more adventures.

Bethea founded a new charity called Fin Forward in 2013 that specializes in shark dives and other once-in-a-lifetime adventures for cancer survivors. His inspiration came after taking his mother on her dream trip to Australia to dive with great white sharks before losing her to cancer.

"I deal with the ultimate "to do" lists—bucket lists," Bethea said in his email. He shared his own ambitious bucket list: 50, Countries, 50 states, 30 Shark Species, 7 continents, 1 trip to space (he says he’s currently at 36, 25, 13, 5, and 0)

To help him accomplish great things in 2014 Bethea will get a year of his own virtual personal assistant from Fancy Hands. He says that one of his New Year’s resolutions is to delegate more tasks, so he’ll put his virtual personal assistant to work researching new potential "bucket list" trips for Fin Forward's cancer survivors.

Take a look at the slideshow above to see Bethea’s winning entry, along with our other favorites.

[Image: Flickr user Ambroo]

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