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.