How to use ChatGPT or another LLM as a to-do list manager

It struck me the other day that since ChatGPT and the other Large Language Model based AI systems can take inputs, remember the context of a conversation thread, and keep track of what’s been discussed in the thread, that they might be able to be used as dead-simple to-do list managers. So, I decided to try it.

It works!

Ok, it can add a couple of items to the list and show me the list. Good so far. Let’s see what happens when I try to add an additional item, or remove items from the list.

Ok! This is trivial, useful, and simple. I like it.

Prompts for using ChaptGPT as a to-do list manager

Here are a few prompts I found work really well:

  • “Add x to my to-do list”
  • “Show me my to do list”
  • “Add x to my to-do list with a due date of date
  • “Sort my to do list by due date. If an item does not have a due date, put it at the end in alphabetical order.”
  • “Remove x from my to-do list.”
  • “Change the due date on x to new_due_date.”
  • “Sort my to do list by date. Put past due items up at the top.”

I then realized I wanted to have a work to-do list, as well as a personal one. Let’s try this:

  • “Name that to do list my ‘Personal to do list’ “
  • “Start a second to-do list and call it “Work to-do list.”

Success! It seems to manage both lists independently in the same conversation, as long as I specify which list I am referring to in a particular prompt (e.g. “Add ‘get coffee’ to my personal to do list”).