One of my projects I'm working on right now is a new productivity/accountability system. I have modeled it after my own method of getting things done and have been using it for forty five days as I built it.
Roughly two weeks ago I invited some friends and members of my forum to use it. None of them use it in the same way I do. Many of them stopped using it because it was too different from how they get things done.
So, I'm curious. How do you get things done? Do you schedule your whole day in Outlook? Do you keep a running Todo list and do what you can? Do you write down three things that MUST get done that day? Do you just meander through the day and do things as you think of them? Something else?
I'd love to read about your system and the rationale for using it. I'll be giving out a new round of invites soon, and anyone who shares their method/system in the comments will get an invite during that round.
I print out the daily calander in Outlook and have that by my computer each day with my tasks for the day populated. I then write down anything that comes up each day that I need to complete. At the start of the next day I print it again and do the same thing.
I use the outlook calender. I type in my tasks and then print out the calender view for that day. I hand write anything I need to do for the day that isn't in my tasks. I keep that printout near my computer all day to review and add anything I need. I finish each task before I go home for the day. The next day I start all over again and print out the day in my calander witn any tasks that show up on
oh, just found your site Tynan, very cool and hope I'm not too late to add my bit. I am a natural do-er, and I bounce out of bed in action, but I never rush, so I stay busy all the time. If it's a priority then I do any little thing to help it along every day, especially those long term daunting projects.Usually once you get started you're okay. I have a small thick spiral bound book. the back pages have kids b'days, odd addresses etc. I have no rules for how I use the book other than that a pen must be clipped inside the spiral. I use it for everything (diary,interests,shopping,diagrams,lists). When it's full I pop it in the shoe box with the others. The other thing I do is choose a focus area of my life for the chinese year (begins after the silly season so time to get my head screwed on)this year is about creativity which is probably why I'm here.
I make todo lists at the start of every page in my journal. I use a software for Mac called Chronories, which is actually pretty awesome, and documents my activities pretty well. It kind of gives me a better sense of time, and my progress through it... I'd like to build a stronger system of getting things done rather than todo lists that I don't look at enough. Always so distracted...
Thanks for making such an awesome site and sharing your experiences with the world.
For me, remembering is the big issue - I've learned by now that if something needs to be done, I just get up off my booty and do it.
For remembering, I'm very good with numbers (I've got about 40 digits of Pi down right now), so if I remember the number of things I have to do, I can usually remember them all.
I do a little preplanning in my head ("Okay, another thirty minutes of checking email before I shut down the computer, then I'll go do job A, it'll probably take about an hour..."), but I don't think I've ever had a day scheduled to perfection.
I'm actually developing a single page application that can modify and save itself (locally) to keep track of my todo list. I can carry it with me on a usb drive and/or sync it with Dropbox.
I've found a paper todo list is most convenient because it's so portable. Thus one of the features of the web page will make it easy to print out a todo list, mark it up, and manually enter changes back into the web page. (For when a browser is not handy. Another idea would be to make it an iPhone app, but I don't have an iPhone...)
So I'm building this self-contained web page in order to fix a few of the shortcomings of paper todo lists:
- can't dynamically sort tasks by due date/priority/status
- no text search
- difficult to keep/analyze history of (completed) tasks
- constant copying of unfinished tasks to next week's todo list
- cannot hide certain tasks
In general, I think a todo list really helps me because I can see an overview of what I need to do and I don't worry or waste time trying to recall things I need to do.
Also the act of marking a task complete and looking at your completed tasks gives me a great feeling.
Due date is important for selecting which task to work on next, but just starting a task is half the battle.
elai, I wrote a native app GeeTasks for syncing Google Tasks to iPhone and it does exactly what you ask - it's quick to access on the phone, but it keeps a copy of the data in the google's cloud in case something happens to the phone, or maybe you just happen to be near computer - then you can use Google's web site as well and have all changes sync and merge later on.
At work, I use Onenote and Outlook together. I take notes and write detailed stuff, add pics etc. on Onenote. Then I assign tasks straight from Onenote pages to Outlook and follow them up on Outlook's to-do list.
In my private life I just add important things as reminders/meetings to my cellphone calendar. If I don't get them done, I just move them to a later time.
Now it's time for the one post that everyone's been waiting for. The 2010 Gear Post.
For a quick background: my method is to have very few items, all of which are as small as possible and as awesome as possible. The goal is to have a tiny bag but be prepared for absolutely everything. This year I've gotten closer to that ideal than ever before. You can see my 2009 packing list here to compare.
The Bag: Ortlieb Flight 22
Now vs. "IMMINENT"
Through my consulting, through sharing/collaboration on Ops calls with friends, and observing my own system, I've found something that is utterly hostile to success.
It's evil and wretched, broken, seductive and conniving, and leads on the path to ruin.
It has the heart of pure darkness, the most viciousness of all the ages combined, and with a voice as sweet as the sirens beckoning you to the rocks.
It's really, really bad.