01 March 2011

Task Management With Your Filofax

Continuing our discussion series on how to 'Get Things Done' using your Filofax, I think it's time I was a little bit more open and disclose a bit about my own methods, or rather the lack of them !!

You see whilst I don't work in the same sense that most people do, I'm just an assistant to 'The Boss' I still I suppose have to 'Get Things Done' otherwise nothing would get done, but my 'tasks' might be a bit more mundane than most... we aren't talking 'Blue Sky Thinking' here.

It's stuff like doing the ironing before we run out of shirts and blouses to wear. Making sure I remember all those small things I intend to purchase that we can't get easily in France on our next visit to UK. Or stuff I would like to get done some day but there's no particular deadline, but if I don't note it down somewhere the xyz component I need to order to accomplish the task will get forgotten about.  OK I'm sure I'm not alone with this sort of every day stuff.

So here's the confession... Up to now it's all been a little haphazard, sure it's written down somewhere I'm sure but in a variety of lists and bits of paper. How anything has gotten done is a minor miracle I suppose.

However, since I started using just my Slimline Finsbury for my To-Do lists a few weeks ago, I certainly have felt more 'focused' in being able to get a grip with my various tasks and projects. But it was far from perfect, because all I had done was transferred my pages across from other organisers. So how can I improve on this...

Looking at a few different on-line sources including some electronic task managers... which I've tried and never really got on with! They seemed to have a common approach. So this week I'm going to try a new approach with my To-Do lists.

I have separated my tasks in to:
  • This Week
  • This Month
  • And sometime in the future
  • Projects 
  • Blog Posts
This isn't a standard set up, because I know most people advocate having a 'Today' list as well. In my case that is not critical. Also there's nothing particularly radical or new in this idea, but by paying attention to your comments and other peoples suggestions I think this might work for me.

Although I've only been using this set of To-Do lists for a couple of days, already I feel more focused and I feel able to remember to do more things and get more things done. I just wish now I had made this change sooner!

Can you think of any improvements I might implement?

5 comments:

  1. Love having separate categories for to-do lists. I always have a work goals list (on a regular to do sheet) for work aims for that year (not just projects, but bigger aims). I also add unexpected work related achievements to this list and then at the end of the year I transfer them to my CV (as I am terrible at keeping it up to date as I go along!). Always pleasantly surprised to see what I have achieved at the end of the year (when sometimes it feels like I am not getting any-where). I guess this principal could be applied to personal life, house/home improvements etc.

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  2. I guess you have more than one Filofax ;-). So if you follow GTD's logic, you may have different lists in different Filofaxes. For instance, my @Computer and @Home to-do's are in my Personnal size that is sitting on my desk close to my computer at home, and my @town and @Hospital lists are in my mini that I always take with me when I leave home.

    At least it gives you an excuse to use TWO Filofaxes for GTD!

    Patrick

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  3. I like this Steve. It's good to keep it simple. I use a similar master lists by category. What I do with my weekly task list is group my to do by type and occasionally by place. This helps me feel less overwhelmed and to focus working on these groups linearly during a specific place or time. To do this I must use a lined note sheet rather than a to do page. I also do daily planning but apparently you don't feel the need. I need that sense that everything I need to remember on any given day is funneled into one small location. I tried the monthly to do myself which I abandoned because of constantly changing priorites. How about adding a to do list for fun or soulful things you would like to do?

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  4. Well a few more days on and this is working really well for me.

    I'm also trying out a Mac/iPod Touch app in parallel with the same tasks listed on it. Just to gauge which in fact works best for me.

    First thing is it's quite slow entering new tasks on the iPod, ok on the Mac though. So the iPod would be a 'slave' device. Where as my Filofax... just works.

    The App if you are interested is at: http://www.6wunderkinder.com/

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