28 June 2007

Green Flags

I write my day-to-day to-dos ("call the bank," etc.) right on my daily pages, and if I don't get them done by the end of the week, I flag them. I make my own flags by tearing small Post-it notes into strips.

So now I have green flags going back to February. What month is it...July? I used to use a To Do page and bind it in the middle of the weekly spread. I quit doing that because the page started collecting "maybe do's." But it occurs to me now, I could just move it behind to To Do tab, which is where I keep all of those nonurgent to-dos. Or I could at least look more respectable by using actual Post-it flags, maybe in red to match the binder.

But that doesn't answer the real question: why do I have undone URGENT tasks going back to February?


  1. Maybe the problem with your undone todos is the fact that you are using your calendar as a todo list, something it is not meant to be!
    Personally I only write a todo in my calendar if it needs to be done at that exact date (e.g. a phone call). After that date, done or not, the todo will have taken care of itself. All others go into the various todo lists that I keep in another section of the planner.

    Since you are familiar with the principles of GTD another solution might be that your unresolved todos are in reality projects.

  2. My system is a half-baked GTD sort.

    I write my to-dos for the day on the diary for that particular day. If they are not done for whatever varied reasons, I snowball them to the next day. But once they get deferred too many times, they go into the Next Action tab, which is for me a sort of a Some Day section.

    When I first got back to paper organisers, I was almost made a Procrastination tab. Reason was to have a list of things to do that I know I will keep putting off, that way it is listed, but I don't have to feel guilty for not getting to them. It is current called the SomeDay tab in my Filofax.

    Anyway, love the green flag with the red Finsbury.

  3. Thanks for the voice of reason, Klaus.

    I love the Procrastination tab, Shortie, and the idea behind it. Why cause unnecessary guilt.

    Right now, I've had enough of tweaking my system. I'm going to do the stuff that I've written in the wrong place before I change where I'm writing it. I need to make prioritization the name of the game.

  4. This is helpful, Inky! My Personal Filo is week on 2 pages, so for lack of space I only write things I intend to do that week - either I do them, because I have to, or I don't, because they didn't really matter anyhow. I've been struggling with my other to do lists - I tend not to look at them and resort to sticky notes. I also need to plan blocks of time for projects. I tend to do little tasks - this is my form of procrastination - never ending maintenance.

  5. Perhaps the trick is to write less? Like tangerine my diary section is tight for space so I must try to be economical with my words. I “line on” unclosed actions by inking arrows from one day to the next. If the task still fails to be done I either remember to do it another day or simply forget about it completely. Currently I regularly use the diary, notes, information and addresses sections. Perversely projects (a new one started yesterday) live in the notes section.