04 May 2016

Long Term Tasks/Goals

Talking on a regular basis with a fellow paper organiser/planner user is really good for the soul. It helps you break out of your own comfort zone and gets you thinking about doing things in a different way.

As you know I've been chatting and discussing some of our favourite planner topics with Karine Tovmassian on 'The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Plannerverse' podcast.

A few times Karine has shared with us how she has all of her goals and tasks listed and how she adds them to her weekly task lists.

Personally I have tended to only plan on a weekly basis, with some things (mainly appointments) planned further ahead than that.

With the changes to the seasons finally happening here it gets me shifting gear in to what I should be doing or I need to do outside, and what was a fairly steady winter weekly routine has to be massaged to include new tasks like lawn mowing and other jobs outside etc.

Hearing Karine explain how she has all of her tasks and goals recorded in her organiser has 'kicked my butt' in to thinking I need to start thinking in a similar way, otherwise I am still going to have lots and lots of unfinished jobs and projects that will never in a million years get on to my weekly task list.

So starting this next week I'm going to try and decide how to record all of these miscellaneous tasks/jobs/goals and put them in to some form of order and then prioritise them and start adding them to my weekly list of things to do and start getting some of them crossed off the list.

So how do you plan your long term goals/tasks? Do you have any hints and tips you can share. Please leave them in the comments.


  1. I write tasks for the month on my week insert that I designed for my Franklin pocket binder. There is a section on the first page of the month for this information.

  2. It helps to have a Master Task List and enjoy a "brain dump" where every loose end gets noted in the order they show up while writing them down. Reordering them and classifying them is much swifter once they are down because now your brain can think straight instead of getting bogged down with "have I forgotten anything else"?

  3. I have two categories in my "master task list" - one for tasks with a deadline and one for tasks without a deadline.
    Those that have a deadline I schedule immediately once they come in - not by taking a note of the deadline in my planner, but also by blocking out time to work at them in the days or weeks heading to the deadline. Tasks without a deadline I copy on post it notes and pop them in my planner for when I think it's a good time to tackle them. Often something else comes up and I have to move the post it note to another time, but this system ensures that the task won't be forgotten, but also that it is not necessary to constantly think of it. When I have some unexpected time, for example when an appointment is canceled, I quickly check those loosely scheduled tasks to see if one of them could be done already.

  4. In my commonplace section, I have a page for each month of the year that has no dates. On that page, I write all the things I have to do in that month. In the beginning of the year, I make a list of my goals. Then I take these goals and break them down into the steps it will take to get them done. Then I take those steps and write each one onto a small sticky note and then transplant the steps by assigning them to a specific month. On the second to last weekend of each month, I pull out the page for the next month and assign the monthly tasks and the sticky notes to a specific wee for the upcoming month. Most of the tasks are not time sensitive, but usually must be done In a particular order for successful completion of the goal, so I can't ignore the steps for that month. It is a system that has worked very well for personal goals and for work projects.