21 April 2017

Free For All Friday No. 440 by Laurie

 Happy Friday everyone!

We're in the last two months of school now, which is a very busy time. As I usually do when things get busy, I'm questioning my task management method.

My life is very task-heavy with work, family and personal things and I'm always looking for a better way to manage it all.

I have my lists of things that need to be done this week on my week + notes pages. Anything not done gets rewritten to the following week. So that begs the question, it must not have really been necessary to do during that exact week if I was able to put it off. So where should I write tasks that need to be done sometime relatively soon but not urgently, so I don't forget about them?

I also have separate work lists, long-term lists, etc in tabbed sections. But I'm getting to the point where I feel like I have task lists everywhere and I'm not sure where to look to see what I need to do.

I'm starting to think I need to simplify my whole process and just have tasks in my Tasks section, with a page per topic for personal and work.

How do you handle tasks?

And as always on Fridays, feel free to ask/ discuss anything ring-binder related!


  1. I struggle with tasks in my Filofax, which is why I prefer to keep my tasks electronically as a master list but copy the necessary ones to my filofax. So, when I do my weekly and monthly planning, I check my online list and copy over the tasks I know need to be done or that are urgent for that week. Really important ones like renewing subscriptions, getting birthday cards, etc are all added when I fill in my new yearly refills.
    I did experiment with having a weekly task list in my diary, but I struggled with that too, as so many of my tasks either have to start on a specific date or end by a specific date, so I just add them to those dates.
    i think it also depends on what inserts you are using - I use a vertical week on 2 pages as well as a day on two pages, so birthdays and subscription renewals go on the week on two pages, while the more detailed tasks, such as which reports to work on at work are kept in the daily pages.
    This probably sounds a bit long winded and complex, and may not make sense to other people, but it works for me.

    1. I do it that way, too. I use the Tick Tick App to put the master lists. In the planning of the week, I put the tasks, reminders related to the appointments, and the weekly missions of Fly Lady.

  2. I, too, have had challenges with lists of tasks, deciding where to put them, and remembering to check all of them regularly. I recently started using Trello online, and that has helped me with different categories of tasks as well as seeing the "big picture." I do something similar to what Hamish does. I look at Trello, then copy down key tasks for that day. Those are work-related and some of the bigger home, personal tasks. I also have enough room to write down incidental tasks that aren't on any master list ("Mail card." "Buy gas," etc.). I use two-pages per day and a vertical week on two pages.

  3. Off topic, but I want to do an on this day, OTD page with important news events, family big news etc to look back on over next New Year. What format do you use for this?

  4. For me, keeping my running task lists between the week pages, has worked best. Whether using a horizontal or vertical layout, whichever tasks were not done by the end of the week, would be rewritten on the next week’s page. This was a clear sign that said task or event was either date specific or urgent, this must be done today—don’t even think of leaving work til this is done.
    Now that I’m and empty-nester, I prefer a horizontal layout with a vertical line down the center (I need that visual.) The left section is reserved for date specific tasks and events. The righthand section is my running list.

  5. For this year I created a yearly insert on lined sheets, a monthly one on grid sheets and a weekly layout. I do not design an entire set at one time. I do not prefer a weekly layout for some reasons. There are scattered notations of various topics on many days of the year. On my weekly insert I numbered some items. Color coding distinguishes the notations but one does not know the total from it. I disliked the location of notes of two related conversations in six days of the same month. I turned two pages for the second discussion on the last day of the month because there is a break between months. On my weekly pages and a monthly calendar I purchased the first day of the week was not congruent.

    I used my monthly format for awhile but sometimes a prescribed amount of space is inadequate or too large. Now I am writing the information on my weekly layout and the other pages of the notebook until I determine a different way. I have more sheets of this insert than the monthly one.

  6. If I have a long list of things to do, I end up getting blind to seeing things that have been there for a long time.

    I have recently combined both my personal and work planner because I didn't like having to have two open planners on my desk to see my day.

    I use a section in my planner for projects. A project is anything that has more than three tasks in order for it to be completed. Each project has a tabbed page with the list of things to do for that project.

    On my week on four pages (two facing pages are M-F) is where the rubber meets the road. If the items on my project are not assigned to a day, it has little chance of getting done.

    When a project is complete, the top tab is moved to the side of the page and moved to the back of the projects section. I keep an index on the first page in my projects section of things that are completed. I used movable tabs since many times a completed project incurs new requirements after implementation and has to be revived.

  7. Hi! I'm a littlemail bit off topic but I want your advice! Got my first filofax Domino mini and understood that it's too small for me. Now I have a choice between Berkeley and Finsbury pocket size. I wanted to use it as a wallet too but both of them seems to have that zipped section and only Finsbury has a place for cash. But Berkeley is so adorable! Both of them are now on sale but I can't choose because that shop is online. Do you have any reviews/advices 'cuz I'm really in a big struggle now ((

  8. Still using my GTD setup. Despite numerous experiments with other systems it still 'just works' and keeps me on track.