In our world, we’ve to remember and plan a lot of things.
Let’s summarize what it could be:
- Meetings at some time and place (i.e. weekly status call or meeting with friends)
- Actions to do for some day and time (i.e. send some important report)
- Actions to do for some date (i.e. congratulate colleague with the birthday or fill timesheet, check task progress)
- Actions to do in near future without an exact date (i.e. analyze some unimportant email)
- Actions in the far future (i.e. review article)
- Recurring meetings and actions
- Notes (i.e. articles to review)
As you see it’s a lot of information to remember in our world. Often this information is critical: nobody wants to miss an important deadline, meeting or just the birthday of the best friend. The problem is that:
Constantly trying to remember things drains energy and causes stress.
Fortunately, we have a lot of tools and approaches how to take all this pressure and worrying off of your head.
Let me share my way to this goal.
- A long time ago I’ve started with the simplest solution: writing in a paper notebook/organizer with sheets marked with dates. It resolved some pain , but a lot of things still became unhandled:
- Not easy to move actions to the next days. You need just to copy paste them
- Not easy to handle actions without dates
- You need to have the notebook near to you
- No notifications about events
- No way to handle recurring events
It’s really important to add notes fast since nobody will wait for you during discussion.
It should be easy to move notes from one day to another! It’s important since it’s impossible to finish all the available work in one day.
Notes should be always near to you!
It should be possibility to save reccuring events and actions.
It should be the way to mark some events or actions as important/unimportant.
- Then I have moved all meetings in calendars based on the email apps(i.e. Outlook Thunderbird). It resolved a lot of pains related to meetings and events with exact date/time, but different items were not resolved:
- Actions without date and time are hard to handle
- Actions in the far future can be easily forgotten
- Not clear how to add notes
A lot of actions have not the exact date and time.
- I’ve introduced small colored stickers for actions without date and time. It was easy to fill them and it was really motivative when you completed the task and throw related sticker out in a basket. But:
- It’s easy to forget notes about action
- Stickers are not always near to you
It’s perfect when completence of actions motivates!
- Using whole day events in the calendar tool for actions without exact time. It made all my notes located in one place. Additionally, it was easy to move them between dates. But:
- It was hard to separate meetings and actions without exact dates. All thing displayed as events. As a result, it was around 20 events for one day.
- It was not possible to plan for actions without a date.
It’s inconvenient to see the mix of meetings and actions without exact time.
Then I’ve searched for a good tool for actions and finally found it by recommendation of a colleague:
- I’ve moved all actions and notes from the calendar to the Todoist app. This tool covered all requirements I’ve described above! Additionally, this tool has the intelligent way how to shift actions: it suggests the most convenient day for action and more other things. Also it motivates to complete the actions with different approaches as karma and daily limit.
Now I’ve separated apps for meetings and actions on desktop and mobile as well and finally, it’s easy to see the meetings for the day and get reminders for them and handle actions from Todoist.
As a result, I recommend to use calendars i.e. Google Calendar, Outlook for meetings and the Todoist app for other kinds of actions.
Please let me know if have any questions or notes! Enjoy!