When I worked as a journalist, I loved my notebook. It didn’t just hold my notes and interviews for stories, but my to do list items for each day and week too.
Granted, that may have been a requirement given it was a major tool of the trade. But as digital equivalents became more popular, and I switched careers, I used real notebooks less. In the past few years, I’ve tried a bevy of different methods and apps for managing my to do list. Recently though, I’ve landed on something that works for me and might stick.
I use both a digital task list (Google Tasks) and a small notebook. Google Tasks holds everything I need to do. I turn to the notebook each day to plan out the most important things to do, plus any meetings and other small items that need attention. I plan out the entire week the same way in the notebook. I pull out major items I want to get done that week and note them on a page using the same formula. I never break down big items, because that happens naturally each day. This combination of digital and analog provides the perfect mix for me.
So a day might look something like this:
MIT (Most important task) - Finish accessibility review for new interface. Meetings - Check-in with Steve. - Check-in with Carol. - Check-in with Lauren. Other - Reply to thread on theme work. - Look over data on customer sites.
I think it’s the physical act of writing the day’s activities down rather than typing them that makes it work better. I’m a few weeks in, and this has helped me be and feel more productive than most anything else.