Professional Women · Task Management

Task Management 5.0

Once again, another attempt at organizing my life out of chaos! Some day, I may realize that life does not ever get totally organized and will stop trying to keep it so ordered.

TODAY is not that day, though!

This adventure in organization started after a day that I worked off-site and forgot my task list at work. Oh my goodness! Can I just say that day was pretty much a bust – and really stressful on top of it!

However, I still had my trusty phone and computer, so I started wondering if there were a way that I can organize my tasks digitally so I can access them on my phone and/or computer. After all, I am rarely out of reach of both of those items.

There are plenty of task management apps out there, or apps people have turned into task management. Apps for people who are creative, minimalist, work from home, stay at home, IT focused, LEAN or Agile focused, or just about any variation  you can think of. To name a few…

  • Asana
  • Todoist
  • Evernote
  • Wunderlist
  • Any.do
  • Google Tasks
  • Trello (my favorite!)

After that frantic day of work without a task list, I sat down with the intention of making my list digital. Everything that I could possibly think of was set up and scheduled and reminders set. It looked beautiful!

As with all of my other systems, this one didn’t quite fit my work style. (Really? I’m still surprised by this? The only perfect task system is the one that does it all for me!)

There were some really good things that came out of this process:

  • A digital system allows me to maintain an empty inbox in my email. Having email linger in my inbox gives me anxiety as I think I am forgetting things. However, there really are things that just serve as a reminder or that I need to take care of later. Now I can email them to my system and schedule follow-up so I can feel the peace of an empty inbox.
  • When I am on the go, as I often am, I can send myself a text or email that goes directly to my task app. If you are at all like me, I have to write or type it somewhere or you can consider it forgotten.
  • No matter where I am, I can access my tasks as long as I have WiFi. I even keep some of the documents in there that I refer to often so I can pull them up at whatever meeting I happen to be at. I LOVE the cloud!
  • Email from the teacher about the snack schedule? No problem, forward it to my task app and set a reminder to buy snacks 2 days before.
  • My task app has basically become my external hard drive for my brain. People often comment about how efficient I am and are blown away when I can pull up the document we used the previous year so we can follow the same format.

The down side of having it all digital really comes down to just one thing… when I write things down I remember them better.

I still use my task app to keep all of my current tasks in and it is very valuable for those long-term projects or tasks that only come up once a year. However, my written task list is still vital to my work.

When I create my written schedule, I do refer to my task app to make sure I am staying on top of things. After all, I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday so you can’t possibly expect that I will remember to file my expense report on time.

What tips and tricks have you discovered on your journey to organization?

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