How do you manage and keep track of your tasks? Do you scribble notes on a piece of scrap paper or write a daily/weekly To-Do list? Do you use a daily planner, a PDA, or use an application on your computer or on the Internet?
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my own journey of managing tasks. Since one of my core beliefs is …
There’s always a better way!
I’ve spent nearly two decades looking for a better way to manage tasks.
When I was a junior in college, I bought a Franklin Day Planner after hearing a pastor teaching other pastors / future pastors how to use the Franklin Day Planner in their ministries. I used the day planner for 6 years.
In 1995, I stopped buying the refill pages from Franklin and started printing out my own sheets, adapted from Franklin’s. Around 2000 or 2001, I bought an electronic PDA and used that for a while. I didn’t like using the tasks program on the PDA, mainly because I couldn’t see all of my tasks at a glance. The PDA was good for contacts (as well as Solitaire and Scrabble 😉 ).
For the next few years, I went back to printing out my own master task list. But in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been feeling the there’s-gotta-be-a-better-way itch. I’m sure it’s partly due to the new life of having a child and beginning new ministries.
This time, I’m doing a couple things. Joleen and I have set up 4 different Google Calendars, each with a difference color (each of us can view any or all of them on one calendar): Randy’s Work, Joleen’s Work, Our Work, and Personal & Family. We’re hoping the calendars will provide a central location for planning work and family activities.
The other thing I’m doing is checking out some of the latest online task management applications. After a little research, I decided to try out a free service called, Remember the Milk (RTM). Using RTM, I have created personal and ministry-related lists.
But it’s more than simply putting task items on a list. Last year, I read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. I especially like the subtitle!
There seems to be quite a movement devoted to “Getting Things Done” (GTD) and there are a number of resources online, including: David Allen’s Web site, 43 Folders, and LifeHacker, among others.
It’s too early to tell if I will like using RTM, or any other an online task management system. But even if I don’t like it/them, I still expect to learn some things from the experience that will help me with my next system. 🙂