Monday's Whine: Anal Organizing

Geeze, that title ought to bring in a few disappointed readers, especially when they realize this post is actually about re-organizing my life.

This will be short and boring because this post is about the elaborate and organized task management process I created last week, although I doubt it’s unique in any way. Everything I do on a daily basis is now on index cards. Yes, your read me right, everything I need to do on a daily basis is on index cards. I hope you’re laughing, because I’m also about to add that tasks are separated by categories and color coded. Okay, now shut up because it’s working. Ask me again in a month it it’s working and the answer may be different, but for now I’m happy with what I put together, and my head is no longer spinning…so there.

If you’re interested in what I created, read on:

  • I got the following supplies: about 500 4×6 index cards, a few packages of dividers, 6 different colored highlighters, a Sharpie and a box to hold the cards.
  • I divided everything I need to do on a daily basis into categories and color coded them: writing is yellow, administrative is purple, networking is orange, health & beauty is blue, meals are green, and housework is pink. The color white is reserved for one-time task.
  • The dividers were used to separate the days of the week, with two dividers used for each day. One divider is for unfinished tasks and one is for finished tasks.
  • Three dividers were also added for to do items that are one time tasks. I labeled them To Do, Today & Done. You can probably figure out what they mean.

Everything I need to do each day was added to an index card along with the day of the week I need to accomplish it. I used the highlighter to color the top of the index card based on its category. To the right, you’ll see an example of a card. When a task has been finished, I add the date and if someone besides me did the task, their name. The card then gets put back in the box behind the finished work tab.

You ask why so much paper? Well, I had moved my tracking system to a spreadsheet on my computer a couple years ago, but it was too easy to ignore stuff. I now have all the tasks I need to accomplish sitting beside my computer, staring back at me, just begging me to get them done. I also find I move quicker to deplete the cards and get them back in the box.

I debated on getting an old fashioned day planner, but then I’d have to sit down daily and plan my day and rewrite stuff I didn’t accomplish the day prior. The way this new system works, all I have to do is pull out the index cards for the day and away I go. If I don’t finish something, the card can carry over into the next day without rewriting it in the book.

So like I said earlier, the system seems to be working pretty well so far. Now I’m off to file away the “Write Monday’s Whine” card and finish up my “Write 2000 New Words a Day” card. Don’t forget to drop by for the Writer’s Wednesday Blog tour in a couple days. Yes it has a card too. 🙂

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