Lists – My experience

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      Having a thought or idea that I haven’t written down can actually keep me up at night, which is why I keep a notebook on my bed stand. I also make notes every day in a graph paper notebook, recording my accomplishments, enjoyments, people I’ve seen, what’s on tap for tomorrow, my favorite part of the day, a challenge from the day, progress for the day and notes from the day.

      I also record the moon cycle, wake up and bed time, and note common activities—such as exercise, meditation, housework, cooking, reading and writing using a series of half circles.

      I try to start each day with clarity about what has passed, and what is ahead.

      Mindful. Rather than full mind.

      That handwritten exercise is primarily a practice versus a tool.


      The tools I use to manage day-to-day tasks and ideas include:

      • Trello to manage what needs to get done, when and where.
      • Evernote for taking notes on ongoing projects, paid and volunteer.
      • Google docs for actual authoring, such as this text.

      The other tools you should at least be aware of are David Scott’s Getting Things Done and Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

      Making lists is a good practice, but until you make a habit of analyzing the day or days ahead contextually, you’re only extracting the surface value. The basic idea is that the stuff you need to do needs to be prioritized. Stuff you need to do is also connected to environments – the office, the store, the workroom.

      If you record items based on where you need to get them done, you are in essence bagging and tagging your to-dos.

      The bigger challenge is to be mindful of the “big rocks”—the most important tasks. For note taking, the advantage of Evernote is that you can write and manage those notes from anywhere, even share them with others. Best of all, the tool is free, and works on any device.

      I sometimes use Google Docs for similar purposes, but Evernote provides an easier structure for notes, so I primarily manage writing projects in Google Docs instead.

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