Wednesday, January 6, 2021

My 2021 To-Do List ~ It Works The Way You Do


My 2021 To-Do List ~ It Works

This is an edited repost for 2021 of a prior post I did way back in 2018. 
So many of you emailed me about it and how successful it was for them, that it has become an evergreen post. (Edits in red)

In December of 2018, I had Sarra Cannon here as a guest blogger, talking about Tips For Success In 2019 As An Indie Author.  Earlier in the year, I'd been to her site and learned about her modified Kanban system.

I've modified the system even more.

For any system to be successful, it needs to work for you so I'm showing you in a very personal way what works for me. Please feel free to use whatever you see here that might work for you. 

Basically, a Kanban board is what you see below.  

A board with 3 columns listed To Do, In Progress and Finished
To-Do, In Progress and Finished. 

I don't have room in my office to place such a board, nor would I enjoy seeing such an in-my-face board, (I think it would be TOO much pressure 😉) so I decided to make a desk-sized book.

a 1/2 sheet of paper bound with rings and decorated with stickers

The basic idea behind a Kanban is that you list each To-Do item on paper coded by color to the type of task, and put it on the To-Do column.  Move it to the Doing column and then Done column

Showing how my list (neatly) looks on my book.

I use the same idea, but leave out the Doing. I use colored adhesive notes so I instantly know what I'm looking at.  (NOTE: I'd stopped doing this, what a mistake, I'm back to using colors codes for tasks)

Where I write my ideas for the next quarter

The notes get put on a day's page and not in any particular order unless I have a deadline. I place other not so immediate To-Do's on subsequent pages, after all, there are other things I want to do, not must do, like play the piano or sew or.... :)

As I said above, I don't have an In Progress or Doing List. My note stays on the page or gets moved to the next day if not completed. Most of the time, I can complete the task on that given day, and when I do, I write in INK that completed task on my page and throw away the To-Do note.

This way, I can easily write notes as the project/job/task pops into my head and stick it on a page. Now I rarely forget to get something done! How awesome is that? Very!! 

And I get to see the progress I've made and how the day was used for those must-do tasks.

I also realized that I have on-going tasks that will take more than one day, so I write in INK that I worked on the task, and MOVE the same post-it to the next page/day and so forth until I finished that long editing a book :) 

Now I often use several days on a page unless I'm VERY busy.

I was using one page for each weekday and one for a combined Saturday/Sunday, but I realized some days only get a few things accomplished. (I do write down what kept me from doing what I needed to do😄) And some days just don't have that much listed. So I start a new day if I can on the same page.  (Note: I no longer share weekday pages, as I set up my pages a week at a time now to be efficient. I only share Saturday and Sunday as I try not to "work" on those days.)

A completed day and now the page is decorated with stickers

A couple of important things to note. I learned from Sarra to have a quarterly list in the back of my book where I can place items I know I want to do, but can't focus on during this quarter.  It's a GREAT help because once it is listed, it's out of my brain and I won't forget it. (Note: after doing this for a year, I can't believe how much it took off my plate until that quarter rolled around and I could look at it and move on those ideas if I want to. WOW. Brain cells freed up.)

Second, I love scrapbooking and planners, so I've combined that love in this book. It makes me happy to decorate it after the day has finished, it's like my treat.

So a year and a half  a lot of time has passed since I started this. And it's working like a dream. Now, I've pulled out all the 2018 2020 pages and started a new book. (It's 2021 and still, it's a dream system.)

I use Create 365 Happy Planner 1/2 sheets (white for me, available at Michaels), their medium-sized rings (I'm using expander rings now, but medium will work fine), and I cut the tabs off their "dashboards" to make the cover and back. I believe these are all "classic" size. I'm going to put links below the post in case you're interested. (yes I'm an Amazon affiliate, so receive a small commission, but there is no extra charge to you)

The new cover 2019 for my book

I buy stickers and washi tape. I created my own "day" stickers, which I print on white labels and cut with my Cameo. But you can buy day-of-the-week stickers.  Basically, I have fun which makes the entire TO-DO thing a bit easier. 

Let me know if you have questions about how I created my To-Do List using a modified Kanban system.

~See you later, 

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