Productivity

I don’t know if you’re like me but I’m always tweaking the way I keep myself organized. I know the key to staying organized is by sticking to a plan that works for you. Let me see if I can recap some of the ways I’ve kept myself organized in a somewhat chronological order:
-Month at a glance calendar and yellow pad
-Franklin Covey Printed Planner
-Franklin Covey electronic planner on Palm and PC
-iCal and it’s ToDo lists
-Backpack and Basecamp from 37signals.com
Vitalist
-Moleskin notebook

I’m happy using iCal for my calendar it syncs great with my iPhone. But the todo lists don’t sync, even though they scyncd with my old Razr (I think).

For task management there are a few things I like. It’s my hybrid version of “Getting Things Done” by David Allen:
-Project based so I can break projects into smaller tasks
-I like breaking my tasks into categories that reflect how I work or my energy levels during the day and week:
+Need to do today (things that have to get done today
+Need to do this week (what has to be done for the weekend
+Creative (Tasks I need to be creative to get done)
+Technical (tasks that are more technical but not brain dead activities
+Grunt (these are my non thinking tasks like cleaning up after an event that don’t require much brain power)

I like breaking up my tasks into these categories so I know what needs to be done and I can choose what to do based on my energy level. I hate fighting through a creative wall on Tuesday afternoons because that is one of my least creative times of the week. So I’ll take care of technical or grunt work during that time. Having a has to be done today and week list helps me know when I have those days I have to power through my creative quagmire and create something anyway.

I was really enjoying Vitalist.com on my iPhone but it would run slow at times, really slow. So I’ve been just using a pocket moleskin as my todo list and brain dump. I find keeping one notebook to write down ideas works a lot better for me b/c if I just use yellow pads I end up with multiple yellow pads that are partially filled and I end up not bringing the pad I need with me. But I don’t like it as my todo list as I loose track of my todo’s in my brain dumps, brain storms and notes.

Well with the iPhone’s 2.0 software release brought OmniFocus to the iPhone as a native app that will sync via MobileMe to OmniFocus on my Mac. While it’s not the cheapest solution ($79 for Mac software/ $19 for iPhone software/ $99 a year for MobileMe) I’m digging it so far. I have the demo of OmniFocus and Mobile me so I payed $19 for the iPhone app to test it out. I wish they had demo software on the App Store!

It gives me the main feature I like in a todo list:
-A way to have a mental dump
-Break projects down into smaller tasks
-Code tasks for energy level
-Clean design and good interface on my mac and iPhone

I need to spend some more time tweaking it but I think I’m going to stick with this and my pocket moleskin as my mind dump/ notebook.

How to you guys keep yourself organized? What systems do you use to harness your creativity for maximum results?

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July 16, 2008. Tags: , , , . Personal Growth.

4 Comments

  1. Organization and Productivity « creative|ideas replied:

    […] and systems I use to keep myself organized more times than I can count. I did try to count on a previous blog post. But I’ve learned some things about organization and task management along the […]

  2. Creative Church Media » Blog Archive » Organization and Productivity replied:

    […] and systems I use to keep myself organized more times than I can count. I did try to count on a previous blog post. But I’ve learned some things about organization and task management along the […]

  3. typeadesign replied:

    I use Appigo’s ToDo along with Toodledo on the web. Appigo even offers a sync to iCal Tasks option, which I don’t use because Toodledo is so much more powerful. It’s more list-oriented than OmniFocus — probably less powerful — but I need easy and fast to keep my notes straight. At this time, I don’t need to break down projects into sub-tasks. Yet…. I don’t work for the company — I’m just a happy customer.

    Mental dump — I think you’ve just given me another phrase for my vocabulary!

    =M=
    Creative Director
    typeadesign.com

    • Dave replied:

      Thanks for bring other options to the discussion.

      I also wanted to let you know that this blog has been moved to http://www.creativechurchmedia.net. Hope you click through and check out the new content.

      -dave

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