You may remember my previous organization post (here if you missed it) posted almost two years ago. While the bare bones of my system remain the same, the tools I use have changed drastically. I thought I would give you an update of my planning tools as well as a review of the products themselves.
I use a paper planner to keep track of major plans, birthdays, and anniversaries. I also track to dos that I plan far in advance on my paper planner. These include things like “buy father’s day card” that can be scheduled and have a finite due date. More on which planner I use later this week!
I use an online calendar to remind me of daily appointments, especially those that are work related. Since I use an iPad and a Macbook for work, I use iCal. I have notifications enabled so there is a helpful reminder that pops up on my computer 10 minutes before meetings, teaching sessions and other special events. I find that having a pop-up reminder works best for these scheduled meetings because it keeps me from having to stare at the clock and acts like an alarm!
I manage my to do list in a variety of ways. First, I keep Post-It notes everywhere: stuck to my center console in the car, on my desk at work, behind my couch at home. I write anything that comes to mind on these Post-Its*. Once a day, I gather the Post-Its and sort through them. I put any daily to dos on a list clipped to my planner, add any events to my calendars (paper and electronic) and put other notes into my tickler file in Evernote.
Occasionally I try to get fancy and use the Fantastical app on my Macbook and iPhone, however I find that day-to-day I prefer having a paper to do list.
*This is based off the GTD system. I highly recommend Dave Allen’s book if you are struggling to get a handle on you to do list.