I’m a real nerd when it comes to optimizing my “systems” and finding efficiency in how I manage my time. I love talking about (and searching for) the most optimal to-do and note-taking processes, and I often change it up quite frequently in search for the ultimate solution. Because, as we all know, time is the one thing we all have the same amount of and how we use that time will determine how successful we will be.
My current process is a combination of Google Tasks, Google Calendar Reminders, Evernote, and a physical notebook. Here’s how I do it:
Google Tasks became a staple of my process when it was recently integrated into Gmail (my email tool of choice.) I put longer term, less serious tasks there, and ones that I know I’ll need to access digitally.
I also stick tasks in Google Tasks if I only have my phone with me, and later I’ll drop them into my notebook.
I use an actual, physical notebook for my main to-do list and for note-taking in meetings. I have a lot of meetings with people (internal Dragon Army team members and external connections,) and I just have a hard time using a digital device when trying to connect with someone. And I use a hybrid bullet journal process for taking notes in my notebook.
Keeping my main to-do list in my notebook is certainly not as functional as having it digitally (because then it would always be with me and I’d never lose it,) but I have found over time that if its in my notebook it stays more top of mind. Whenever I use a digital tool for to-do’s, it becomes easy to simply snooze an item over and over again, whereas with the notebook I have to rewrite my to-do list as I get further into the notebook, which is a nice forced “culling” process.
Google Calendar Reminders are used when I have a to-do that needs to happen at a specific time. I love how these reminders sit nicely in my calendar, which really is my ultimate tool. As I mentioned in a previous post about my Operating System, I’m like Ron Burgundy with my calendar: if its on there, I’m doing it.
A HUGE advantage of Reminders is the ability to tell my phone via, “Ok, Google” to remind me of something later.
Evernote is the tool I put all of my notes in. Every week or so I’ll go through my notebook and take photos of my notes and upload them into Evernote through the Android app. It’s a simple process and it ensures that I have the notes forever. And sometimes I’ll take notes directly in Evernote (like on a phone call) but that’s rare.
I also have a few key tags set up as shortcuts in Evernote that help me keep the big things in mind. For instance, I have a #headspace tag that I use for notes that I need to keep top of mind or do more thinking on.
Ok, those are my main tools for productivity, what do you use?