In the last few months I have found myself to be more busier than usual. This is a good thing, I love my job and am easily bored so I always find something extra to do. However, lately I have felt like I have had lots of projects on the go and can’t seem to finish one of them. I am certain there are many other teachers who feel the same. At the Evernote Conference I was able to hear David Allen, author of ‘Getting Things Done’ speak. I really want to try out the GTD system but have not had time to finish reading the book yet- I have added it to my to do list.
During David’s Keynote there were two points that he made which really resonated with me. The first, “Don’t have the same thought about the same thing twice” and the value of having ‘clear space’ inside your head. Since returning from my trip I have tried to implement this way of thinking in my day to day organisation. I decided I needed a better way to capture my thoughts and prioritise my ‘To Do’ list.
I have been keeping a ‘To Do’ list in Evernote for quite sometime now and I also regularly use the Reminders feature. But I don’t think the way I was using it was helping me to get more done. It seemed a little ad hoc and I didn’t really put much thought into it. As such, I recently changed up my reminder workflow a little bit. I think it has definitely improved my ability to do more and get more hours out of a day. In fact, I am writing this blog post because it was the next one down in my list of ideas and my reminder just went off to write it.
I have a notebook called ‘To Do 2013’. Within that notebook I recently divided up what was once a very long list, based on each term at school. I have now created different notes for the different ‘sections’ of my list.
You can see how I have organised it in my Reminders dashboard-
Within each of those notes I have used the check box feature to create my list of things to do or ideas I have. Every time I add to the lists I decide on the priority and add it accordingly. The top being the most important. I can then rearrange as needed and if more pressing matters come up.
As I was writing this post, I went in and checked off the one I had written and then reset my reminder for next Wednesday so I would be reminded to write the next one. I have found by doing this and using Reminders and Checkboxes in this way I have remembered more ideas and managed to do a little more each day. Every morning I get to work, I make sure that this is the first notebook I check, even if I haven’t set a reminder. I am able to adjust my priorities if needed and focus my thoughts and energy for the day. This process has ensured that I am not feeling overwhelmed. Everything has a time and three weeks in, I have been able to stick to it.
I would be really interested in hearing about how others are managing ‘To Do’ lists using Evernote. I am always up for some new ideas to make me more productive.