For my job working as a Quality Manager in a food manufacturing facility, my to-do list gets added to on a daily … hourly … basis, and the best task organization system for me is paper based and using the principles of Bullet Journals.
My Planner Needs
Flexible – I must be able to add or take out paper as I see fit
Professional appearance – no cutesy planners with stickers everywhere.
What I don’t need – Time based daily inserts. I capture appointments on my computer (using Outlook calendar), and I’m not a fan of double work, so there’s no reason for me to also write these appointments down in my planner.
What fit my needs EXACTLY – The large discbound ARC planner from Staples.
My System – Bullet Journal Basics
Right now, I’ve just started and I’m keeping it super simple. On each page in my journal, I use a ruler to make a section on the right where I put the key for the symbols used to represent tasks, items completed, emails that need writing, important tasks etc.
On the left side, I have two small columns as well – one where I can write a due date if necessary, and one for the symbol for that task.
I write the month and year at the top of each page, and then start writing tasks. I don’t separate by day or week. At the end of each month, I use the arrow symbol to indicate that a task didn’t get done, and it’s copied to next month’s page.
- An ARC punch – I use the paper that comes with the journal, but I use a the punch to add pages if I run out, or if I want to add something else.
- A (pre-punched) slim ARC system notepad. I’ve started written the key to the symbols on one – so I won’t always have to write them on each new page. I also jot notes on them on a daily basis.
- A ruler which I move to whatever page I’m currently working on.
- A sheet with post-its that sits in the back of the planner
- Dividers – I have a section for monthly tasks, one for meeting notes and then a section for each of the major projects I’m working on this year.
- A print out of the calendar year sits in a pocket in the front of the journal.
How I Make This System Work – Daily Top 3
When I get to work, I take out my laptop and open this planner on my desktop. I look at it – I like checking off tasks throughout the day – I don’t like adding to my to-do list but I HATE being unprepared and missing deadlines even more.
Every morning – on one of the slim note-papers shown in the picture above, I write down 1-3 *Must DO Tasks* These are my main priorities, and might involve several of the things on my to-do list. Check these off – and it’s been a good day.
My system relies on simplicity, although I’m sure I’ll add to it throughout the year. But one thing I’m sure I’ll stick with is using the Arc planner. It’s versatile, big enough to hold letter-size paper, so it’s easy to refill and the sturdy leather cover is durable.
How do you keep track of your work tasks?