So here we go:
First some background information: I am currently using two planners – a Slimline Guildford that goes with me pretty much everywhere, stocked only with the essential items I would need out and about. I also use a personal Jade Finchley that holds everything else and stays home. In addition to having lists in both Filos, I also keep various lists in my Google Documents – mainly, these lists are ones that I might need to access at work. The real reason they are stored online, however, is because they are too long to keep in either Filo.
In my stay-at-home Finchley, I have lots of lists:
- Long-term to-dos
- “To buy eventually” items
- Places to visit and things to do while in New York City
- Coffee houses in the area that I would like to visit
- Places of interest that would make good day trips
- Bike trails on Long Island
- Notes about a medical condition
- Resolutions and goals for the year ahead
- Projects (each project gets its own colored paper and on each sheet is a list of to-do items pertaining to that specific project)
- Information and to-dos for a big project that I’m kind of working on now (it gets its own tabbed section because it’s something that will always be on-going and will contain lots of various information)
- Resistance exercises (also gets its own tabbed section – each circuit has its own sheet)
My Slimline has only the necessary lists:
- To buy (items that need to be bought the next time I go to the store or that I need right away)
- Movies, books, music to add to my master lists (see below for further explanation)
- Blog topics and ideas
- Other writing topics (this is mainly for things that I want to write about in my journal – since I get the opportunity only once a week or so, I don’t want to forget important things to write about and this list makes sure that that doesn’t happen)
- Projects that I’m currently and actively working on, projects I might need to refer to while at work or elsewhere
- Yearly to-do items – Things that need to be done during a particular year or things that I want to remind myself of in the future (example: when I need to take defensive driving again, when to sort through files, etc.). These items will be moved to a monthly or weekly to-do list when the year for which it is needed becomes current. This list lives behind my “Diary” tab before the calendar sheets.
- Monthly to-do items – Items that need to be done during a particular month. This list is kept on a sticky sheet on the tab for that month. I use the red Post-it flag to draw my attention to the fact that things need to be done from this list. When the month arrives, I do an item right away if it can be, or I move it to either my weekly to-do list or a daily to-do list. This way, the item isn’t forgotten about and now it has a new home that sits in front of my eyes at all times. When the item is moved to a different list, it gets crossed off the monthly list. When all items have been done or moved elsewhere, I remove the red Post-it flag which lets me know that I have nothing else on my monthly to-do list.
- Weekly to-do items – This list lives on Day Timer’s Hot Sheets that I keep behind my Today marker between my weekly pages. These can be items that need to be done during a particular week, but more often than not, it’s a list of items that need to be done “soon” or items that I just want to remind myself of. The reason it is kept here is because I see it every time I open my planner – this way it’s not hidden behind a tab where it’s more likely to be forgotten about.
- Daily to-do items – Anything that needs to be done on a particular day gets written in the space for that day. If it gets done, it’s crossed off and forgotten about. If it doesn’t, it gets moved elsewhere, either to a new day or the weekly list depending on the item and how soon it needs to be accomplished.
As for my Google Documents lists – here is where I keep a list of books I want to read, movies I want to see, music I want to download, and TV shows to watch. The items from my list in my Filo (see above) get moved here when I get a chance. This allows me to add items when away from the computer but that will eventually be transferred to the master list. For each topic, I have a list of things to get to when I can and a list of items that are coming out at a later date. When an item on the “upcoming” list is current, I move the item to the “current” list. Items within these spreadsheets are color-coded as well – items to buy versus to request from the library versus listed in my planner for release dates (these are marked on Post-it squares and removed when the item has been purchased or requested in some fashion), etc.
This may be a dizzying list of my lists, but as complicated as it sounds, they all keep me and my items in check.