I love technology. I really do. And you probably know that if you’ve been following my previous posts … But sometimes the most old-fashioned methods fascinate me. Like pen and paper instead of the best-rated notepad apps out there. If you’re like me, feel free to raise your hand wherever you are!
But seriously, I’ve been trying to use my phone calendar since I bought a smartphone years ago and it never seems to do the job right. Maybe I need to read a blog post about best way to take notes, as long as it’s not a very complicated process, but there’s something about pen and paper that I really like.
So I simply wanted to share what has been working for me recently as far as note-taking, to-do lists and task reminders & management. I’m a very visual person and the saying “out of sight, out of mind” holds very true in my life, so if I don’t write something down, the chances of me remembering it will be 5 to 1, assuming the best case scenario.
So my first option would be my Google Calendar app. I like it for events, but it falls short when it comes to tasks and to-dos, and this mainly because whenever my phone sends a push notification to remind me, I dismiss it and there it goes into oblivion until I remember to check the app for the tasks I have long forgotten about. Is there a better way than this? Please do share!
My second option and my current plan is exactly what you were thinking: pen and paper. To be exact, mini post-it notes. It did the trick today for sure! You know the day you really need to do laundry, but then you end up getting a few other tasks from your to-do list crossed out and it feels great, but then you realize you forgot to get the laundry done in the first place? Yup, that happened to me this week and I had it in my mind the whole time, but it didn’t get done. So I had to wear some very loose leggings to the gym because of it and non-matching socks (don’t ask me how they get misplaced, I could not tell ya).
Here’s the crazy part: I take the post-it note and put it on the back of my phone case, and there it stays.
If it doesn’t sound that crazy, then that’s good, since I’d like to not be alone in this. However, this archaic task reminder actually works since it keeps that darn list in front of me at all times (because my phone is with me at all times), otherwise, I’ll come up with something else to do and won’t get my original tasks done. It keeps me focused, too, which is great. Pretty simple, huh? Very outdated, too, but I totally understand if it’s not your cup of tea. I’ve gone as far as writing one or two extremely important tasks on my wrist with a pen and washed it off after I had gotten them done. A girl can be old school sometimes, you know? 🙂
Right now, I have 6 items on my list, one is in progress as I write this (remember the laundry?), two others will be done tomorrow, one I’ll do before I go to bed, another one is a multiple-day kind of project (cleaning up my external hard drives), and the other item is more of a research item that I’ve been working on this week.
I must say that the secret to this is keeping the list short. I don’t overwhelm myself with tons of tasks because that’s a recipe for failure, whether you’re a minimalist or not. Life gets in the way and if you’re a doer like me, you want to see items crossed off! I’ll be writing a follow-up post on how to keep your to-do list short and stacking habits, so stay tuned for that!
I am very curious though, how do YOU manage your to-do’s?!? Do you use a calendar? An app? Your wrist? Please do tell, I’m excited about learning new practices, especially if it helps me pursue simplicity in my life. Can’t wait to hear from y’all!
Updated Post: As of August of 2017, I began using my Google Calendar as a widget on the first “page” of my phone, simplifying the way I see what I have planned for that day or days, depending on the volume. This is easier for me so I don’t have to snooze the task, but if I’m not able to complete it, I re-schedule it so it won’t disappear from the screen as the widget scrolls down. Either way, it displays my to-dos in front of me every time I use the phone. 😉