Last Month I wrote about Revisiting your Monthly Notebook and making it an actionable to do list. I have been busy with the A to Z Challenge among other things but I have now finished reviewing this particular monthly notebook.
This monthly notebook had really been used as a disposable to-do list so once I finished highlighting the extra to-dos, I then checked them off and folded over the pages that I had completely finished, so I had a physical way of tracking my progress and didn’t miss out on any of the single items on a random page.
When I was approaching the end it also provided motivation to work on the to-dos as I wanted to get the notebook finished.
Now I can successfully say I completed yet another monthly notebook.
February felt like such a short month and with other commitments taking up all my time I have somehow filled my January Monthly Notebook, but not ACTIONED all of it. So this week I have started going back through my TuNeues Notebook and made it actionable.
So how am I making it actionable? I have tried many different methods this time I have chosen to do this using a Frixion Light by Pilot (an erasable highlighter).Starting at beginning of my old monthly notebook I have assumed that I have actioned and dealt with most of the notes that I have made. I use the highlighter to mark up those things that I wish to do in the future – e.g. writing ideas, things to research, things to do or things I have to read. If something is not actionable but I want to transfer the information to another place or notebook I also do this at the same time. Any extra notes that I want to add while reviewing the existing notes I usually write these in the highlighter pen as well so that I can tell they are new and relate to the freshly highlighted content. I usually carry out this initial review on the go when I have a quiet or idle moment such as when travelling by bus or waiting at the train station.
Following the initial review I then set aside a block to time to work on the actionable to-dos highlighted in the notebook. This is usually when I have some free time and I am in front of my computer (but not always the case).
There are two approaches you can take: focussed or easy-going:
1). If there are a lot of items that can be carried out at different times it can be worth using a spare page and writing a to-do list (or incorporating the actionables into your to-do list with a page reference if necessary); or
2). Simply browsing the notebook and picking something you are inspired to (or feel like doing) within that time block.
Either method can be very effective. It is also a great method of reviewing used monthly notebooks before archiving them.
A few years ago I wrote about using a mousepad as my to do list using the Knock Knock 5 days a week mouse pad which has since my original post become readily available in the UK. (Yay!!)
However, I have now bought a Woodlands Desk Planner from Paperchase. This one is not a mousepad but rather a desk planner pad and is about twice the size as the Knock Knock Mouse Pad which is the size of the standard mousepad. I am still using it as a mouse pad which works very well (and saves precious desk space as it takes the place of both my mouse pad and acts as my to do list (with extra writing space)).
The weekly desk planner is great for work as it brightens up my desk and includes all the things I need from notes, to-do list, email and call back list, daily blocks, key info and cute sticky notes. Yes – it includes sticky notes. What is not to love.
Other Desk Planners available from paperchase at the moment include:
Why would you ever want to use a regular old mouse pad ever again? Use a mouse pad as your to do list instead.
Still struggling to find a way to manage your to-do list? Why not take a step back and use the 1-3-5 rule (from the daily muse). The concept is simple. Don’t overburden yourself with a long to-do list instead pick 9 things to do on a daily basis – I large thing, 3 medium things and 5 small things.
By only adding to your to-do list items that you can realistically check off in a single day – you will feel more productive and more in control of your to-do list.
Download the 1-3-5 To do List or use the electronic web version here.
Welcome to August.
I have taken the opportunity this lunch break to review my July to do list. Surprisingly – it all got done.
The monthly to-do is for those slightly larger to do’s that are not allocated to any particular day. In July I decided to tidy up my finances. To dos included getting a credit card, organising my savings, and arranging my mortgage.
I am now pondering my to do list for August.
With a couple of getaways booked in I anticipate that the month of August will be less productive in my free time, so I’ve decided to tackle another area of my life where I have a few key goals. My Career.
Regular readers (and readers of my other blog) will know I am a trainee solicitor. As part of the training we are required to work in different departments for a 6 month period. This month I have to decide what department I want to go to next, and review my progress in my current department before preparing to move on.
So I have now drawn up another list to clip into my Filofax:
Have you drawn up you monthly to-do list yet? What area of your life have you picked “to do”?