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Getting a Handle on All There is To Do

By January 21, 2015Culture Change

Last week I talked about changing my story this year to one of being enough.

That also means I may have to change, update, or simply use systems to keep myself organized and feeling like things aren’t slipping through the cracks.

Here are two tools I use to put ease into the “remembering & doing” in each day:

I use Evernote for pretty much anything I want to remember later. I have book lists, blog topic lists, a revolving grocery list, links to refer back to when I was searching for a new washing machine, birthday present lists. . . you name it, I likely have a list for it on Evernote.

Here’s why I love it:

  • It’s free.
  • It’s a tool I use from any of my electronics: phone, desktop PC, iPad.
  • Notes can be entered off-line at conferences or meetings with no WiFi and synced later.
  • Notes are searchable by keywords or dates.
  • The notes can be tagged for easier categorization & retrieval.
  • Notes can be entered via voice rather than typing.

Here’s how that last one works: I’m listening to an audio book on my phone or iPad when I’m on the treadmill. When I hear something I want to refer back to for a blog post or training, I quickly open the app and the appropriate list (or create a new list with one click) and I say out loud what it is I want to remember. Make sure it was captured correctly. It syncs automatically so I return to the audio book and my workout.

I used to get overwhelmed by all the good content I come across. Now I use Evernote to help me keep content & lists managed.

I also really rely deeply on my Gmail calendar. My team has access to it and it’s color-coded to show different types of tasks.

Light blue = working at my desk.
Green = personal time.
Yellow = phone or webinars.
Orange = out of office meetings.
Note to self: When orange shows up, wear professional clothes today that move easily with the many times I’ll get in and out of the car.

Something that makes the calendar really work for me is that I schedule in both the travel time AND the drive time or downtime after the meeting.

Yes, I still miss a few things. And yes some things never make it to the list or the calendar and they still have to be handled.

That said, these two tools DO help me to feel like I’ve got a handle on all there is to do, which is half the battle, right?


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