Time Management Tools, Tips and Tricks
One of the things I’ve discovered with the new job is that I have to be religious about my GTD routine to not get buried. Part of this is working remotely, which means take the normal amount of email one gets and double it. Another part of it is the fact that I’m in a new position which everyone wants a piece of. A third component is, if one isn’t careful, its easy to get distracted at home and forget where you were and what you were doing.
I’ve got several tools and techniques for managing this. My best friend is a program called Toodledoo. Its a web-based task management tool, similar to Remember the Milk. My problem with RTM was it didn’t have enough complexity for my tasks. I like to keep all my to dos in one spot and I like to break them into components. Subtasks are really helpful for me when I’m working on a complex tech project with a multi-step setup. That way I can cross of the pieces I’ve completed and keep notes about the things which are unfinished and outstanding. Particularly helpful if you have lots of interruptions to be able to know where you left off.
Another technique I’m trying to do is to add any requests that requires more than a quick action to my Toodledoo. So first thing in the morning I deal with email, at least emails that require more than a quick answer. It put them in Toodledoo, that way I don’t get distracted by the constant stream and pogo stick from one thing to another.
Toodledoo has a status setting that I can use to designate when something is waiting on someone else. Which means I can send follow-up emails at the end of the day. You can also set how long you think a task will take. The program uses this information to make to do suggestions. I like this when I have an hour free before a meeting because it finds me a reasonable task that I can work on during that time.
Another plus is the collaboration bits of the site which allows you to share your tasks with others or with the entire world. You can choose to only show certain folders of tasks as part of this.
I also sync my Toodledoo to my iCal which means that my tasks end up on my iPod so I can see what’s due. Supposedly Toodledoo also syncs to iPhone and Android something on which I can’t comment – yet.
Toodledoo has become an important part of my work toolbox. Oh and of course I use it for my domestic stuff too. If you’re looking for something more advanced than Remember the Milk its worth checking out.