I mentioned previously that I haven’t used a paper system for organization and planning in recent years.
One thing I have used for planning this year is Google docs. When I started working full-time in April, I found myself frustrated when a day would go by and I didn’t have a way to measure my productivity.
We use Google spreadsheets extensively at work to track our stories and projects and it occurred to me that a personal spreadsheet might work well for me.
Here’s what I came up with (from earlier this week):
It’s super simple. Each day of the week gets eight spaces (eight simply because it was the right spacing to fit neatly on my monitor–the important thing is not to have too many). I write down the key tasks of the day and cross them out when I complete the task. Sometimes I only have two things written down for the day. Other times I put things in after the fact.
Everything is really general. I’ll write stuff like “write first draft of _____ story” or “call B.P. for background info” or “transcribe interview.”
The point is it gives me a few real goals and also a sense of satisfaction when a day goes by and I can see that I have gotten things done.
At the end of the week, I move all the struck-through items to the bottom of the spreadsheet and assign uncompleted tasks to a day.