I’ve been listening to the Optimal Living Daily podcast these last few weeks which I’ve become a huge fan of, and I noticed that some blogposts that talk about “productivity tools” recommend a lot of tools for the different tasks that you have to deal with on the day-to-day. Though I understand that they do that to give the reader more options to choose from, I don’t agree that one person should be using all of it at the same time.
Aside from getting proper sleep, exercise, and food that can help with a person’s mental productivity and willpower to stick to (and finish) a task, I think a person only needs one or two tools to commit to to stay on track for a productive day.
Here are the two I use regularly and how I use them:
1) Google Calendar
My life is literally in Calendar. Everything from client meetings, dinner dates, to days off, it’s there. I use Calendar for these categories: events (one-time and recurring) and reminders.
I have a meeting on Monday at 8AM? Calendar.
I need to followup Mr. Joe on his company assets so we can proceed with design for his website? Calendar.
The nearby dairy store is out of mozzarella cheese and I have to call to followup on stocks next week? Calendar.
I find it easier to just mix personal and work errands because, well, they’re both still errands I have to keep track of. What I like about putting these things on Calendar is that Calendar has a pop-up notification on the desktop, and it has this nice “Schedule” view so you can see your day laid out in front of you from start ’til end. Plus, it’s common for people in my network to invite me to Google Calendar events so when someone invites me, I simply see it show up on my schedule along with everything else.
Google Calendar also works well with Gmail and other neat apps which leads me to my next point…
2) TickTick Todo App
This mobile app has been the best thing to happen to me in my task-tracking life. I’m the type of gal that thinks of something I need to do but if it’s not written down, I’ll get distracted and forget about it completely until it’s due. So now, with TickTick’s offline task storage feature and easy interface, all I have to do is to make sure I type in some semblance of the task I’m thinking of before anything else comes to take my attention and I can rely on it to be there for me to tick off later (which feel so satisfying).
What I like best about the app too is that it can sync my day’s task list with Google Calendar so I’ll only have to look at one place for all my tasks: TickTick! Unfortunately, you can’t tick the Google Calendar events off unlike the tasks that you manually put in the app but it’s nifty to be able to skim through all of your tasks/events for the day for quick reference.
What I usually put in TickTick are small errands and tasks that I’ve forgotten to pre-schedule. Often, it’s where I dump all the small tasks that pile up on busy days so I can systematically go through them before I clock out.
These are the only two tools I use on a daily basis when it comes to keeping track of my own tasks and often, other people’s too.
We have to keep in mind that tools like these won’t mean anything if we don’t commit. So my takeaway from all this is – be committed and stick to making good habits. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.