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How do you keep track of to-do lists for many different activities?


klmama
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I'm way overbooked right now in too many areas.  I need a good way to keep everything organized, but I haven't found it yet.  Dh tells me to use OneNote, but I don't want to have to learn new tech right now unless it's fabulous.  What do you do to keep track of details and deadlines for multiple responsibilities?

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I put reminders on my google calendar - appointments, things I need to do.  Reminders will keep showing up till it's marked as done.  

 

For a while I used Todoist.  That's also free, and easy to work with. It was more helpful to me when I had more homeschool stuff to keep track of.  

 

Lots of people like the paper bullet journal.  I did that for a while too.  But I found having it on my phone worked better for me. 

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I just use the calendar on my iPhone. I put everything on it and it even grabs hotel info and some other things from my email. I can link it to everyone else's iPhone as well. I don't keep up with my kid's school assignments, just sports/extracurricular/required school info. I also use 3 x 5 notecards to keep lists of things. I do have to keep up with a lot, and it does get overwhelming.

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I have a big 5 subject notebook.  It is cool because I can actually move the tabs.  I have monthly sections and a page for each day to keep to do lists.  In the back, each a major project responsibilty has a page.  I brain dump and put EVERYTHING I have to do for that project.  Then I look and transfer one thing to my daily to do list.  So I currently have these responsibilities:

 

Children's choir at my church- ( Musical at the end of April)

elementary music- lesson planning, grandparents day program and end of the year program

high school choir at school-  singing at a worship service in March, singing at shelters in April, Prayer day program and end of the year program

8th grade American history- I teach two 2 hour classes a week, trying to keep ahead, though not succeeding

10th grade World history-  ditto to above

Honduras Mission Trip- My husband and I lead a trip at the end of May.  We just closed the trip with 42 participants.  I am in charge of communication and helping the newbies know what they need to do

Finances- I keep up with finances in Mint as well as getting our tax stuff ready for accountant

House- general cleaning, laundry, cooking etc.

 

So, for my children's choir for example.  At the back of the book I have this list:

Make a calendar for teaching songs

Scripture memory sheets

Get email addresses and compose mailing list

Contact parents of cast about extra rehearsals

Figure out costumes

Letter to cast parents about costumes

Make a list of props

Find someone to build set

Pick solos ( there is a list)

Type program to give to secretary to print

Learn choreography ( list of songs here)

End of the year gifts for helpers

 

So on my today to do list, I have learn the choreography for Praise the Lord My Soul,  email secretary about help for set to publish in newsletter/slides.   I do this for each area of responsibilty.  

 

At 50, I just cannot keep all of those details in my head anymore.  If it doesn't get written down, it will not be done. 

 

 

Just reading your list exhausted me.

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I puffy heart love Google Calendar and if I ever lost internet access our lives would come to a screeching halt. 😂

 

I keep appointments on there, to do lists, deadlines, everything. My family jokes that if it's not on my Google Calendar then it doesn't exist and won't happen.

 

 

Sent from my Z988 using Tapatalk

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I keep a calendar on my phone for easy access and booking/scheduling things on the go (it's always with me), a planner for my work schedule, and use "stickies" on my computer with to do lists. I have a dry erase calendar on the fridge to put up the basic family schedule so Dh knows where we are. It's the best solution I've come up with for me.

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I puffy heart love Google Calendar and if I ever lost internet access our lives would come to a screeching halt. 😂

 

I keep appointments on there, to do lists, deadlines, everything. My family jokes that if it's not on my Google Calendar then it doesn't exist and won't happen.

 

 

Sent from my Z988 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

Do you keep your to-do lists in the "Tasks" section? I'm curious because I use Google Calendar for appointment and reminders, but not for to-do's. 

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Outlook calendar.

 

I'd rather use a paper one, but I love setting up recurring events in just one step, so online it is.

 

Also, generally I have a list of lists that I look at to jog my memory every so often.  That means that every major home/work/family/volunteer category is on there as a bullet point, and so if I haven't thought about, say, one particular family item (like taxes, or insurance) for a while, it makes me stop and think about whether it's time to do so.  That way I sometimes catch things that I should have calendared but didn't.

 

When I get a semester schedule, I put everything into outlook right away.

 

The only thing it doesn't do is link things together.  So, for instance, I'd like to be able to get a list back of everything pertaining to chorus, but I can't.  The trouble with that is that sometimes if a rehearsal gets moved, BOTH dates stay on the calendar if I don't notice which one to take off.  

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Two words- bullet journal.

It's life-changing. Do not be intimidated by all the fancy blogs out there. At its heart, it's a totally utilitarian task management system that requires zero fanciness.

Try it. Grab a spare spiral notebook from around your house (or composition book, or notepad, whatever). Now write down absolutely every task that you need to do. Now break those tasks into do now, do soon, do later. Write the do laters on a new page. Ditto the other 2 categories. For the rest of the day, work off your "do today" list. When you wake up tomorrow, transfer anything you didn't get done onto a new page and try again.

This is a super simplified version, but if you do that every day this week, I think you'll know if it's a good fit for you. Then you can dive into the depths of google and see the many ways to modify the system.

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Two words- bullet journal.

 

It's life-changing. Do not be intimidated by all the fancy blogs out there. At it's heart, it's a totally utilitarian task management system that requires zero fanciness.

 

Try it. Grab a spare spiral notebook from around your house (or composition book, or notepad, whatever). Now write down absolutely every task that you need to do. Now break those tasks into do now, do soon, do later. Write the do laters on a new page. Ditto the other 2 categories. For the rest of the day, work off your "do today" list. When you wake up tomorrow, transfer anything you didn't get done onto a new page and try again.

 

This is a super simplified version, but if you do that every day this week, I think you'll know if it's a good fit for you. Then you can dive into the depths of google and see the many ways to modify the system.

 

I really LOVE this idea.

 

One question: How do you handle future tasks? For instance, if I need to remember to bring something to co-op on Friday morning, how could I use a Bullet Journal to remind me? 

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Do you keep your to-do lists in the "Tasks" section? I'm curious because I use Google Calendar for appointment and reminders, but not for to-do's.

I mostly use it on my phone unless I have a ton of info to input at knew time, like our yearly church calendar of events or something like that. On the app when I add something new I can either make it an event or a reminder. Reminders get crossed out if I mark them as done but get moved to the next day if they don't get crossed out. I mostly create things as events because when I first got the program they didn't have the reminder feature and I still haven't got used to using it but I can see it would be useful if I ever got into the habit of it.

 

I also like that my husband was able to create some kind of a different category of calendar that syncs to his calendar for shared events that he needs to know about without my whole calendar cluttering up his calendar (does that even make sense?!?) It's pretty awesome and has helped us not create so many schedule conflicts because 1 of us didn't ask the other one before committing to something. I don't know how he did it though because I'm pretty technologically challenged lol

 

Sent from my Z988 using Tapatalk

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I really LOVE this idea.

 

One question: How do you handle future tasks? For instance, if I need to remember to bring something to co-op on Friday morning, how could I use a Bullet Journal to remind me? 

Great question! In my simplified version, you would put that on your "soon" page. Every day when you set up your today page, you look over the soon page to see if anything needs to be moved over to today.

 

In my real life version, at the beginning of every month, I set up a page that breaks my month into weeks, and then I plug things into the week I need to do it. I also have a "future log" that lists out all of the upcoming months. There's a lot of different ways to handle future tasks. The common thread is that you have some place to put that future task, then you move it over to the daily page when appropriate.

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I mostly use it on my phone unless I have a ton of info to input at knew time, like our yearly church calendar of events or something like that. On the app when I add something new I can either make it an event or a reminder. Reminders get crossed out if I mark them as done but get moved to the next day if they don't get crossed out. I mostly create things as events because when I first got the program they didn't have the reminder feature and I still haven't got used to using it but I can see it would be useful if I ever got into the habit of it.

 

That's a great feature! I'm using Google Calendar on my laptop, so I don't think they have anything like that for the web version. 

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Bullet Journal here too.

 

I have a yearly log where I write important appointments.

Monthly page to-do list for things that I need to do that month.

Weekly pages with daily timers that I keep track of where I need to be & when but also with to-do lists of things that need done that week or on a specific day.

 

If I'm planning an event, I will make a special page for it with my check-list of things I need to do.

 

The Bullet Journal has really helped me manage my life so much better than anything I've tried before.

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Great question! In my simplified version, you would put that on your "soon" page. Every day when you set up your today page, you look over the soon page to see if anything needs to be moved over to today.

 

In my real life version, at the beginning of every month, I set up a page that breaks my month into weeks, and then I plug things into the week I need to do it. I also have a "future log" that lists out all of the upcoming months. There's a lot of different ways to handle future tasks. The common thread is that you have some place to put that future task, then you move it over to the daily page when appropriate.

Thanks for that explanation! I've been intrigued by Bullet Journals, but this was the missing piece. :) 

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I keep big/hard deadlines in my planner, but for daily to-do lists---and I know this is super low-tech---I write on Post-Its. I do 2 or 3 columns, 1 for every activity, and I make it a running list. If something doesn't get done today then it goes on tomorrow's list. I always try to have Post-Its handy! Of course, I have a long-standing love affair with office supplies.

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Two words- bullet journal.

 

It's life-changing. Do not be intimidated by all the fancy blogs out there. At its heart, it's a totally utilitarian task management system that requires zero fanciness.

 

Try it. Grab a spare spiral notebook from around your house (or composition book, or notepad, whatever). Now write down absolutely every task that you need to do. Now break those tasks into do now, do soon, do later. Write the do laters on a new page. Ditto the other 2 categories. For the rest of the day, work off your "do today" list. When you wake up tomorrow, transfer anything you didn't get done onto a new page and try again.

 

This is a super simplified version, but if you do that every day this week, I think you'll know if it's a good fit for you. Then you can dive into the depths of google and see the many ways to modify the system.

 

I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE my bullet journal! But I found myself spending too much time coloring and not enough time tackling tasks (of course I didn't do the bullet journal in the original form--I just had to get all fancy schmancy!)  :lol:

 

Really, one day I will give it another go, and this time try to stay realistic and utilitarian. 

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iPhone calendar for appointments and events.

Wunderlist for to-do lists AND (this was my son's idea) a shared list for what we need at the grocery store. Whoever goes gets whatever is on the list. I have a separate list for housewares (cleansers, e.g.) and a third for adult beverages. That let's me know the kind of wine my dh wants or the kind of tequila he wants. I don't have to call him to find out.

I can also assign tasks to dh and ds. "Put tabs on car" e.g. And I put in recurring to do's for property taxes and so on.

 

Each member of our family uses Wunderlist so that's a great place to share jobs and so in.

 

For stuff that is just me, I use a VERY utilitarian bullet journal.

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Thanks, everyone.  Today has already gone better.  My daily to-do list is still too long, but at least today I was able to look at everything I needed to do and pick the most important things instead of feeling overwhelmed by the sheer quantity.  

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Thanks, everyone. Today has already gone better. My daily to-do list is still too long, but at least today I was able to look at everything I needed to do and pick the most important things instead of feeling overwhelmed by the sheer quantity.

That's really about 80% of the battle is getting a grip. Whatever tools you use just help you do that

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I use Google Calendar and a bullet journal as well. My "spreads" are very simple, no doodling or box creating. Every Sunday, I make a weekly spread which helps me review my upcoming week and create a list of to-dos. DH and I discuss the upcoming week and we review kids'schedules and who needs to where and at what time.

 

I stopped doing daily tasks because if I wasn't getting something done on a certain day, I ended up writing it down and migrating it several times. I list tasks for the week and usually end up with only three or four things to migrate. I don't do monthlies because I can't fit all six of our schedules into the boxes. For future tasks, I have a page listing them with due dates and move those tasks to the appropriate week when creating the new week's spread.

 

I can also plan projects, gatherings, work conversations, etc. One child had a birthday party, and I reviewed my notes, what worked and what didn't, to come up with a better plan for the another child's birthday three weeks later. I keep track of dinners, noting which recipes were a hit or bust. I have small bits of journaling or brain dumping, getting my thoughts down on paper to focus and prioritize what needs to get done.

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