Over the years I have tried all kinds of life & work organizational systems. I started with a Franklin Covey planner. I loved that paper planner. I had the big one and I used it for everything in my life but, it was especially key for leading a local church. Sermon ideas, meeting agendas, dreams for what we could do, plus all the necessary names and dates made it my “work Bible.”
As technology changed, I did too – I had the Palm Pilot, various Microsoft programs, and eventually my Apple calendar and David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (GTD) system.
I feel I am a productivity junkie and if something will help me get things done, I am happy to try it out.
Currently these are the best tools I have found:
Way of Life App – This app enables you to track activities that you’d like to cultivate – I track (among others) eating right, exercise, prayer. What I like is that I can set it up quickly (I use the pay version so I have unlimited items but you can start with the free version to try it out). What I have found is that tracking habits I want to cultivate grows them in my daily life. Now I floss, get up earlier and do daily reading because I track it.
Any.DO App – This app enables me keep a running list of work and personal tasks. The interface is fresh engaging (although when it calls me “princess” I do want to gag). I have used it for a couple of years and find its the best of the group.
Focus@will – This is an app that enables you to focus on your work through music. I used the free version for a while and found it worth the money so I upgraded recently. I make use of it at work to keep me focused but I also use it in the morning when I write and I have noticed a huge difference. (If you decide to sign up, let me know and I can get a free year for referring you!). I mostly use the “Baroque Piano” but I also am fond of the “Oct Beta Test” which is more techo music.
Action Day Weekly Planner: Each week I take my tasks from Any.DO and put them into my weekly calendar. I also write down my appointments so I can see everything together. This is the perfect combo of both electronic and paper for me as it lets me see everything in one place. The Action Day Planner is available through Amazon and comes in two sizes. After two years of the smaller one, I am making the leap to the larger one this year. I like that there are blank pages in the back – this enables me to put schedules, goals and projects in one place.
A Daily 3 by 5 Card: Each day, I look at the many things I could do and pick the three things I will do. I write them on the card that I leave on my desk, usually on top of my open Action Day Weekly Planner. This 3 by 5 card is actually the key to my productivity because it gives me a daily focus. I invested in some nicer cards and a Levenger folder to hold the cards so it is extra fun to use.
What simple tools make you more productive?