There’s never enough time in the day to accomplish everything on my list. Or is there?
No. No, there isn’t.
There IS time in the day to get quite a bit done if I’m organized.
I’m ambitious. There’s so much I want to get done – in my life, with my family, in my business. It’s not that I’m afraid of missing out. I have so much life to live.
As an online entrepreneur with clients in different time zones, an atypical work day and volunteer commitments that pull me in multiple directions, time is at a premium.
I can accomplish even more if my support team leans in, if I meal plan and shop smart, if I stay on top of my schedule and these five tools…
All my project work goes into Trello. I have numerous boards, some for my own tracking and some in collaboration with clients. I use lists to keep track of tasks that need to be completed and I use Butler to automate repeating task lists, ones that I may have to do each week. I can set reminders, assign items and keep track of who is doing what.
Automation is what makes this my absolute favourite project management tool. I hated checking and unchecking To Do lists. In Trello, I can save checklists and I can automate the checklist to repopulate each week.
I have the Chrome extension and phone app for this gem – Keep syncs across all my devices. Plus, it’s visible in a sidebar in my Calendar and Google documents. I can write a note, draw a picture, make a list, save a photo or use the talk-to-text function to create a sticky note reminder for myself.
Those sticky notes can be colour-coded, shared with collaborators, or copied into Google documents. And when I set a reminder, whether that be one-time or repeating, it shows up in my Google Calendar.
Keep is my parking lot for grocery lists, books I’d like to read, songs I’d like to hear again, quotes from websites – when I highlight and save to Keep, it also saves the URL.
Note: you could also use Google’s Tasks, which is lovely for subtasks, but not as robust.
Google Calendar is the nucleus of my organization. I use Calendly to schedule appointments, which is integrated with my Google Calendar. And I use Zoom to hold meetings, also integrated with my Google Calendar. I can see dated notes from Keep, as I mentioned above, and I’ve also hooked up my Trello board so that every new appointment creates a task.
I can set reminders, such as a recurring note that our mortgage will come out of our account that day. Or I can create appointments to block my time for tasks or meetings.
I manage multiple Calendars – one for my tasks, one for my work with another agency, a third for my family, a fourth for my personal time. It’s not as complicated as it sounds and ensures I won’t doublebook my time. And I set ten minute reminders so I’m sure to arrive on time.
I have a year-at-a-glance calendar on my office wall so I can see ahead. I have a ‘This Week’ whiteboard in the office to map out appointments at a glance. Plus, I have a whiteboard calendar on my fridge so the family can see our week ahead.
Prioritizing the maintenance of these wall calendars helps me see the big picture as well as helping my family help me. It doesn’t take any more than an hour a month to keep these up-to-date, an hour well worth it.
This year I switched to a paper planner that has individually days and hours. In a classic imposter-monster-move, I couldn’t see how much I was getting done in a day. To stake that monster through the heart, I began tracking my work as I accomplished it each day, spending a moment to create a To Do list for the next day, too.
It does mean a bit of duplication, writing appointments on multiple calendars in multiple spots. I’ve found it creates more mindfulness around my time and how I use it.
Would you like to learn more about any of these tools and how I use them? Or, upon reading this, is there a resource you employ that might help me out? Please comment below!