After writing about my task management system yesterday I thought I’d get to my insane reminders & calendar setup today.
I have 2.5 calendar setups. The .5 is the corporate Exchange / Outlook calendars I have at work but don’t use more than I have to. Outside of that I have a digital Fantastical setup where all of the calendars live in iCloud and a analog A5 Hobonichi Techo Cousin.
Let’s start with the Hobo.
It has two big calendar spreads or it has more. But there are two I use a lot. It has a two page spread for each week, and a single A5 page for each day in a different section.
What I use the week spread for is two things.
The first: it has this section on the left that isn’t really a part of any day, in there I write a bulleted list of all my goals of the week. Like what my targets for weight loss are, how many times I want to go to the gym. Habits I’m working on etc.
The second: in the day sections I write down anything I do that day that either involves other people or me going anywhere. No times or anything. Just write them down there. Plus that I always write down where I’m going to work that day (as a consultant I sometimes work from home, sometimes from my employers offices and most of the time the clients offices). I find this very useful to see that I don’t over-book myself. And make sure I have some days of the week without other people.
This is obviously very high level. But it makes it really easy once I got into it to use it to see where I’m open to doing stuff.
Now onto the day pages. The first thing I do with them is that I take a ruler and divide them into three more or less identical columns. And then I write down all the most important things I need to do during the day. It isn’t like a very detailed TODO list like the ones I have to work after. But it is more like a all the most important things that I really should get done that day. It typically contains all the stuff from the weekly page. Plus a bunch of priority tasks. I treat it like a lot of GTD purists treat due dates.
I have a bunch of different calendars here: personal, work, routine, Molly(my dog), Ea(my daughter). All of them are color coded.
The way I use digital calendars is that I add everything to them, because it makes it much easier for me to accurately know if I have time for something or not. Pluss full day events for where I’m working if I’m working or if I’m traveling somewhere or if I have my kid etc.
I put in when I usually get out of bed and when I typically get up so it is easy to scan what my available area is. And you find a lot of weird stuff like taking the dog for a walk or travel back and forth to work etc.
I don’t always fill it, but if I’m doing something important or something that require going somewhere I put it there.
I use two kinds of apps for reminders that notify me. The default Apple Reminders app and Due.
Due I use for everything that I want to be nagged about until they are done. This are typically things that are really important that I get done at all or things that are really important to get done at a specific Date/Time. If it is the latter I usually use a combination of Due and Calendars.
And Reminders I use for shopping lists and things I want to be reminded about that isn’t that time sensitive.