“If you don’t write your ideas down, they could leave your head before you even leave the room.” – Richard Branson
The same applies to tasks. We all have reasons for not being able to document our tasks or ideas. Whether it’s because the meeting agenda went off-course, you’ve been asked to do a million things or they’ve just simply slipped your mind. It is even harder if you’re involved in project work where someone else’s tasks are contingent on the completion of yours. Two questions I often asked myself were: what are the most efficient ways for me to document my tasks and thoughts, and, what are the best ways for me to manage myself?
Work with a clear strategy in mind
For me working with a clear strategy in mind to manage myself at work is extremely important. I need to have a sense of direction, to know how all the tasks I undertake contribute to an end goal and ultimately the ‘bigger picture’. I believe that clear objectives are paramount to the success of what you work on. Without them, you’re completing aimless tasks that serve no purpose for you, your growth and development. Where is it you really want to be a week, a month or a year from now? Will accomplishing tasks assist with project deliverables and metrics or help to consolidate your learning into practice? This is the unstoppable power of your small daily choices. They could help to propel you towards where you want to be – or not.
Conquering task management
Tasks come left, right and centre. So you need to be agile in the way you tackle them as each task needs to be prioritised differently. At first I tried to tackle the issue of task management by annotating them all either in my A5 notebook or on sticky notes. Before I knew it I was amid a desk with mountainous piles of paper. Not too long after, I concluded that this clearly was not an effective strategy for me.
However my task workflow changed when I was introduced to two platforms which I have reviewed below…
Google Keep | ✭✭✭✭✭
A note-taking platform
I document all my ideas and daily tasks in Google Keep. It lets me categorise, edit, share and collaborate with my notes on any device, anywhere. I can capture my thoughts in any format (Audio, image etc.), get things done by creating check lists, keep organised with labels and stay focused with reminders. If you’re looking for an intuitive, agile and mobile note-taking platform, I urge you to give Google Keep a go. Another bonus is that it’s part of Google’s Suite, so it syncs perfectly with your Google Calendar.
MeisterTask | ✭✭✭✭✩
An intuitive project and task management tool which can be used for team collaborations
To manage projects I’m currently working on I use Meistertask. Meistertask’s intuitive Kanban boards interface allows me to create unique workflows for my tasks. In this way I can track progress made through project phases and see all task relationships. Other nifty features allow you to add members, customisable lists, notes, comments, tags, attachments, due dates, sync calendar feeds and integrations with other supported platforms such as slack and GitHub just to name a few. However I’m giving this 4 stars, as I would have liked more features to be available as a freemium service for instance team performance tracking and task automatons.
So there you go. These are two platforms which I have used throughout both work and my undergraduate studies which have helped me to streamline my daily tasks. If you’re after a review for a particular productivity tool or app that you’ve wanted to give a go, but don’t have the time to, please comment below and I may include it in my ‘Top tools to keep you organised’ blog post series.
Stay tuned for more on productivity tools that can help keep you or your students organised.