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Mobile analogue or hybrid organisational and time-management system

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Posted by LM7
Feb 12, 2018 at 04:29 PM


Apropos hybrid systems, these (inter alia) will be discussed in the new productivity course being launched tomorrow by Shawn Blanc, All the Things (https://thesweetsetup.com/things/) - if you’re interested in paying $39 for the course (earlybird pricing!).

Needless to say, I have no connection with this - just passing on the info for whoever might be interested. (I received a detailed description of the course in an email from Shawn, far more detailed than the info in the aforementioned website, where it is mentioned that hybrid systems will be discussed, as well as using a productivity journal, scheduling your day to maintain focus and breathing room, detailed notebook walkthrough, etc.)


Posted by Hugh
Feb 12, 2018 at 05:17 PM


I agree with other posters in this thread who have implied that there are a least two sides to arranging one’s working life: first, collecting and prioritising a flexible list of tasks, and, second, scheduling them. For many people, including me, scheduling most usefully involves planning by the hour (although of course the best schedules are made to be broken).

At some times, I have constructed task lists using analogue methods, and at others using digital means - although of course digital means generally permit frequent changes and therefore more flexibility.

I have tended to schedule using analogue methods. As I’ve found in writing in other contexts and others here have noted, there’s a mental power in using a pencil or a pen that using a keyboard tends to lack. For me, using a pencil or a pen demands more attention and consideration. One analogue tool I’ve used is to be found here: https://davidseah.com/node/the-emergent-task-planner/ - though I sense that this might be too fussy for some.

But I’ve also found very useful the ability to drag-and-drop tasks from OmniFocus (on the Mac) to any one of the major Mac calendar applications (Calendar, Fantastical or BusyCal). It’s almost too useful in actuality, because for me dragging and dropping something requires less mental focus than writing it down.


Posted by Sharknader
Feb 12, 2018 at 07:15 PM


For those who use Trello, the company called Cronofy (https://trello.cronofy.com/) provides a 2-way calendar sync for Trello items with due dates. It essentially lets you view and re-arrange Trello tasks in you main calendar, thus organizing them by priority and around meetings/appointments, as well as adjusting the length of time you expect to spend on these. If you are ambitious enough you could do an entire week like that, but my days are unpredictable enough to make planning for more than 2 days out unhelpful. With this set up, I only need to look at my calendar to figure out what I’m doing next and if a task gets postponed or replaced, I just move it to the next available time block. Trello then gets updated automatically.


Posted by Dr Andus
Feb 12, 2018 at 11:42 PM



Thank you so much for going into the trouble to lay out your system in such detail.

It looks very interesting. I will need to block some time out to properly delve into it, to see how I could adopt it.


Posted by kjxymzy
Feb 13, 2018 at 09:52 PM


I hope it proves fruitful.

Some more time blocking “ideas”:

Blocking at once a week at weekly level (with daily updates) would be the next level (another link via Cal Newport):

Spend More Time Managing Your Time

> It’s hard work figuring out how to make a productive schedule come together: a goal that requires protecting long stretches of speculative deep thinking while keeping progress alive on long term projects and dispatching the small things fast enough to avoid trouble (but not so fast that the deep stretches fragment).

> During today’s planning session, for example, I had to balance immediate obligations like a paper deadline this evening, with short term obligations like grading midterms, with the many medium range obligations mounting from my next book launch, to long term obligations, like the need to continue to make progress on the theorems needed for an important February deadline.

> Sprinkle in a dash of appointments and a heavy dollop of tasks and it’s completely reasonable to expect that making sense of these pieces would require some serious thinking.

Another time blocking technique that may make sense for you is blocking in distraction time, like surfing the web, and blocking leisure time.

Andrew Ruiz discusses this a bit here @ https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/963241242967470080.html:

> ::That you should schedule time for distractions, but they should stay separate from leisure.::
So often, I’ll mindlessly check my phone at the end of the day, but that doesn’t really give me pleasure.

> I’m just doing it because I’ve engrained the habit so deeply it’s become automatic.
::Cal’s suggestion that you should avoid distraction even during times of leisure resonated with me.::

> ::What really put it together was scheduling a time for leisure.::
::I would constantly feel like I had to do more work, but I’d also feel like I needed to take a break.::

Dr Andus wrote:
> >Thank you so much for going into the trouble to lay out your system in
>such detail.
> >It looks very interesting. I will need to block some time out to
>properly delve into it, to see how I could adopt it.


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