October 10, 2018

How do you keep track of your daily/ weekly tasks?

I'm always interested to learn how you keep track of your daily/ weekly tasks?

For me I like to use trello, I break down each side project into its own board and have cards for each task. I then drag the tasks I've completed under the done card.

You can check out a screenshot of my trello board here. It really helps me stay on track of progress when I can see visually what I have done throughout the day. It really helps me stay on top of my side projects:






Five Ideas

Look forward to seeing your replies :)

  1. 3

    Nice David! Thanks for sharing.

    Personally I have been using ToDoist for daily tasks and keeping a list of new project ideas. I really like the ability to seperate things by project and prioritize them.

    For my side project soccercruit.com I have been using Asana and have a few different boards for my web app and marketing site. I’ve really found it useful for compiling notes on different cards as things come up.

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    2. 2

      I've actually seen ToDoist popping up on my Twitter feed a few times. Need to check it out.

      BTW SoccerCruit looks great :)

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        I learned about ToDoist from Scott Tolinski on the syntax.fm podcast. I've loved it so far! And thank you so much man! I appreciate it. However, you've built 5 projects!?? That is impressive!

  2. 2

    I got rid of using too many tools it was driving my crazy trying to track everything. I have broken mine down to 3 things.

    Now I just use Trello to track the tasks. I have different boards for Client work and own projects and an ideas board.

    I use my calendar to schedule the week ahead of time so I have an idea of what and when I'll do something.

    I have a note pad, the night before I write out all the tasks on the schedule for the next day in the order I have them scheduled.

    I've found it really helps keep my head clear, any ideas or features go onto the trello board and out of my head. I then schedule from there.

    One thing I've found helps alot is leaving 2 gaps empty on the schedule. These are for urgent items that need to be dealt with.

    If nothing urgent then I go to the trello board and pull something that I can take a look at to give myself a break from the other stuff and my brain time to play with some ideas.

    1. 2

      I use a very similar strategy as James. My client work and personal projects each have their own Trello board to keep track of the tasks and communicate with clients.

      Then I use a planning system (currently this is an app @jorisderuiter and I just launched: essentialcal.co) to plan my week.

      I make a global planning at the start of a week where I write down a priority for each part of the day (morning/afternoon/evening). During the week I usually add some tasks to it, although most of the task management happens in Trello still.

      I usually block out 2 or more gaps as well. These are for thinking time, urgent items, for when you weren't able to finish something earlier in the week or just to do whatever I feel like at that moment.

      1. 2

        Yeah the gaps are great, really helps if things slip or are a really needed.

        But also for the time to think and try something new or different. Sometimes I just schedule 3 / 4 hours to think about something. It's just as important as coding.

        I also do the morning / afternoon and evening blocks. Give myself a good break in between. Evenings aren't as important now since I've started scheduling better.

        My morning is deep work. 3 / 4 hours no distractions no email, no phone. Then at lunch time I catch my emails and check things. That's when the gap in schedule helps. If there is something urgent I can add it to the week schedule right then and move on with out worrying about getting to it.

        I also break my week into "Making money" "Potential to make money" "Learning" "Mental break" blocks that way I can make sure I have at least 1 of each block over the week. It really makes a difference.

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          I also break my week into "Making money" "Potential to make money" "Learning" "Mental break" blocks that way I can make sure I have at least 1 of each block over the week. It really makes a difference.

          I really like this. Do you work with colours or icons here? Would you be willing to share what your planning looks like? You can blur out private stuff of course.

          I'm also wondering how you define the amount of time for a block? Sometimes activities cause my mornings to be shorter than my afternoons and then those blocks aren't equal which makes it harder to plan.

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            It's nothing that fancy, I used to use different colours but stopped doing that, now everything on the schedule is the same colour. It helps to focus by keeping everything the same it cuts down on the distraction.

            I use the "Making money" "Potential to make money" "Learning" "Mental break" more as a set of guide lines when I'm putting stuff on the schedule once it's on the schedule it's treated equally.

            I have no set time line either I don't think it matters that the blocks aren't equal but I try to keep the work in each block to around 3 / 4 hours MAX if I can. And If I'm honest morning is usually 4 hours and afternoon 3 and the evening is 4 if there is an evening block (that depends really on the day and the sort of work I was doing).

            Morning is usually longer but today it wasn't because the stuff I needed to do just got done quicker than planned so that's great I took a nice long lunch and then got back to it in the afternoon as scheduled.

            It's the freedom we want why not take it when the chance turns up.

            I have worked out when I do my best work is from 9 - 1, I tried the super early 5 am and it wreaked me. I do my best work from around 9am to 1 pm so that's deep work and as a habit tends to be "making money" or "potential to make money" so client work or work on my SaaS stuff. Afternoons then are more a mix of all.

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      Thanks for sharing James, I really like the idea of 'leaving 2 gaps empty on the schedule'. Will implement that into my plan.

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        It really helps. It's good to be able to have that bit of time that if something isn't going well I can stick it somewhere and it will still get done.

  3. 2

    Interesting way to use Trello as I usually see people use the colours or custom fields on the front of card or Archiving or an additional column for Done tasks rather than a section further down a column.

    Whatever works for staying motivated! I use a combo of Trello, OnePageCRM and Things 3.

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      Cheers Rich, I never heard of Things 3, will check it out today.

  4. 2

    I'm using trello as well. It's really help me to track my client work.

    Btw i build tool to track accomplishments, it's based my need to track my performance in work. Join our waiting list on founderhacker.com

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      Sidenote: your form is not displayed correctly in firefox (input field has no "height"), and "comming" should be spelled with one 'm' only.

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        Looks like it may be a little off in Chrome as well - the form is all the way on the left

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        Thanks.. I will fix it. Did you sign up for waiting list?

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          Honestly I didn't, just clicked the link and wanted to give you a heads-up about this.

  5. 2

    I use PivotalTracker for my coding tasks and Trello for general activities. I also have a weekly call with another entrepreneur that is a sort of Mastermind call where we share our progress and goals for the next week.

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      I like the weekly call, good way of holding each other accountable for the week ahead.

  6. 1

    I use a tool I built called Retrospect: https://www.retrospect.team/ - it's designed for doing retrospectives, but since it's basically Kanban boards, you can use it for any type of lists. So I have columns for "Today, This Week and This Month" and I simply move my cards around as needed as the days go by.

    I find it simpler than true "Tasks" since I don't need dates, reminders, all that extra junk that other ToDo lists have. Simple and Fast is what I wanted.

  7. 1

    I am using Trello and Asana apps - both of them works well for me,

  8. 1

    I've always struggled to use apps like Trello and Asana because they seem to be a lot of work for a simple list (maybe that's just me). I also disliked, as a designer, how the entire user experience was focused on the tasks themselves, with no good way to evaluate the quality of a task or design.

    In the design world, a task isn't just complete or incomplete. Something you design is often under review, or currently being worked on and needs feedback, etc. I never liked using boards for that kind of thing and evaluating the design work in the tool was a nightmare.

    So, I built an app that fits my preferences and allows me to see what my design team is working on. It's called Trino (https://trino.us) and could be used for non-designers as well (though there are a lot of concepts centered around designers).

    It's free for the first user, so feel free to give it a try if it suits your needs!

  9. 1

    My frustration with most task manager is that they require me to manually maintain a parallel universe to the other tools I use to execute a project such emails, files, links, notes etc. This manual maintenance require a lot of discipline and typing. When I am busy I am less likely to update the task list and then few days after that my tasks are out-of-date and it takes even more energy to fix, which I am less likely todo.

    As a result I decided to develop my own task manager for Gmail (https://www.centask.com/) which integrates everything I need to complete a project, (Gmail emails, files, links, notes etc.) organize it in any way I want it, and declutter my task list by scheduling single and nested items to appear only when I need them.

    It can take Gmail Inbox emails into Centask Inbox so email are just one more task treated exactly the same as todo items and links etc.

    What made it stick for me was to process my Gmail inbox within Centask so I must use it, thus my agenda may get longer when I am busy but never gets out-of-date.

    Since it is Gmail centric I can email myself links and notes from any app.

    Since most of the third party tools I use are online I use Centask bookmarklet to add links to tasks in other apps/sites to Centask Inbox.

    It has a tag named NEXT that groups together all items scheduled to start today but without a specific time.

    Hope that helps

  10. 1

    I have to put in a plug for Notion (https://www.notion.so), I've been using it for a few months and it's far and away the most powerful tool like this I've ever used.

    I used Todoist pro for a while and found that it's narrowed down on To-do list style tasks, whereas Notion I could customize to nest lists of To-dos, view tasks in a calendar as well as a Table and Kanban board (without having to do any other manual input of my tasks a second time).

    I think with Notion you have to invest some time setting up what you want to include in it, but once you do it really is all encompassing.

  11. 1

    I'm a developer that uses Emacs. Emacs has something called org-mode where I can make myself todo list, set due dates myself, and keep track of when things were completed. I always have a list for every project I'm working on.

  12. 1

    For work I stick to Asana but strangely keep my personal to-do in Quip. Should probably rationalise...

  13. 1

    I now use Notion app. Only using it a month or so but finding it fantastic so far. Huge scope to tailor it to exactly what you want to do.

    It does take a litte getting used to but there are a few Youtube videos that are useful to get up to speed.

    I used to use a combination of evernote and Google Sheets. That worked absolutely fine too.

    Key point is to find something you'll use every day and you don't use it as an excuse to not just start and do the work!

  14. 1

    Github to Trello to Jira

    Depending on the scale of the project and how many people are involved

  15. 1

    It's pen & paper for me. Seems I am a bit old school in this regard. I group my work by project and then make bullet points for each task. If a new task comes up, I just add it at the bottom. Tasks which are completed get crossed out with a color marker. This helps me see the progress I make.

    Besides that I have a paper calender for all appointments and meetings.

  16. 1

    I just use RememberTheMilk personally. Tried Trello, but I like the simplicity of just checking something off. I have a professional account so that I can include sub-tasks, which helps keep things organised.

    Start dates and due dates keep me on track with delivery, and the email notifications are pretty good.

  17. 1

    Good ol' Kanban on Trello.

    Backlog>Ready>Doing>Review>Blocked>Done this Week>Done all Time

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