Post-its are some of the best tools in my arsenal. I've seen them used to decorate the covers of folders to tell people what to do; they're used as reminders so that people don't forget important things that they need to do — me? I use them as a way to keep my life organized and as a strategic tool in the projects I work on.
How do I do it? It's not too complicated:
1 – I use them to break larger projects down into smaller, digestible chunks of info
There's things we all want to (or HAVE to) accomplish. If you look at them from a high-level view, they may seem impossible to do, or that you'll never see the end of the work. With Post-it notes, I make this a little easier on myself. All I do is put the tasks down on Post-it notes, one per note. This helps me to better quantify the things I need to do in order to be successful, and it makes a project more real by being able to see all of its individual parts.
2 – I sketch out individual ideas as they come to me
Just like fleshing out a project, when you start writing lists of items, new things will often come to you. Write 'em out! Even a completely ridiculous idea is better than a lost one.
3 – Create tactile checklists
To-do lists are fine. You can use AwesomeNote on your iPhone, your Outlook task list, tasks through Google or BlackBerry — heck. There's tons available out there for you to use in order to manage all the things you need to do. But you know what? Nothing beats the satisfaction of being able to toss out Post-its as you accomplish tasks. (Striking items through with a black Sharpie upon completion does come in as a close second.)
4 – Create visual and fluid information frameworks (flowcharts, mindmaps, etc.)
With this process, however, you're bound to end up with multiple checklists, and if you don't figure out which one to tackle first, you may just end up doing yourself more harm than help. So I organize them into some sort of framework connecting them together, whether it's a project, something for work, my wedding, etc.
The ones I have put together right now include:
- My top-secret project
- My blog
- Starting a business
- General to-dos
- a client website
- that same client's marketing strategy
It's not as if there's a shortage of things to do — sorry. This system won't do your work for you.
But hopefully, if you stick to it, it'll help you make sure that nothing's missed.