22.00.0032: Index cards to the rescue

In resetting my organisation system, I need to get away from the computer.

I think you are on to something here. For many years, I made up a “day list” using pen and paper on an A5 Rhodia pad. For the past six months or so, I’ve tried to go pure electronic, making up my “day list” using the daily journal template in DevonThink. I think the physicality of committing on pen makes a difference, so will go back to that for a while. I use Omnifocus for an overall project/task manager. Instead of the pads, I am using an A5 Rhodia dot book - yes, I am partial to good paper (and also fountain pens).

The Rhodia A5 is my pad of choice. I love that they do yellow paper: I’m one of those people who much prefers it to white.

I was just going through some old notebooks and I found a similar idea I’d written about before and wanted to share it. At the time, the idea was more about time logging for work, but it still had a similar structure to the next/now/done aspects you were playing with.

My idea was for a digital app, with three main columns:

  • The first is a list of tasks in priority order. A backlog. It’s searchable and filterable, but the management of these tasks is out of scope of this idea currently. There would need to be a separate management/planning interface.
  • The second column is a calendar day view, pulling in everything on your calendar for today. The idea was to drag stuff from the top of your todo stack and time-block it in your calendar.
  • The third column was another day view, listing all the completed tasks for the day (and, by virtue of it being a day view, how long each took).

The point at the time I had the idea was to, at the end of the day, push the done column into Jira/Clickup/whatever time tracking my work was using.
In my imagination now, I’m tweaking this layout so that the second column is split in two horizontally across the middle.

  • On top would be the three(-ish) tasks you’re working on, with the top one being what you are doing right now with a timer running on it for time-tracking purposes.
  • On the bottom would be the calendar day view, rolling as the day goes on so you can always see what’s next on the calendar. Clicking something in the calendar would put it as the active card on top of your doing now list and therefore start the timer on it.

The right column would be just a stack of completed task cards, showing the logged time, rather than an actual calendar timeline.

Of course, I don’t want to discount the pen-and-paper approach. The physicality of moving things around is a big part of the point of your post. But I just had to share this somewhat-related idea somewhere, and this seemed a good place for it.