macdonaldster.ca

Things I like...

< Home

Task Management

2022-08-22

I have an obsession with list making. I have a terrible memory and am easily distracted so I love a good TODO list. And I keep lists of movies to watch, what to buy at Walmart, and steps to properly shut down the AC in September.

Over the years, I have tried so many different list management techniques. I like something simple, which lets me keep lots of notes, and it should be searchable. I prefer systems that promote the most recently modified or viewed items to the top of the list, tagging is nice, and I like free form editing in the notes (e.g. don’t need to worry about any type of list or paragraph).

I often fall back on lists in text files. Occasionally, this means Markdown but I am kind of over it now, if I don’t need to use it. If I am using “just text”, I do love it but I’d rather just have headings and bullets as needed, maybe even a table here and there. Great, you say, how do you like Notion? Well, I don’t! I like to “own my data” so I end up using text files and other systems where the files are locally hosted.

What I have been doing lately is using Gmail drafts. Lots of people use email for their TODO list, maybe using tags or folders to organize. It is easily searchable, filterable, and has tags, etc. Using the drafts folder is even better than using email because it is very easy to edit the documents. You can snooze drafts (the email stays in the folder but gets a different colored date and is the date you snoozed it to). When you edit a draft it will pop up to the top of the folder. You can use tags and search to filter, etc.

For example, a query like “in:draft label:next” might be how you set next action items - or use that label to indicate the email has at least one next action. I prefer keeping a list of tasks under a heading in the email. I use the “strikethrough” format to show a completed item in a list and if everything is crossed off, you can archive the file to keep some task history. It is very easy to keep different lists and other notes this way as you can use free text search to find your lists and notes.

About this site

Just a list of stuff I like in no particular order. I just want to write about fun, interesting, and useful stuff. Trying to keep the politics off of here.