My one page productivity system


When I was in high school I used a simple system for planning my day: a single piece of paper. I folded it three times so it would fit in my shirt pocket. On the page I would list the things I needed to do that day: tasks, errands, classes, homework. As I completed each one, I crossed it off the list. At the end of the day I would look at my list and feel good about what I had accomplished. I would then write a new list for the following day.

Putting everything on one page forced me to decide what was important for the day. There were many things I could have done each day but I wrote down only the things that I intended to do. Sometimes I numbered them so that I knew what to do first.

There was room on my page for ideas, things to do tomorrow or next week or someday, or to jot down random thoughts about life.

My one page productively system was all I needed for the day. It worked so well, I stopped using it.

I still plan my day and sometimes I put it on paper, but most of the time, my plan is in my calendar and in Evernote.

The last few days I’ve been playing around with an app called WorkFlowy. It is a list-making/outlining application that lets you put everything on a single “page”. You can use it for your task list(s) or to outline projects. You can create nested outlines to unlimited depth. I’m using it to outline a book.

I’m also using it to create my daily task list. I add a #Today tag to tasks I want to do today and filter the master list so that it only shows those tasks. On one page is my daily task list, just like I used to use in high school.

But I don’t have to print that page to put it in my pocket. WorkFlowy has a free iPhone app that syncs my lists. (There is an Android app, too.)

Nothing is simpler than a piece of paper. But this comes close.

Do you use Evernote? Check out my ebook, Evernote for Lawyers: A Guide for Getting Organized & Increasing Productivity.