Imran Saleh

A Product Manager living in Toronto, Canada

How I ensure no tasks get missed on my todo list

Creating an area to track all of your tasks
I use trello.com to keep track of all my tasks.  I used to use a google spreadsheet, but I found trello a bit easier to drag and drop things and integrate with my other tools.

Typically I’ll add tasks to my trello board in the following ways
– On my laptop via keyboard shortcut:  I press Ctrl+Alt+Space and a pop up appears that quickly allows me to add something (install https://trello.com/en/platforms)

– Via my phone:  I have a daily note in my iPhone notes app where I jot things that come to my mind, and at 8PM each day, I have a virtual assistant manually copy this over to my Trello board

– Via todoist: If a task is due on a certain day, I’ll track that in todoist.com (for example, every Saturday I have a task due called “Clean out the fridge”).  Then on that day, through an integration via zapier, that todo will show up on my Trello board

All new tasks that come to my mind or are due get added to the Process list


Every Morning (give or take) I’ll sort these todos:
I look at Process and what came in yesterday and send it into one of these buckets:
– High Impact (this is stuff that is meaningful or time sensitive)   

– Higher/Low Impact (more administrative stuff or things that aren’t critical – like get a new pair of iphone headphones)   

– Some other bucket (Thoughts, Family call Agenda, Zahra/Imran agenda, etc. — I’ll create these once I see categories of things that group together)    – Delete it (if its not relevant any more)


Then I’ll prep what I’m going to do that day

If its a work day, I assume I have like 3 hours of space, if its a weekend, maybe like 10 hours of space)


I’ll look at High Impact and drag over tasks to the “Today” column as follows:

     – Tasks that need to be done today because of a deadline (that generally takes up most of the tasks)     

– Elective tasks that I want to do that day

If I know I need to do something but there isn’t a task, I’ll just create one on the spot in Today column (like go for a walk with Zahra)

Then I’ll assign a time estimate so I try to time box it.

At end of day / next day

I’ll look at the Today column, and archive/delete cards as I do them.  If something is still in the column tomorrow, I’ll either
– try to get it done before adding anything else. OR
– move it back into the appropriate column in Trello


Nuances
– This system continues to evolve (the names of the lists change)
– I’m trying to do the admin stuff once a week (Every saturday) because that’s fun and easy to do.  The hard stuff (like writing this set of instructions0 takes more time
– Its easy to look at a long list of things and get distracted quickly and start doing admin tasks, just because it feels good to “check something off”

Full list of tools I use:
– Zapier.com
– Trello
– Butler plugin for Trello to make sorting easier
– Note Taking Tool on iPhone
– Upwork – to hire an assistant to transfer things from iPhone to Trello
– Todoist

Todoist Sample

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Upwork Sample
This is the work log of my assistant Cecile in the Philippines

Her main task is to copy items from iCloud notes over to trello, but occasionally I’ll ask her to do something else like   
– Submit a claim to insurance   
– Do a manual data entry task like creating a trivia quiz for my sister’s Birthday

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1 Comment

  1. Bonus Tip—for those going crazy with oversized lists. One way to simplify things for yourself is to do what I call an “agreement audit.” Take a moment and write on one large sheet of paper every single agreement you ve made (work and home). Knowing you can t bend time and do everything in the short term, go through each task and ask yourself, Is this something I should DO, DECLINE, or RENEGOTIATE? Make a decision about each, then take action. If you re skeptical of this approach, let me ask you which is worse: not doing the tasks while pretending you might, or proactively getting in front of them and working on a plan?

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