Getting Organised With Tasks – Finding a Method to the Madness
Something that I’ve learnt in the last few years is that I am a person who needs a good level of organisation to thrive. It became more noticeable when I started working remotely, away from the regular routine of commuting to an office. But an even bigger change happened a couple of months ago, when I moved countries. My entire routine has been turned upside-down!
So, I’m taking the opportunity to reflect on some methods of organisation that help bring a method to the madness. Below are some of the systems I’ve used to get through the chaos of life!
Capsule CRM: Client tasks
Capsule is the CRM (Customer relationship management) system that we are using at Vine Street Digital (at the time of writing this article, anyway). It’s the system in which we organise our client contacts, tasks, communication, and so on. Here’s a few things that I love about Capsule:
Setting own reminder tasks
If you’re not sure you’ll remember something, leave yourself a task to address it later! One of the things I like about Capsule is that you can set a task’s due date to any day/time you like, including a past date so that it becomes “Overdue”. When you do that, the task sits at the top of your list so that it’s in your face whenever you check your tasks.
Weekly, monthly, annually – when you tick one off, it will automatically create a new task for you, scheduled for the next appropriate date.
Set tasks for others
This works well for us as team members, especially when needing help with something. Gemma has set up a bunch of different tags/labels for tasks, such as “Advice”, “Admin”, “Account Work”, and more. If we’ve come across something that we might need another staff member’s advice on, we can assign them a task and label it with the “Advice” tag. Even better, we can have that task linked to the specific client our query is about. All of our team members can see all of these tasks as well, so they’re looking at a specific client inside Capsule, they can also see that there is a question raised and may be able to address it themselves.
Habitica: Personal daily tasks
Habitica is a gamified way to organise yourself and your tasks. If you’re someone who works well with a reward system, give Habitica a try! Create yourself a little character and get started. When you complete tasks, you earn gold and experience points to help you level up and get better equipment. You can do Quests with team members and collect pets and mounts. Be warned: it’s a bit cute and colourful to look at, so if someone spots it over your shoulder they might not think you’re working.
I used Habitica fairly solidly for almost a year and it worked well for a good portion of that time. It just got to a point where I realised that I wanted some more control over creating larger projects with tasks below them. Which led me to Todoist!
Todoist: Personal bigger picture with bite-sized pieces
Todoist is a task manager that I find great for creating “Projects” for different areas of my life. These areas include courses I want to study (even breaking them down into the modules inside so that I can tick them off as I go), exercise, events, and general life admin.
I just use the free version, which means I don’t get to use some features which could potentially be helpful (e.g. Labels), but I haven’t found that to be much of a problem so far.
Todoist is great for more than just managing my own personal projects though – I also use it as a list system. Some people have bullet journals for this sort of thing, but Todoist works for me. I have a “Stuff to Checkout” project in which I list books, movies, and more that I come across and want to explore later (see screenshot to the right).
Also, a note on the “Icebox” you can see on the screenshot. One of my friends told me about this! If you’ve got projects that you’re not currently working on, but don’t want to lose track of completely, you can put them in your “Icebox” for later. Love it!
Notepad & pen
Honestly, sometimes nothing can beat the good old notepad & pen. I always have these on my desk or close by! Sometimes I write down a variety of thought processes and ideas before deciding on which digital system I’ll use. Being able to organise my thoughts on paper first really helps because anything goes. You can write anywhere you want, draw circles, scratch things out, use different coloured pens on the fly. I mean, I don’t really need to sell the benefits of “going analogue” to you, do I?
In short: I love lists. I’m the kind of person who likes to see things laid out in front of me, broken down into bite-sized pieces, colour-coded… you get the idea. They help me organise my thoughts and projects. If you’ve got any questions or recommendations, I’d love to hear from you!
Written by Chelsea Zanki