I’ve tried lots of different todos and notes systems over time, and as what I’ve done has changed, the systems, tools and software has changed a lot. For our company, we use Asana for project management. However, for certain things, like discussion points for weekly 1on1s, or things to revisit on a recurring basis, I’ve honed in recently on a system that I like that is really simple and quick. I had previously tried to do this in Google Keep, which I used to be a big fan of, but I had found application speed to be the most useful thing, so I have stopped using it. I’m generally a big fan of just writing everything down, but I like to write it in a way where it can be useful later, whether it’s an idea, or something I need to talk about with someone on our team, or a todo.
What I use now is…. the Apple Notes app. It’s the most underwhelming answer considering I’ve used so many todos/apps/notes systems. But I’ve found a workflow that works for me… for now. It’s simple enough to really use with any notes app and also simple enough that it’s not really that much of a system, but it’s still quite different than what I used to do in the past.
It’s very simple, but very quick and efficient, especially if you are a manager.
The things that are key in my workflow are: I manage a number of people, and I have regular 1on1 recurring meetings with them. I run a number of recurring presentations and meetings. I have a rapidly changing list of quick work todos, and also a number of personal todos. The problem was that I used to have these notes written in so many different places.
I just have a note with each person’s name in all caps at the top, so it’s really easy to see. And then in that note I just keep the things I need to talk with them about, meeting agenda points, or follow ups, as little check list items. It creates a simple recurring context to pull up when I’m meeting with them. It also allows me to find where to write something really quickly, but also makes pulling up the right info very easy. I am editing these notes very, very frequently. I’m also generally trying to keep the notes relatively short. But what’s nice about it is it prevents things from falling through the cracks since I know I’ll bring back up that note in the next meeting I have with them. The notes app also has the feature of popping the most recently used notes back to the top, so these frequently used notes stay easily accessible.
I also have notes for some other things like the presentations I do, where I want to jot things down along the way to prep for presentations, different ideas, and a simple personal note. It’s easy to use on my laptop, and also to write a quick note on my phone. I also still like just checking things off as they get complete!
So that’s the system I’m using for now … we’ll see if that changes or stays the same.