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Ep 125: Task & planning tools to STREAMLINE your to do list

Updated: Oct 23, 2019



About this Episode:

I know I am not alone in stating the fact that it is scary to try to manage calendars across your own personal time, your business's time, your 9-to-5, your kids' time, your husband's time. There are a lot of different things going on in our lives and there's a whole lot to manage. Let's talk about task planning tools and how we can streamline the to-do list a little bit, or at least how we can try to check things off of our list and keep ourselves sane.

"Remember parent-teacher conferences are on Monday. Don't forget that you're giving a presentation on Tuesday at 9:00 AM. Don't forget that you need to have lunch with a friend at noon. Oh. But remember that the contractor is coming the next day at three o'clock. "

Let me tell you if you've got a to-do list that's been anything like mine and it's a list that crosses over different parts of your life, you know just frustrating it can be to try to keep up with everything. So I've got a couple of hacks that I've been trying lately to get me through my to-do list of items and making sure that I can stay on point and deliver what I need to deliver across my family, my 9-to-5, my business, and whatever else comes along.

A few different things come to mind in terms of streamlining your, to do's.

1. I use a tool called Trello.

Now I absolutely love and swear by Trello. It is an online task tool and I won't even say it's a task planning tool. It's like a collaboration tool and it works. It's has Kanban style boards. If you're not familiar with Kanban, it comes out of Japanese manufacturing practices. It's all about moving work from "I have to do it", to "here's something that's in process" and then "here's the work that's done."

And so it's been adopted in manufacturing as a style of watching work efficiency and process flow. It's also been used in software development and right now people are using it for almost anything if they're trying to get work done. Just a way to basically manage work altogether.

So Trello is something that I've been using and I've got it set up specifically for my business. So I've got a board for Spears Sparrow Collective and on this particular board have "my to do." I have a "Team Spears to do." I have "doing" and I have "done." Those are the columns on the board.

When I'm thinking about all the different things that need to happen in my business, little to do's, that type of thing, not necessarily appointments, but just all the things I need to do. All that is being noted on my Trello board. For each task that I have, I will enter a task and put it on the board. If it's something that I need to act on, then I will move it from "to do" to "doing" and eventually it's "done."

If it's something that I have for my team, then I'll put the task on the board and leave it in the team section and assign whoever's name to it and they pick it up and do the same thing.

2. To manage alongside home-related things I use a Google and at work, Microsoft outlook

When I say work, I'm talking about my 9-to-5, but at home and for my business, I'm using Google calendar. Now, on the other hand, I also have a big paper binder calendar that I also use to just sort of jot down and do my own planning for the week.

3. Hack to keep transparency across schedules

If I have appointments, I'll make sure that they get put on the Google calendar and the Outlook calendar to make sure that I can sync up my life and business appointments with my 9-to-5 schedule. Especially if I have something at lunchtime that I need to do for my business.

If I am at home and I need to do a podcast interview at noon, I'm going to make sure, not only that it's on my own personal calendar, which that's where it's starting from, but that my work calendar is also included. That way I can see it blocked off in both places. And that way I don't have to worry about, "What was I supposed to do at noon?" or getting an alert on my phone that I'm supposed to do something that was never blocked off on my calendar. Cause that can get frustrating.

So when you've got the appointments under control and there's the work to be done or just work to do in general that you have to get done, that's where Trello comes in at. So that can be a very powerful combination in streamlining the things that you have to do.

I love the paper binder because I like the tactile response that comes with writing things on paper. I will go ahead and do some of my planning or thinking ahead, staring out the window, trying to think about where am I going to focus for the week.

So there are lots of different ways to streamline your to-do list, but it helps when you have tools and Trello is a big tool that's super helpful on that front. Trello combined with your Google calendar combined with just a paper calendar, really can do wonders


In this episode, you'll learn...

  • My top choice for organizing to do's at home, my business, and in my 9-to-5

  • A simple hack to stay on top of what needs to happen across various areas of your busy life


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