I use four main tools to help me get work done. I find they help me keep focused on the tasks in hand, and help with creative block. If I know something is taken care of, and I know I won’t forget about something, it helps me focus on the task in hand.
Trello “makes it easy to organize anything with anyone.” I use it as a job board. For every project I do, I create a Trello board. Inside this board I create three columns, To Do, Doing and Done. I work out all the small tasks I need to do to complete a project and create a card for each. I fill the card in with quick details, any checklists and documents. If there are particular tasks that have a deadline, I set that up and organise them all into a priority order. Sometimes I use labels to categorise tasks but that depends on the project. Rather than have an impeded or on-hold column, I prefer just to attach a red label.
This gives me a base; a project overview to work from. For a particular days work, I drag all the cards onto the Doing column and crack on. When these are completed, I move them to the Done column. Rinse and repeat.
Trello allows you to share your board with people you work with, or your client—pretty handy for everyone involved to see where the project is.
I use the Clear app for tasks which aren’t part of a project, as they would be in a Trello card. It works much in the same way as Trello, although it’s a more traditional to-do list—which looks great. I might use this to remind me to write a proposal, or remember to order some coffee.
Pocket is a read later service. Between tasks I often browse the internet or open Twitter, but that can sometimes be a bit of a time sap. If I find something I want to read, but not right now, I send it to Pocket and read it later. This helps me keep on top of all the content to consume in the web community—in an effort to stay up to date—whilst allowing me to forget about it for now and get on with the tasks from Trello.
From Pocket, if I read something which I think I’ll need later, I check it into Evernote. I keep my emails tidy and do similar with them, if it’s something I need to reference for a project or even something outside of work that I’ll need later I just put a new note into Evernote and archive or delete the email. So Pocket acts as my current reading ground, and Evernote is where stuff goes for a long time.
Not a tool, but it helps me with creative block. I’ve found a hobby that lets me be creative, whilst getting me out and about. I find this helps take my mind off work a bit, but at the same time lets me create something in a different way. I wrote a bit about getting into photography a few weeks ago, and put all the photos that make the cut up on Flickr.
Let me know what you do to organise your work—I’m always looking out for new methods and tweaks to make my time more effective.