After reading David Allen's book "Getting Things Done" I have begun to revise the ways that I 'collect' and organise jobs that I need to do. A couple of Web 2.0 tools have been really useful for this.
- Good old-fashioned Post-its. You just can't beat them for making quick notes. The important thing with Post-its, though, is that they must be kept and organised somewhere regularly or they will be lost. Post-its are great in the very short term.
- I keep two diaries - one containing appointments and details of events happening at home and in school each day and one is used as a 'day book'. I use my diary to plan where I need to be each day - everything is written down as soon as I find out about it. My day book is used to record things I have need to do, things I have learned and ideas. Information from Post-its is often added to my day book. I keep any flyers or information needed for a specific day with that page in the book. Of course, this is great for making notes and making my focus for the day very clear, but I still need a way to remember things that need to be done regularly and things that I'd like to try or things that I want to need in the longer term. For these jobs I use a couple of useful websites.
- Toodledo is a brilliant To Do list. Since discovering it I wonder how I ever survived without it. I use it to record tasks that I need to do - a bit like a still photo of all the plates that I am spinning. It tells me what I need to do and when. I can set tasks to repeat. I can remind me about things that need to be done months in advance. I will never forget what needs to be prepared for a meeting. It even reminds me when to order new asthmas inhalers. It stores everything I need to remember. Some of its greatest features are the notebook which can be used to record an agenda for meetings or details of a project; the subtask facility which ensures that I can record all the steps I need to take to complete a project; and the ability to text (via Twitter) tasks directly to my to do list using my phone.
- Wikispaces is the final tool that I use for collection. This is used to record details of events from one year to another. Now, I can keep a record of what was good and what was not so good about an event, a project, a lesson or something else. This way I can make it even better for next year! I keep notes from courses I have attended. My Wikispaces page tends to be a place to record my long term ideas - things I know I can't try in the next few months. It also acts as a reference tool for information wherever I need it. I pay to make the wikispace private so that it is completely personal.