Write it down, make it wreal

April 28, 2011

I’m neurotic with badge notifications on my phones.  1 unread email?  Unacceptable.  But no, it’s not enough to mark it unread and be on with myself.  I have to earn that unmark — that means I have to actually read the message, digest it, internalize, file it accordingly, take any follow-up action necessary, etc.  Essentially, I have to get things done, and maybe that’s why having no notifications is a good day.  It means I’ve done everything I need to, email-wise, with nothing lingering and gnawing at the back of my mind, birthing nagging guilt for not taking care of everything I should.

This neurosis extends beyond email and across everything else that bears notifications — Words with Friends, SMS, Beejive/Chat clients — if there’s something that’s been put out into the universe for me, I must grab it.

I’ve lately been feeling super-super-soooper-busy.  So busy that I’ve taken to making lists to make some effort at taming the madness and calling things to order.  I’ve always been a To Do list guy at work, but have until now been able to keep tasks lists from extending beyond the daily grind.  Thank goodness for Wunderlist.

I just recently got hip to zee Wunderlist.  If you haven’t heard about it, it’s essentially an electronic task manager.  You pound out your to do lists, and can check (click) them off as you complete.  What’s it got over paper?  Well, for starters, badge notifications!

here's the lil beast, running on my iPhone. yeah, 7 things left to do =/

There’s nothing like driving accountability and progress with a nagging incrementally increasing badge notification when you’re a crazy sucker like me.

Also, Wunderlist is cross-platform, and syncs via the almighty cloud.  That means I can be pounding along on my laptop, making power moves and getting things done, and everytime I think of something for me to address later I can pop open a browser window and jot it down.  Then later when I’m on the go I can pop open the app on my phone and have instant reminders of everything I promised myself I wouldn’t forget.  Likewise, I could be on the run when I run into a friend, who reminds me I own them an email with XYZ.  I can jot down a reminder on my phone, then when I get home and pull open my laptop, bam, there’s that reminder.

you can bucket tasks into different lists, for type-a favored organization. you can also send tasks to other users, so when the wifey's at work she can send a "change the oil" task to me if she knows i'm at home on the couch nom nom-ing on cookies

you can star important tasks, add due dates, swipe to delete, tap to check off, shake to bake bread

with the power of due dates you can see what you've planned for today, and what you've slacked on yesterday. i'm a little behind where i wanted to be with editing, but there's millions of completed tasks i've saved from red status, i promise

here's my wunderful wunderlist open in chrome on my laptop. same tasks, all sync'd with my mobile. the only excuse i have now is myself.

If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly suggest.  I have felt busier these past couple weeks, but thanks to Wunderlist I think I’ve been much more efficient and productive and that much less frantic and confused.

What’re your preferred GTD (Get things done) techniques?

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