Before You Can Select a System for Your Lists

Readers have asked for specific suggestions for tools–electronic and paper–for tracking and managing their Effectiveness Habits lists. An we will be looking at several very good ones in upcoming posts.

Before you can select one, you have to answer these three questions to know which tools will work best for you.

  1. How do you want to record your current and potential tasks throughout your day? Recall the idea of hoppers from Effectiveness Habit #1: Get It Out of Your Head. Make a quick list of common places in your life where you might receive or think of current or potential tasks. For each, jot down how you would prefer to capture those tasks. At your desk, for example, would you want to write the idea on a piece of paper and toss it into a desk tray, type something on your computer, type something on your smartphone, or jot something in a notebook? What about while you are in a meeting, on your commute, on the shop floor, at the soccer field, in bed, or at the grocery store?
  2. Do you prefer Paper or Electronic? For your lists, which do you think you would prefer? For taking notes in a meeting, which would you prefer? Or, perhaps, you’d rather have a hybrid of both?
  3. If electronic, which type(s)? Mac, Windows, Linux? Notebook or desktop? Apple, BlackBerry, Android, or Windows phones or tablets?

Once you know the answers to these questions, it becomes easier to narrow the choices of good tools to select from.





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