In response to last week’s call for people to share cool Excel tricks, we’ve had a request for something similar on organization, task management, and project management. So … share your favorite organizational or task/project management tip here.
I’ll start with a tip that’s pretty basic but can change your life if you’re not doing it: Don’t have multiple different to-do lists floating around. Have one central to-do list and put everything on it, and I mean everything — not just assignments from your boss, but also things like a call that you need to follow up on if you don’t hear back from the person by Tuesday, and your coworker’s request to stop by her office whenever you have time to hear the update on the Fleebus account. Everything. Otherwise it has to all float around in your head, and that’s (a) stressful and (b) how you forget things.
Of course, you can also have sub-lists for big projects that are significant enough to need their own separate lists — but they should still all feed into your main to-do list, because part of the point here is that you shouldn’t need to check a zillion different lists to see what your most pressing priorities for the week (or day or month) are. If you have to check seven different places to get a full picture of what you need to get done, you’re probably not really going to check all of them and your system will fail.
What else do people recommend for staying organized?