View Full Version : Reminders for important To Do items not on Calendar
10-16-2003, 06:45 AM
As DA reccomends I only put items that must absolutely be done on a specific date on my Calendar. I would appreciate some suggestions on how I can be best reminded of very important items that must be done in the very near future, but not date specific, so that they are not lost in my long category lists. After doing the weekly review, how do you highlight those tasks that must be done during the coming week but not on a specific day? Thank you.
10-16-2003, 07:10 AM
I use the priority feature in Palm and Outlook to mark the high-priority items. You can tell either (or both) of these applications to sort by priority so that the important tasks float to the top of the lists. Outlook marks them with a red exclamation point which makes them easy to see even if they are not sorted by priority.
If you are using a pen-and-paper system, some kind of mark might help, especially since you won't want to rewrite the lists to move the important ones to the top! Perhaps those coloured dot stickers (the ones with removable adhesive would allow you to pull the sticker off if the priority changes).
10-16-2003, 07:19 AM
I put these tasks on my calendar on the day that I should start panicking if they are not done.
e.g. On Monday I decided that I needed a haircut this Saturday. I added to my @Phone list: call hairdresser re: appointment Saturday.
I also know that if I do not call before Friday, I have no chance to get an appointment. Therefore I added a topic on my Calendar for Thursday: DL Call hairdresser.
(DL stands for Deadline; I also use FU for follow up: these are deadlines for other people to deliver me information, ...).
(I admit, the system is not perfect: I called on Wednesday to get an appointment. I forgot it was their closing day :oops: )
I use a paper based system, so I have to enter some entries twice (once on the list, once on the calendar). On the other hand, some days I can open my calendar in the morning and cross off some DL-items because they are already done. :)
Hope this helps,
If you are using a notpad, then you can use some kind of highlighting or symbolic marking next to the NA which needs to be done in the near future. If you use a palm you can use the priorities or icons depending on the software you use. Another way that works for me is to create a list after the weekly review for the actions that need to be taken up soon. So I will work with that list first and address the rest later.
10-16-2003, 08:11 AM
how do you highlight those tasks that must be done during the coming week but not on a specific day?
Frequently, next actions take on additional importance as a critical date approaches. If I have a next action with a critical date, I just make a parenthetical note on the action. For example, I have one now that says: "Get ink cartridges at Staples (Coupon expires 18 Oct)" When I looked at the action last week, I knew I had plenty of time and did other things. When I look at it this Saturday, the reaction will be different. Also, on the 19th, if I still haven't gotten to Staples, I'll just strike it off.
The above works well enough for me, but considering the length of your action lists, you might want to make a separate column for critical dates. That way, they would stand out more against undated actions when you were scanning down the list.
10-16-2003, 08:47 AM
I've got following solution for important next actions that are not date-specific: use additional calendar reminders. When you are putting such important next action in the appropriate context list try to estimate the last day on which you should do it before the disaster happens. Then put the reminder in your calendar on this or earlier date.
For example if I've got important next action to do during next week I put a reminder on next Wednesday in my calendar. On Wednesday I MUST check if it is already done - if not I MUST do it or reprocess it (renegotiate the agreement) taking into account new conditions.
If the next action is really important it is worth the time you spend on duplicating the information about it. You feel better if you know that your system is reliable.