View Full Version : teensy paper checklist idea
02-14-2007, 12:15 PM
Any thoughts on this?
Electronic checklists for repeating dailytasks have not worked out for me (often not at desk, display is too small or upkeep/learning curve issue) and paper ones and separate index card have been too clumsy, so here is my proposed solution.
I propose to write the daily items in a code (e.g, wwwwwwww means 8 glasses of water, T means put out the trash, C=check in with grandpa, EI=empty in-box) and when I have the entire list in good form and in a code that can readily cue me then use the code to fill in the fields on very inexpensive business cards (e.g., VistaPrint.com). You get 250 for less than $10.00. They also have sticky notes that can be personalized. Looks like most of the fields can take up to 25 characters.
I think the business cards would fit in a note taker wallet, too.
Other than being very obsessive and boring, does this sound like plan?
02-14-2007, 03:55 PM
I propose to write the daily items in a code (e.g, wwwwwwww means 8 glasses of water, T means put out the trash, C=check in with grandpa, EI=empty in-box) and when I have the entire list in good form and in a code that can readily cue me then use the code to fill in the fields on very inexpensive business cards
If you can make this system work for you and it works well, then by all means, go for it. I know for me, I'd have a hard time making a code that's both concise enough to allow me to write it on business cards and at the same time mnemonic enough that I don't have to think about what the symbols mean. "Call Joe Smith re: the Mars budget proposal" might be longer, but it's certainly easier for me to parse than "c JS r/MRSbp" or similar.
When I look at my lists, I don't want to have to think about what the actions mean before I can act on them. The goal of my system is ultimately to reduce my work to clearly-defined atomic actions that I can just do. Coding them in a system that sacrifices readability for conciseness would be self-defeating for me.
But then, not everyone is me, which is why your question comes back to this: What works for you?
02-14-2007, 04:52 PM
repeating daily tasks
The operative word here seems to be "repeating" (water, trash, grandpa), not one-time tasks like calling Joe about the Mars project. Sounds like it would work quite well, given that the codes would become second nature.
02-14-2007, 06:27 PM
There are about 30 things that I have to do everyday, if I skip a day it is not a huge crisis but if I skip more than a few days it ends up being a problem. These are mainly personal, interpersonal, household and work-related "maintenance" tasks. There are certain things that need to be done a few times a day, too. Then there are things that have to be done weekly. If I get it all down in a code of single letters and digits and symbols, and have the cards printed, I could just make a slash mark as I complete the items. I could carry the card in a little case that is eay to access.
02-15-2007, 04:28 AM
I had a business card based NA system which worked well in fact I was considering going back to it for some things. I bought sheets of 10 cards per page which could be fed into my printer and then the business cards peeled off. I created a template which included the normal things (project name or area of focus, a title, if it was a NA or W/F, and if so who I was W/F, the context, a date and 1-5 checkboxes which denoted how much effort was required.
They all went into a business card folder which had sections ordered by context. It worked well and I like the fact that there is no list to rewrite you just take the cards out when the action is done. Also you can put a couple of cards in your purse if you are out doing errands or shopping, you don't need to carry the whole thing. I think I was waylaid by an electronic tool.
02-15-2007, 06:34 AM
However, my idea is to have a printed checklist of routine actions that need to be done over and over , so each card would have the same thirty items on it. But it would be have to be in a coide to fit it all on. I am doing a trial run today with selected items.
02-15-2007, 06:51 AM
Thanks Jamie, I like your idea and will give it a try as I too have problems with the routine things. I am checking them off in my journal at the moment but that just makes me feel guilty if I havn't done them rather than help me get them done.
02-15-2007, 09:10 AM
Check out the following site:
They have a whole system based upon the humble business card. The articles around the system also make good reading.
My own view is that 30 items on a business card is to many ... even if your turn the items into symbols or graphics. The font you end up using will be 'mouse' type, which is no fun to read!
Is there any routine/structure to these 30 items? If there is then look to group them together and place them on separate cards.
02-15-2007, 09:46 AM
I like this...I might try it myself.
Could you run a trial version for yourself by printing them up on peel-n-stick address labels stuck to a business card? You could play with color and fonts as well as order, as you fine-tune what you want to see. Then spend money on printing when you know it works.
02-15-2007, 11:08 AM
And what do I love? The fact that so many folks have been fascinated by this little low-tech gadget and want to tweak it or adopt it--almost as many as those who contribute to the high-tech suggestions... ;-)
02-16-2007, 05:06 AM
We all appear to be sharping the Axe, rather than cutting the wood!
Nevertheless, some more thoughts on the business card hack.
1 Size: US business cards (std size) are 2"*3.5" (50mm* 89mm) so not a lot of space to play with.
2 Readable Font: Smallest font that is readable is 6pt, though 7pt would be better. Graphics typically take up more space plus need to be printed at a higher resolution ( i.e. 300 dpi).
3 Boarders: Most printers do not print edge to edge, so you are looking at a boarder of approximately 1/8" (4mm).
Commercial printers may have other requirements and they should be looked into before rushing down this road.
02-16-2007, 06:41 AM
but..it's such a lovely collection of shiny axes! Much too nice to actually chop with! :)