I've noticed a number of people recently, both here and in my work, who have a problem with stale Action lists. You know what I mean? When you've done some of the NAs, crossed 'em out or whatever you do, and there's still some to do. The list looks like that tangle of hair in the drain in the shower, all straggled all over the place and pretty unappealing.
So here's something that works for me: instead of writing writing my context lists on a sheet of paper, I write each NA on a sticky, which I stick on the inside of a context manila folder. I use the left for 'pretty damn soon' things, and the right for 'things to do when I run out of pretty damn soon' things. As each NA gets done, I peel it off and stick it on the daily pile. At the end of the day, I count up the pile, congratulate myself and do the sticky dance, then fill up the left of each context folder again ready for the next day.
This means that:
1) I can see at the end of the day how many NAs I've accomplished;
2) I can see if there's any of my contexts I've been ignoring (because the left is still full at the end of the day);
3) I date the stickies, so I can see if anything's been hanging around too long;
4) The stickies have a bit more space to write details;
5) My context lists stay clean and pristine!
Mind you, I use a lot of stickies, but I think it's worth it to get so many projects moving, and keep me on track. On Friday, in the late afternoon, I felt a bit discouraged, because I'd not had a session with a client, didn't have any finished documents, and hadn't achieved a couple of big things. But then, when I counted up the stickies, I realised that I'd got 21 stickies off my lists, which means 21 of my projects moved forward a bit. And that made me feel a whole lot better.
I got this trick from a book called Conquering Chronic Disorganisation, and I think it's a good one. I'd be interested to hear what others think of it.