How to Track Your Tasks in One Simple, Elegant Text File
5 years later, it's still working brilliantly for me
Task management has become more complex than it needs to be.
Over the past five years, I’ve gradually moved away from over-technical software, embracing a simple solution that’s allowed me to grow a successful educational publishing company, run our website, and maintain a blog.
In this article I’m going to show you how to keep on top of your tasks and get projects finished on time, without all-in-one, calendar-integrated, dedicated task management software.
You’ll see how a simple workflow can improve productivity and free up your time and energy for more important things — for the real reason you want to be productive.
Some of the techniques I’ll discuss may seem overly simplistic to you, especially if you’re, say, a devoted PC user who works with a team. Maybe you’ll think that continuing to read won’t be worth your time.
Well, that could be true!
I’m not you; I don’t know what you need. What I do know is what works for me. Take from it what you will.
In any case, I urge you to remain open to the possibility that the most straightforward answer could be all you need. Even better, it might put a big ol’ smile on your face as it simplifies your life!
Things You Should Know
First, some things you should know about my approach.
I work from home, and I don’t have to collaborate with anyone other than my business partner.
I’m a plain text advocate. If something can be done (well) in a simple text file, that’s what I’ll use. If not, I’ll go to the next most simple solution.
I know Macs, iPhones, and iPads inside out. My recommendations, therefore, while universal in principle, are biased toward Apple products.
I believe in software with little to no learning curve. I’ve found that whenever I have to invest significant time and effort into learning how to use an app, I’m more likely to abandon it. Software should be something I can pick up and immediately use effectively.
Here’s what my task management workflow looks like:
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