How to Stay on Track

by Frank Martin

As life goes on, we gain more and more responsibilities, and have more and more that needs to get done, and less ental energy to devote to it. Some method of mangement becomes necessary. Of course, there’s always paper and pencil, but there are some great digital options as well. Today I thought I’d share some of the apps and techniques I use to keep track of my life. You can go here to check out a post I wrote a while back about analog tools I use.

1 Todoist: This may well be my favorite task manager. Clean design, minimalist, gamification of productivity through karma points, and there are native clients for every tech device under the sun (including Galaxy Gear). This the to do list for the digital age. (I also recommend checking out Nozbe.)
2 Sunrise/Fantastical: Sunrise is without a doubt the best Google calendar client out there. It boasts a nice, clean minimalist interface, along with the fact that it integrates with EVERYTHING, most importantly Evernote and Todoist.
3 IFTTT: Recently renamed IF, this is a task automation program that I use for so much its not really funny anymore. If I miss a call it adds a task to Todoist to return the call, including caller ID information if available, it adds anything marked “watch later” on YouTube to Pocket, adds top TIME stories to pocket as well as a random post from Wikipedia, thats only scratching the surface, and I know I’m not using it to its full potential.
4 Buffer: A tool I use to autopost to various social media. I do manually post to Instagram and twitter, as well as Tumblr on occasion, but this service gives me the piece of mind of knowing I’ve got a steady stream of posts to social media going, instead of flooding my followers every morning with posts and tweets.
5 Electronic Pomodoro Timers: I use Tomighty on my computer, and Simple Pomodoro on my phone. These timers motivate me to get work done instead of goofing around, and I find that I get more higher quality work done when I have one of them ticking down.

action steps:
1 Take a look at your options: I’ve used a couple, and there are a number of different ones out there. Trello and Kanbanflow are good if you’re looking for something different than a tradiitonal todo list, simulating a board with columns that tasks are moved between. Workflowy is a sort of trippy combination of to-do list and outline that I still use for various things, but not my actual todo list at the moment.
2 Choose a taskmanager and calendar app and give them a shot forone to two weeks: This should be about the right amount of time to know if they’ll work for you or not.
3 Make it a habit: It’ll take a while, but train yourself to dump everything in there. Trust the system. No system in the world, as simple or intricate as it might be will help if you don’t use it.

A lot of this post appeared in rough form in my weekly newsletter. Want to check it out? Follow this link and see what you think.