I used to be a pretty unorganized learner. When I was learning something or working on assignments, I’d forget what I was supposed to be doing, what I’d already done, or what I was in the process of doing.
When I started taking a class with LaunchCode, someone introduced me to Trello. It’s a web/mobile application that is basically a super-powered to-do list. It lets you create cards for tasks that you need to finish, and even put due dates on them to motivate yourself. Then you can move the cards between different sections of the board (for example: “To-Do”, “Currently Doing”, “Done”).
Trello is a tool that is widely used in the tech industry, too!
What other tools/apps/strategies do you like to use to stay organized and productive?
I have used OneNote build to-do list, and it works really well being able to record random thought and take notes. Since a lot of my projects and tasks at work are communicated via email, I have also used the Gmail function that allows me to add a particular email thread to tasks. This has helped me to follow up with emails I couldn’t respond initially without taking some additional actions.
I love to take notes with pen and paper! I find that as the number of windows and applications I have open grows, the more confused I get. Keeping my notes on paper helps me keep that number down and gives me a break from looking at a screen!
I’ve always been great a making lists, but prioritizing and following through has always been my weakness. I recently read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and it was a huge help for me. The big take-aways were establishing your priorities, and developing a system to schedule time to do so. I still struggle every day to be productive towards my own learning and coding, but 7 Habits has helped point me in the right direction!
I use similar principles to @doc, based on the “Getting Things Done” method (aka GTD).
The method focuses on prioritization, regular review of tasks, and putting non-immediate tasks out-of-mind so they don’t become a distraction. It’s pretty popular, so there are quite a few apps that help you follow the method, both free and paid. Some good free options are listed in this article:
I’ve gotten great value from The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It requires more inference than the other examples listed here and relies heavily on post-hoc rationalization, but it’s well worth one’s time. (There’s an afterward in the newest edition that deals with how to change personal habits; if reading, it’s well worth the effort to get the recent version.)
When we know how and why our minds do the things they do, it’s easier to know how to make the changes we need to make. It’s also allows us to accurately track our progress and adapt as needed.
I have a very simple strategy of keeping a doc at Google Docs called “Things To Do”.
It started as just a few lines, but is now over 28 pages long, with lots of different categories-- and about 10 pages of Java code.
I like how docs in the Cloud autosave-- that helps me a lot.
And, I can easily open the document anywhere.
Ryan-- a co-worker of mine uses and loves Trello, as well.
Another timesaver is to create a Google doc with a short list of website links-- like the bookmarks tab, but just with what a person usually needs. I find that there are lots of bookmarks I don’t want to delete-- but lots more that I tend to use than can fit on the Bookmark Bar.
I keep both “Things To Do” and my smaller bookmarks doc open as tabs in my browser.