I disagree about having a one and only system or app to manage all my projects or tasks.
More than 30 years of testing taught me that wasn’t “my way”.
Why You Need More Than One App to Manage Your Stuff
Having just one app or workflow to manage your tasks and projects only allows you to have one perspective.
That’s not how life goes.
It’s considering several perspectives how you can better face any situation.
Don’t you ask for advice from a close friend when dealing with an important decision?
Use your PKM as that close friend that’ll bring you many perspectives to answer the golden question: what do I do now?
The Main Principle
For me, this is the crucial point to make things happen, achieve your goals, and move stuff from point A to B.
Forget about when you need to have something done. Focus on when you’ll do that thing instead.
I’ve used this concept all my life because I’ve always wanted to answer the “golden question”: What do I do now?
But it was my friend August Bradley who nailed it to give it a name: Do Dates vs. Due Dates. Geniuses always do simple and amazing things!
So, always remember the main principle: use Do Dates instead of Due Dates.
Layer 1: Reminders
I use reminders to write down tasks that are so critical that they must be done on a specific date.
Examples: a call, an email, a Whatsapp, to buy something…
Use any reminder app you love. In my case, it’s Due because it has a feature that guarantees success: the app keeps reminding you until you mark the task as done.
Layer 2: The Endless Bucket
I need a place to throw any task that comes to my mind quickly.
It doesn’t matter how big or critical it is because I’ll process it later.
I just need a “liberation” tool that quickly frees my mind from holding that task. It has to be frictionless.
I use Mem because it’s the fastest way I’ve found to capture information and put it in a unique place to be processed.
It’s also amazing how fast I can process everything to decide what to do with each item.
Layer 3: Bird’s Eye View
You need perspective.
Trees cannot hurt you. You have to see the forest at any moment.
Zooming out takes the things to the right place to define priorities, what has to be done first, criteria, killing all kinds of anxieties.
It’s the place for projects and list all the tasks that need to be done to achieve your goals.
It’s the place to see the next task within each project: quickly, easily, visually.
In my case, it’s Motion because I kill three birds with one stone.
I have a project view, I can see a “next task” for each project, and I use time-blocking to define the perfect time to do a task based on many variables: energy, duration, priority.
PS: I don’t create all the tasks from my bucket list inside this layer. Just the ones I consider crucial based on the time length I need to dedicate. Always tasks over 1 hour.
Layer 4: Short Term Action
You need to make the wheel spin. It cannot stop.
You need to be fast, manage unexpected events, and clearly see what you’re facing today, tomorrow, or the whole week.
Here’s where I move my daily tasks.
I decide what I’ll do today, what I’ll move to some other day.
I order the tasks to create a sequence of execution because I need to process things one by one, one after the other.
I use Slash, although I had perfectly implemented this workflow on Notion and Obsidian. Yet, Slash is the fastest I’ve ever found.
4 layers, 4 perspectives:
- Things that are priority 1.
- A place to store anything that comes to mind.
- A way to zoom out and get a broader perspective.
- A tool to quickly manage your short-term items: today, tomorrow, this week.
Calm, control, safety, peace of mind. All you need to perform at your best.
Photo by Amanda Schmidt on Unsplash.