A New Twist on Task Lists: Binder Boards

Every year it seems I tweak how I track things to do. And every year it seems whatever I come up with fades in practical use in short order.

This year, in an effort to be pen- and paper-free on basic task tracking, I modified the binder task board concept to meet my needs. Who knows who originally came up with this, but h/t to the 1857 podcast and specifically TJ Cosgrove for my initial exposure to this compelling idea.

My version consists of dividing routine tasks (those identified as ones I want to become habitual) into Daily and Weekly timeframes, with Daily meaning, well, every day tasks…whereas Weekly includes tasks of a 1x, 2x, or more x per week nature, but not 7x to qualify for the top echelon where the cool (Daily) kids hang out.

Once I complete each task, I flip the binder handle to cover the task. Each morning I review and flip back all the Daily tasks completed from yesterday, and check to see if it’s time for any Weekly tasks. And yes, colors are intentional with green = Daily, purple = 1x/week, and blue more than 1x/week.

Time will tell if this a) survives persistent memory and interest, and/or b) helps “set” my desired habits at the end of 21, 45, or 60 days (the choices depending on which productivity guru you follow who tells you how long it takes to make a habit).

I think it’s a sweet analog approach that should be easier to consistently use than the traditional app or paper sheet/notebook I have to find where I last laid it. It’s not a portable solution, but roaming and portability is going to be a 2022 thing more than this year. And as shown in yesterday’s post picture, my binder board is facing me everyday at my writing desk so I see it easily and frequently.

2 Responses

  1. Hmmm… visually compelling. I find that if I’m trying to make something into a habit, I have to give it an “appointment” at a time I think will be practical to do it. Otherwise, it’s too easy to put off to another day. If something has already become a habit, then I don’t need to track it at all — I do it automatically.

    1. Yea, that’s been how I’ve done it before but hasn’t worked. This approach is more free-form and hoping since it’s always visible it will remind me more often to catch up on those missed daily tasks before the end of the day. True that once a habit, such methods aren’t needed; things become autonomic at some point.

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