I use Trello to keep track of things I need to do. Everything I need to do, which isn’t captured elsewhere (like in a github issue), goes on the Trello board.
I’ve found Trello works better for me for this than org-mode did: the latter is very powerful, which makes it hard to use consistently; Trello is much more limited, so consistency is easy.
I sort my tasks into different lists, depending on what their state is:
Someday / Maybe—things I might do, but equally might not.
Has Prerequisites—things I can’t do until I do something else (which is also on the board, and linked from this thing).
To Do—things I intend to do in the reasonably near term.
Things might move between To Do and Someday / Maybe based on my whims.
Routines—regular, time-based, tasks.
Doing—things I’m actively doing (this list is very small).
Waiting / Blocked—things where I’ve done my part, and need to wait on something or someone else.
For example, saving three months expenses. I’ve got a budget to achieve this, I just need to wait for enough time to pass.
Evaluating—life changes which I’m still trying out.
For example, I’m currently considering using an “LRU cache” for my clothes: when I do laundry or buy new clothes, they go on the left of my wardrobe, so things I tend not to wear gradually migrate to the right; and the idea is to periodically get rid of the clothes at the right. I’ll keep that in Evaluating until I actually do throw out a bunch of clothes.
Done - things I’ve done (there’s a new done list every month).
Here’s a state transition diagram showing the normal workflows:
States in which new tasks arrive have a double border. There are also less common flows which don’t really fit into the pure model:
In principle, every task goes though Doing, but in practice small things can jump straight from To Do to Done, as I don’t slavishly update the board at every step.
In principle, a task in Has Prerequisites can’t move into To Do until all of its prerequisites are in Done, but in practice the task and its last few dependencies might enter Doing together.
Tasks can be deleted at any point.
Every task has at least one tag. The tags are:
- Programming & Tech
- Miscellaneous—only if the task has no other tags.
I have a bunch of regular tasks which I collected together into a few different routines:
Weekly—household maintenance (cleaning, laundry, etc) and writing weeknotes.
Monthly—more intense household maintenance (cleaning the oven, emptying the hoover, etc), budgeting, and backing up computers.
Quarterly—updating my CV and website.
Biannual—testing the harddrive failure alert in my home server.
Annual—reviewing my financial habits.
Each routine is a single card on the board with a checklist of tasks to complete and a deadline (9pm of last Sunday in the time period it’s for).
I expect these to change as I repeat them: the weekly and monthly routines have already been tweaked a bit, but the quarterly routine has only happened once so far, and the biannual and annual routines haven’t happened at all yet.