Fat Mogul vs. The Task Planner

borrowed from studentlinc.net.  Click to go to their download page for an old-style task planner (for 2009)
borrowed from studentlinc.net. Click to go to their download page for an old-style task planner (for 2009)

Writers have plenty of things they really should be doing on any given day…at least ones like me who are trying to test the waters on everything in order to find things that actually work, while still writing new content, blogging, and, you know, keeping up with real-life duties.  I mean, my daily life involves so many completely disparate items that it’s quite easy for me to very often just sit back and stare at a wall as I try to remember what I should be doing next, as well as attempt to discern what could be my highest priority at any given moment, due to the need to do so much.

A little over a month ago, I attempted to actually do something about managing my day better.  So often would I go throughout my day only to remember too late that there was an important item I needed to take care of on that day.  It finally became too much.

I did some hunting and came across a product that seemed to fit my needs.  Any.do.  Before I begin, I haven’t received any form of anything from this company, not even a request to review it.  Everything here is just based on my own experience, as well as my own recommendations.  In fact, there are a few items I mention that I should probably contact the company regarding, but just haven’t done so yet, so I can honestly state that I have had no interaction with them at all.

Not that the above disclaimer is all that important, because most of this post isn’t actually about the specific service I’m using, but about the need for authors (and most other people on this world, I’m quite certain) to manage their days slightly better, specifically when it comes to remembering the day’s tasks.

You see, I’m now able to schedule my day weeks in advance.  Where I had once had an enormous word document of items that I needed to review, follow up on, or simply do, I now have a giant pile of things listed under my “To do Someday” task list.  This is important, because it’s completely separate from my, “To do Today” list, which it hadn’t been previously, making it quite easy to get overwhelmed with the insurmountable amount of things ahead of me.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  My daily task list is still pretty large.  I’ve easily got a couple dozen things in there.  There are at least a couple days a week where I just don’t complete them.  But the management of my day has gotten a ton better.

Let’s say, for instance, that I want to increase my exposure on a given social media platform, mostly because people say you should do that.  We’ll use Vine for instance, as it’s a lesser known platform, and one that really doesn’t require daily updates.  I use Vine quite poorly at this point, but that’s a whole other issue to conquer.  Anyways, as opposed to my want to post to twitter, facebook, and pinterest daily, I really just want to post to Vine on a weekly basis.  So, I can make it a weekly recurrence, and ensure it stays in my “To do Today” list until I actually do it.

That’s a simple example, purely because I don’t want to get into all the things I have on my list which are really just there to remind me to act like a human more often than I actually do.

But I’ve now reached a point where I’m able to much better schedule my day, even though there’s a whole host of things I need to take care of, as well as having nagging reminders about those things I need to take care of, that I simply don’t want to…you know, like getting the oil changed, or scheduling a haircut, or whatever.

Any.do does fairly well at providing for precisely my needs, even without the paid version, although I have been tempted to upgrade due to the additional items available in the paid version.  In fact, it’s actually worked quite perfectly, outside of the odd times where my daily tasks skip a day, or the fact that the widget on my phone keeps disappearing (the second one’s not that big of an issue because I rarely use the widget, since it keeps a notification in my status bar).  And I’ve managed to become infinitely more productive.  I’m still playing catch up because of all the items I gave myself for followup when I first began my official task of becoming a professional author, but I can watch and see the pile disappearing…and that’s pretty exciting.

And I’m staying on top of things.  Which is even more so.

Speaking of which…I’ve already used up my allotment of time for blogging today (that’s a joke folks…).  Have fun out there!

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