Productivity22 May 2022 | 4 Min Read
#33 - Daily Notes
Daily notes/journaling help us think clearer and be more organized throughout the day and our lives. Here is the questions and topics I use each day.
Hey Friends 👋
It's been just over 4 weeks since I started my new role and this week I wanted to share a little thing I've been doing each day inspired by Ben Newton in this great Medium post.
I've found it incredibly helpful and I think some of you might find it helpful as well. So, without further or do let's get into it.
Every morning I create a new note in Obsidian (my note-taking app of choice), in this note, I outline a few things:
- Start/End of Day Tasks
- Meetings for the Day
- Current Project Headings
- Tasks Due Today
- Daily Reflection
Let's go through each one and have a look at what it's for and why it's there.
Start/End of Day Tasks
Every morning at the start of the day and again at the end of the day I have a list of tasks I need to complete to ensure I'm either set up for the day or the following one.
These tasks are templated and are the same each day ranging from things like "Check Slack / Email" to "Check meetings for the day" and "Outline tasks for the day".
The point of this heading and the tasks within it is to trigger further actions in the same order each day and engrain a routine to my working day because as we all know routines are powerful. 🙌
Meetings for the Day
One of my start of day tasks is to note down all the meetings I have that day and things I need to raise in them. Each meeting is a header so I can easily add notes to each header if need be during the meeting for action points/key takeaways, etc.
This simple task is an easy way for me to take note each morning of what calls and meetings I have booked in, what times they are, and then structure my day around them to ensure I have time to complete all of my tasks.
For example, if I have a call at 10-11 am and another at 2-3 pm, I might book a deep work session from 11.30 am-1.30 pm, to give myself time to shut off IM and emails and get some progress made on my tasks.
I've found breaking my day up into chunks like this and assigning tasks to calendar blocks lets me get more into the zone and focus on the task at hand rather than worrying about a future task/meeting that doesn't need to be done right now.
Current Project Headings
This is quite a simple one, I note down as a heading all the current projects I'm working on and then throughout the day if I need to note down something related to one of the projects I have a heading to put it under.
These act as simple organisational headings for tasks, things of note or just about anything related to that project.
Tasks Due Today
As it says on the tin I guess. 😅
I use a plugin called Obsidian Tasks to track all of my to-do's, this plugin lets you query task items based on the due date, so this heading automatically populates with the tasks due that day so I instantly know what I need to work on.
It also includes overdue items as well so I can easily prioritise them and get back up to date if required.
The last item on my daily note is a reflection item. The last thing I do every day is take 5/10 minutes out of my day just to note down how I was feeling that day, thoughts about anything, what I could've done better, etc.
Essentially this heading is just a small work-related journal that I refer back to for ideas on things to improve as well as just a place to waffle and get stuff out of my head. 😂
This system is very early days, I'm constantly tweaking and improving it in subtle ways along with my overall work to-do/productivity/organisation system. It's definitely not perfect and has its quirks but so far it's been worth its weight in gold to me so I wanted to share it with you all and hopefully, a few of you find it helpful.
Thank you for reading as always,
Thought, Question, Challenge 🤔
- Thought: You can't stop fires from happening if you're constantly scrambling to put the next one out.
- Question: What organisation systems have you tried before? What was your favourite and why?
- Challenge: Have a go at designing and using a productivity system that solves your needs and uses.
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