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1. Colored index cards
I love posting my productivity ideas because every time I do so, I get comments suggesting even better ways to do things. Today's tip comes from Christopher Allan Webber, whose colored index cards are leaps and bounds ahead of my deck of plain white index cards. He has some cool ideas here!
He uses colored notecards to separate his notes into categories.
Yellow schedule & project cards Red todo cards (or just stuff I should copy to planner-mode) Blue idea cards Green expenses (writing down stuff to copy to my ledger file later)
He also uses cards that are lined on just one side. On the lined side of schedule & project cards, he writes down:
Mon 5/9 Lab Wed 5/11 Critique of Assignment II & I (pics don't have to be dry - must by Wednesday) Mon 5/16 Field trip . . Assignment #2 dry-mounted
On the back, he keeps a TODO list. When a task needs to be done multiple times--for example, preparing a print of a picture--he adds extra checkboxes before the task.
I think he writes down non-project-related TODOs and random notes on red cards, which are easy to pick out in the pack. Right now, I jumble them all together on white index cards. I'll try keeping the front half of the deck for tasks and the back half for notes.
Green cards help him keep track of his expenses. I keep receipts in front of my index cards using the handy fold-back clip, although an organized table view would be pretty cool.
I don't know where he managed to find lined-on-one-side 3x5 colored index cards. I guess bookstores in other countries are better stocked. On the other hand, I found 3x5 organizer refills, so I'm not absolutely deprived.
He was bemused by my mention of "two pages of month templates from a 3x5 day planner". If you crack open a pack of 3x5 organizer refills, you'll get year, month, and day views. Normally a single month would span two pages, but if you're using a planner where month views haven't been labeled "January", "February"--in short, blank ones--then you can use one page to represent one month. If you don't have organizer refills handy, simply print the numbers 1 to 15 down one side of an index card and 16 to 31 on the other. Leave space at the top for the month name, and space beside the numbers for appointments.
He also had this interesting anecdote to relate about a friend's way of planning.
"Oh, I gave up keeping track of to do lists," she sighed. "These days I just write everything on my mirror with a dry-erase marker, so when I groggily stumble into my bathroom in the morning I go, 'OH SHIT! I HAVE *THAT* TO DO TODAY!'"
I should do that with a random Japanese quote of the day. I'll write it down the day before, then groggily try to read it in the morning. Or I can scribble my Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (superb teaching and quality assurance for computer science education, and strategy coaching for life planning (must find better way to summarize these things!)) on my ceiling at home. Ooooh. My ceiling is low enough for me to do that...
Check out Christopher Allan Webber's website at http://dustycloud.org/ . =)
I love swapping ideas with people, so feel free to send in more suggestions!
コンピューターは単なる計算機だと考えられている。 Computers are thought of as mere calculating machines.
"...you might as well skip the Xmas celebration completely, and instead sit in front of your linux computer playing with the all-new-and-improved linux kernel version." (By Linus Torvalds)
I'd love to hear about any questions, comments, suggestions or links that you might have. Your comments will not be posted on this website immediately, but will be e-mailed to me first. You can use this form to get in touch with me, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .