It’s been a while since I’ve posted because I’m involved in so many things, I have cognitive overload. However, today I became excited enough to want to share a strategy that works for me and it involves finding a platform where I can perform a brain dump. It involves getting all those to dos and want to dos and should dos and why nots onto some form of memory aid.

In my case, I know that lists don’t work for me. I love notebooks. I collect them. Most are empty. Lists are compiled on the backs of envelopes and random pieces of paper. There are work lists and personal to-do lists and best videos to watch and shops to patronize and, and, and. But I don’t revisit.

I like the concept of Bullet Journals but I always get caught up on the initial planning and never follow through. I’m an artist so I love the embellishments of the really attractive ones. But creating those can be distracting and I’m a card-carrying member of the ADHD committee (without the 😊) so that’s out.

Google Keep seemed like a viable option. It does work as a place to store shopping info, e.g. shoe models and size. However, I rarely check back for other information. It’s just not that flexible. I’ve also tried more fulsome digital organization platforms. My problem with those is that I get stuck in the minutia of the details, and the setup. I may start strong, but….

And now to the reveal. What I’m finding works for me. What meets my goals of being able to quickly make notes, bookmark, organize, and most importantly, find and retrieve as needed.

Microsoft Planner

I have access to my university’s enterprise version of Microsoft Planner. I’m hopeful that once my contract is over that I’ll be able to transition to a personal version.

Planner is a very simple but flexible platform. I prefer the Board View, in a visual grid layout. It is organized by Buckets and within those there are Tasks. So let’s say I have to develop a course on Artificial Intelligence. That’s my bucket: Course on AI. Within that I can specify different tasks or info related to the course. There can be a task for Overall AI information. Course Format. Chatbot Development. Within each task I have options for a description, time frame, attachments, checklists, and collaborators. Not too many options.

I find the attachments part works very well for me. I have difficulty finding links within all the resources that we work with. So if I can attach links directly to appropriate areas, I can find them.

Today I decided to expand my Planner beyond my specific work tasks. I’ve now created buckets for:

  • Extra Time Tasks
  • Important Work Links
  • Topics that Interest Me

I’ll move the Important Work Links closer to my work tasks. And note that Extra Time Tasks and Topic are all work-related, not personal. I have tons of links to organize for personal, but would be too much for this one planner.

I’m looking forward to expanding – and sharing – my use of Planner. And perhaps taking a course on Planner from Udemy. That’ll go on my Extra Time Tasks!

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