Some of my clients agonize over which time and task management tools they should use. Paper or electronic? PC or Mac? Synched up to their existing calendars or not? They try one thing, and then another, and often they end up not using any of them. They are intent on finding the BEST one before committing to ANY of them, which is nearly impossible with the hundreds of choices out there.
Here’s what I tell them: The BEST tool is the one you USE. Try a couple, sure, but don’t spend your life trying them ALL, and feeling like you made the wrong decision….and continuing to be disorganized in your management of tasks. You are not missing out on The Perfect App.
I’ve been testing a new-to-me app called Priority Matrix. It was a pretty cursory test, and my free trial just expired. I have no intention of purchasing it. But that’s only because I have declared a moratorium on all unnecessary tech spending. I do like to try new things in the name of research, but they take time, brain cells, and often money. I wasn’t looking for a new tool when I found it, and I don’t need a new tool. I’m still happy with WorkFlowy, which I described in an update at the end of this review of Fractal Planner. WorkFlowy is basically just a big ol’ glorified list, which works great for me.
But I do like Priority Matrix, and want to give them credit for being a flexible tool that can be used in a wide variety of applications. You can use it for project tracking, idea management, and delegation. It fits with a number of popular styles of task management that you may already be using, or want to try. Such as:
- Pros & Cons
- Brain Dump (Everything, To Dos)
- Basic Priority matrix (Do now, Do later, Delegate, Postpone)
- SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats)
- Eisenhower Method (popularized by Steven Covey): Critical & Urgent, Critical but not Urgent, Urgent but not Critical, Uncategorized
- GTD (David Allen’s Getting Things Done Method): Time-Driven — Critical & High Priority; Energy Driven – Critical & Low Effort, Critical & High Effort, Collection Bin…..OR……Runway, 1000 meters, 10,000 meters, Uncategorized
- Retroactive Project Analysis (Planned & Successful, Unplanned & Successful, Planned & Failed, Unplanned & Failed)
- Porter’s Four Corners Model (Motivation-Drivers, Motivation-Assumptions, Actions-Strategy, Actions- Capabilities) which I’m sure is lovely but which I have personally never heard of.
My point here is not that you should subscribe to Priority Matrix. Or that you shouldn’t.
My point is that there are ANY NUMBER of ways to manage your time and tasks. Just look at the list above!
ALL of these particular methods can be used without apps by drawing a matrix on a piece of paper.
Pick one or create your own. (You can learn about my Chinese Menu Time Management Technique here. Or perhaps you’d prefer to read about my Patented French Door Mind Dump Sooner or Later Technique here.)
Just remember: The BEST tool is the one you USE.
Do you struggle with choosing tools and systems? Or are you happy with the ones you use?
Please share in the comments below!
Copyright 2016 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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