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  • Colton James Townsend

My Mini-System for Processing Tasks and Ideas

Here's the rough process of what happens and how I manage to handle The Overwhelm


πŸ’₯ Item of thought that enters my brain:

  • If I need to complete it -> Action

  • If I want to play with it -> Idea

Capture these throughout the day in one of two locations! For me, these are the popular notetaking applications called EVERNOTE and GOOGLE KEEP.


Two widget buttons on my phone’s Home Screen:

  • πŸ“ New action item (Evernote)

  • πŸ“ New idea item (Google Keep)



SCREENSHOTS OF THE MONTHLY NOTEBOOK STACK in Evernote


Notes created from the Evernote widget are sent into the Action Inbox notebook

Monthly notebook stack with Daily schedule Notebooks and archives

If I don't want to review an item until next month, I can move it to the archive folder for the month following the current month.


I’ve also created a series of tags to match the primary topic areas I enjoy learning and writing about:


Actions

  • External = I'm waiting on someone else to respond / take action

  • Internal = It's my turn to respond / take action (the default, essentially)

NOTE: I no longer use the "Internal" Tag because I just assume the action is Internal until I designate it manually as External




Ideas

I've separated my interests into 8 categories grouped by topic area.

  1. Food, cooking, recipes

  2. Masculinity, Femininity, Gender Roles

  3. Content, marketing, business, design

  4. Journaling, writing, poetry, reading, family history, biography, memoir, storytelling

  5. Philosophy, spirituality, wisdom

  6. Movement, meditation, mindfulness, mind-body

  7. Addiction, recovery

  8. Creative arts, learning, systems

And still better yet, I’ve distilled these areas down to a single topic keyword for amplified simplicity and focus. These are my single word tag names:


Ideas (8 Simplified Tags)

  1. Food & Nature

  2. Journaling

  3. Marketing

  4. Masculinity

  5. Mind-Body

  6. Recovery

  7. Systems

  8. Wisdom (kinda the default, so far)


My personal care systems

🌟Action = Clear it away sooner than later

  • "Something I probably need to do"

  • Actions are captured for me to Complete: work and habits that I will benefit from my completing them sooner than later

  • β€œI just want to get it done”

🌟Idea = Explore it when I have time

  • "Something I want to study and play with in creative expression"

  • Ideas are captured for me to Create: the fun, interesting stuff that I want to build my life around or at least play with a bit

  • β€œI want to optimize my life for more time in this space and energy

Review time! πŸŽ‰

  • Action Inbox Notebook. Clear this notebook by moving items to one of 3 processing notebooks. Review and clear all Notebooks by the end of day to one of the scheduled Notebooks)

  • Monthly Schedule Notebooks

  • Monthly Archive Notebook (at least current and upcoming month)

  • Current month Archive = Where things go when eliminated or achieved and valuable enough to save

  • Upcoming month Archive = Where things go that I don't want to review until next month

  • Ideas (each day, Tag and title each item accordingly. Archive in Google Keep)


Other ideas I have about my newly refined system of simplicity for personal care and expression:

  • Somehow connect with Google calendar (or at least simultaneously review)


Another idea: Evernote daily template of my NUTS (non-Negotiable, Unalterable, TermS

(one copy in each daily notebook?)


(Or, is this all basically my morning / evening routine?)

  • [ ] AM: Workout

  • [ ] AM: Writing Post

  • [ ] PM: Prepare a meal for myself

  • [ ] PM: Dreamweaving Receiving

  • [ ] PM: Dreamweaving Offering

  • ....etc.

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