Do you feel like you could be more organized during your day? Here is something I use: a daily template. Every day at work, I start by creating a text file named like “2019-08-27”. Then I put there a simple template:
Then I use it as my semi-structured way of keeping track of the current work.
I start by looking at the last day’s “For tomorrow” section and copying parts of it that still seem important into the today’s “Todo”.
In most of my projects there’s a ritual of daily status meetings; having the “Standup” note and looking at it right before the standup makes it easy for me to not waste everybody’s time by trying to remember everything on the spot.
If there’s something that is in progress at the end of the day, I put it in “For tomorrow”.
At the end of the day, I like to take a couple of minutes and remember if there was something new I learned, or something that I could have done better.
Here’s an example of how this file might look like at the end of the day:
[X] Update deps in project X
[X] Review PR from Alex
[ ] Search component (#145)
Finished signup form (#144)
Started search component (#145)
Continue with the search component. No blockers. If done, start the toolbar component.
Finish search component
Test with browser zoom!
Rebase on latest master
Use JS Performance API before spending time on tweaking performance next time
I started using this approach about a year ago, and now it’s hard for me to imagine how much mental energy I used to spend on keeping track of details like that. When I start a day, or I’m done with something, or I’m after a long meeting that erased my short-term memory about the task I was working on before, I just take a peek at my daily file and get the context back.
Unless you already have a system you use and like, I encourage you to try it out. Customize and automate it as you see fit, just make sure to keep it simple.