Leadership, Leading Self

Productivity P #3: Planning (Digital Tools)

Productivity P #3 Planning (Digital Tools)

There are so many digital tools out there and if you’re like me who is on an anti-purchase, anti-subscription budget, these two tools are my go-to productivity tools. I love that they’re free, and I love that they work so well!

Top Two Digital Productivity Tools

1. Google Calendar

I’ll keep this one short since most likely, you’re already using it, or are familiar with it. It’s a no-fuss calendar, anyway. Here’s what I love about Google Calendar:

  • Having one calendar is crucial for productivity.
    • For focus’ sake, it’s tempting to have separate calendars for different areas of life, but for productivity’s sake, it’s actually hard to keep track of one calendar for work/business, another for personal, another for another aspect of your life, and so on. So what’s neat with Google Calendar is that it marries the “one calendar” principle and focus: you can toggle which calendar you’d like to see at any point in time.
    • I have different calendars which I toggle and have assigned different colors for: work (multiple work calendars at that!), personal, business, birthdays. I have a total of 14 calendars currently and it’s easy to keep track (and follow through) without getting overwhelmed!
  • All gadgets are synced: my computer (I use the web-based version so as not to eat up space in my hard drive) and my phone. (Make sure your “active sync” feature is turned on for real-time syncing.)

2. MeisterTask

Ahhhh, finally I get to share this with you! I’ve tried different web-based tools before, but since I tried this one, I never went back or tried searching for alternatives because native, unpaid features are more than enough for me to get things done! If you’re familiar with Trello, you’re going to have an easy time using MeisterTask, and appreciate it even more. ? Before we get started, here are a few terminologies:

  • Project: Since MeisterTask is a collaboration tool, you can create projects that you can share with others (or not) so that you can collaborate and see the progress of each project. You can have many projects in your account.
  • Dashboard: It’s your home page where you see a list of all your projects, notifications (such as updates on when a team member gets a task done or if someone tagged you in a comment), and a list of your tasks across multiple projects (segmented to those that are due today, and all your other tasks—this one you can sort by due date, etc.).
  • Board: This is the inside of your project. It contains the sections and tasks you’ve created.
  • Section: Inside the board, you can create and personalize multiple sections to categorize your tasks.
  • Checklist: You can create template checklists and put these checklists inside a task.

MeisterTask is both a productivity and a collaboration tool, but let me focus here on how I use it as a personal productivity tool for now. Oh, and yes, it has free iOS and Android apps! Here’s how to set up your personal task list:

How to Set Up Your Personal Task List

1. Create a Project entitled “My Tasks.”

2. Go inside your “My Tasks” project and edit the default sections, and add one more:

  • Inbox or Task Dump
  • Priority
  • Delegated Tasks
  • Ideas

You can change the section header color and icon to your liking. ? If you’re into productivity styles like Kanban or GTD or anything else, you can set-up your sections accordingly. For starters, these four sections have proven to be effective. Here’s what mine looks like:

3. Create a “Weekly Deliverables” checklist.

Beside the project name is a little “i” icon. Click that, and click the “Manage” link.

Click “Checklists” on the pop-up menu that appears, and click “Add Checklist.”

Entitle your checklist, “Weekly Deliverables,” and add all tasks you need to accomplish every single week, such as sending out those weekly reports, encoding data, etc. Click “Done” when finished. Don’t worry, you can always go back here to edit your list.

4. Create a task for your weekly deliverables.

Back on your “My Tasks” board, click on the “+” icon in the “Priority” section, and type “Weekly Deliverables” and hit enter. Click that task, then click the “Load” link on the pop-up. You’ll see your list of template checklists there. Choose your “Weekly Deliverables” checklist.

Your checklist template will then get loaded inside your task.

You’re now all set to use your personal task list!

Using Your Personal Task List

1. Using the Inbox or Task Dump

For all the tasks that come in at any given time, create tasks and place them in this section. If you suddenly come up with ideas for work, place them here, too!

During your weekly or daily planning time, something I mentioned in my previous post on planning, start dragging tasks from your Inbox section to their respective sections:

  • Priority
    • This is where you will drag tasks that need to get done today or during the week.
  • Delegated Tasks
    • If you delegated a task to someone, this is where you drag that task to.
  • Ideas
    • Drag your ideas here so you have one place for all of them. Drag and forget if you still have tasks that are in the priority section. When you get the chance to work on any of those brilliant suddenlies of yours, you’ll be glad they’re all here!

2. Using the Weekly Deliverables Task

Throughout my week, I tick on the checklists for the weekly deliverables I’ve accomplished. I actually put a due date which corresponds to the last day of my workweek. At the end of the week, before archiving the task, I duplicate it and put a due date for the following week (the checklist gets loaded automatically). Then I archive the task I finished this week so my board is always clutter-free.

And that ends my 101 for your personal task list using Meistertask. ? There’s so much more you can do with this tool but start with the basics and explore as you go along. If you have a few more minutes to spare, you can watch this Getting Started video from MeisterTask.

Wising you a fruitful and productive day!

Preggy progress update: I’m now 37 weeks pregnant! So this baby is now full term! How time flies so fast! I can’t wait to see and cuddle our dear Chadric Noah! Pray with us for a painless, normal delivery (I’ll be trying VBAC), hopefully last week of February so he maxes out development time inside my tummy. ? Oh! And you can start following Noah on Instagram. Haha!


About Pam Marasigan

Hello! I'm a wife and mom who has a full-time job and does homeschooling, and I also birthed a book a year after we lost our firstborn. I aspire to live each day according to God’s purpose for me. I believe that we were designed to live life to the full throughout life’s different seasons.