I would like to tell you about my personal productivity system and get your opinion, since I think it could be enhanced, but right now I do not know how would I do it.
Ok, so I have all information about different projects in paper but mostly on the computer (Macbook pro using OS X Lion). The main information sources I use on my laptop are;
freemind mind maps: I use one mindmap per project. I work constantly with them tracking next actions to do, information organized, etc
emails: using Mail.app in OS X Lion, I use a different mailbox for each project, where I track necessary actions to perform for each project. Messages to process are flagged as unread, and important emails to answer with a red flag.
folders and files: each project uses a folder under the main "work" folder, where I place all the necessary files for each project
calendar: I use iCal. There are some weekly events. For each day, I put in advance, without any order an previously, all actions I think need to be performed that day. When the day arrives. I move and arrange tasks, more or less one hour per task. The non-urgent or non-priority tasks are displaced to the next day.
task managers: every time an idea or something that needs to be done comes to my mind and does not belong to a specific project, I write it into the inbox of Wunderlist. Later, I try to organize them into different contexts, at_home, at_ipad, free_time, and so on
paper system: I use different folders for different information related to the different projects, which is only available in paper form, or for which I have written down some scribbles or similar. In the mind maps of the projects, concrete nodes are associated to thus physical paper information units.
So my main daily work review (the first things I do at the beginning of the day, and which take around 45 min for me) is:
- a) I think about what I did wrong yesterday and write those things down. Repeated things get one point more, and so on. So things with a high score mean that I should really be serius about them and find a solution soon.
- b) Mail check; first I go to the "sent email" folder and assign a blue flag to the emails I consider are important to get an answer. Then I empty my inbox folder; emails that take less than two minutes to answer are instantly processed. The rest, which need more time, are put into their specific project mailbox and conserving the unread flag. Finally, I have three review mailboxes; daily review, weekly review and monthly review. During the day, I move there emails which are not relevant to be answered at the moment. Depending on the importance, urgency and other factors, are put into one or another mailbox.
- c) iCal planning: I check things that need to be done that day (phone calls, meetings, etc) and the ones that need to be done at a specific time, are thus moved. The others are moved following the criteria; the more important, the sooner to do. The easier the later.
- d) I check and organize tasks in Wunderkit
- e) I clean and organize my paper system
Ok, I think this is enough. After this I start to work in 50 minutes block. During this time I switch off email alerts and twitter and close the door, so I can clearly focus about what I am doing. My system works bot badly at the moment but I think it can improved; after this daily check I feel like I have burned a lot of energy and I start the rest of the day sometimes a bit tired. But from the other side, if all the things have been successfully managed, I feel very well and can commit with a lot of energy for the rest of the day.
What is then your opinion about my system and how do you think I could improve it?