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How I Get Things Done

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I have a lot on my mind. I always think about my next big project, and when I am busy, I come up with a lot of new ideas. I am not sure why, but it seems that, the more busy I am, the more new ideas I get, and as a result, the more I end up doing.

That’s because I have a system for how I get things done, and it’s in fact fairly easy. You can use a pen and a paper, or an advanced software, the system works with close to everything you’re already using.

The system is this:

I know, I have written that my iPhone is killing my productivity, but that’s not entirely true.

When I get an idea, no matter what the idea is, I always grab the idea and add it to Things (that’s the software I am currently using as my to-do list). Like I said, I add every single idea, no matter how small or big the idea is, to the software (if I am jogging, I add it to Things on my iPhone and it syncs to my Mac). I never question if the idea is good or bad right away, I just grab it and add it.

Then. Once a week, I set aside time (a few hours), to review all my ideas, all my tasks and projects. I move the not-so-good ideas to the trash, and I add the other ideas to some of my projects, and sometimes I create new projects based on the new ideas.

That’s it. It’s easy. But, it works great for me.



13 responses to “How I Get Things Done”

  1. Always a wise idea to write down all of our ideas. Not all of them will be gems, but some of them will be : D.

  2. Tim Bonner says:

    Hey Jens

    We work in a similar way by the sounds of things. I use Todoist as my to-do-list, although I tend to use Evernote to jot down any ideas whilst I’m out and about.

    If I’m at home, I tend to add a draft headline and a couple of notes to my editorial calendar. I’ve found that really useful since I installed it as a plugin.

  3. Mark says:

    Hi, Jens – this is something I need to do a better job at… I usually get my best ideas in the middle of the night when I’m sleeping, or on my daily hike. I always forget my recorder…I’ve had one for several years now and I’ve never used it. Duh!

    I like your system… I’m going to start doing exactly this : )

    Thanks for the tip, sir!

  4. Susan Wilson says:

    Jens, this is the first post of yours that I’ve read and like your ideas. Yeah, I do the “brain dump” of all my ideas, but don’t often take the time to filter them out and find a way to use the good gems. I can now. I use Tape-a-Talk on my phone to record my ideas when driving or when I don’t have time to write.

  5. Lee Meyer says:

    This is one of the issues I face all the time and well, I do have the issue of not writing ideas down. However, my brain has the unfortunate ability to keep harping on doing a project even when I doing another.

  6. Sunday says:

    In the IM social site – kingged.com, I have left the comment below after this post was shared and “kingged”:
    Well Jens-Petter Berget , I guess all you are saying is that the use of a task manager like “Things” readily helps to organize important tasks.

    Your thoughts are clear and Many readers can learn from your experience!

  7. Sounds like a good plan. Simple and streamlined. Those tend to be the most efficient, effective systems.
    I do something similar, always prepared to record thoughts, ideas. I have to review mine daily, though, otherwise I forget some of the details.

  8. Ilan says:

    That’s what I like about my smart phone. I always have a notebook where I can write down my ideas, and I don’t even a need a pen! 🙂

  9. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, Great idea to jot down your ideas! When you started, did you jot down your first idea, “Jot down all my ideas.”?

    I need to work on this. I am very good at jotting my ideas for article ideas but not so much with the rest of life outside of my blog. Yes, I have a life outside of my blog and I do have ideas for it. But I need to jot those down too.

    I use a combination of Evernote, post it notes on my computer and the Notes app on my iPhone. I also have a locked pin board for Pinterest with Article ideas.

    Hope your weekend was wonderful, Jens!

  10. Prakash says:

    Have you come across simpleology?
    http://www.simpleology.com

  11. Ryan says:

    I use the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone. That allows me to write notes on the screen, grab web content, add audio all from within one program. Every Sunday morning I’ll go through my note files and convert the good ideas into Outlook Tasks on my PC. I try and break down each task into something I can do in less than an hour. If it’s likely to take more than an hour, then that becomes 2 tasks.

  12. Adrienne says:

    Now that I have an iPhone Jens , yep I finally graduated, I now type everything into the notes program. I’ve got a good collection there but I also keep pen and paper in my purse anyway. I’m just found this to be so much easier.

    Now I don’t jot everything down that I think of but I like what you’re saying and I can see why that would work so well with upcoming posts. Might have to steal that one from you.

    Thanks for sharing that and hope you enjoy your weekend.

    ~Adrienne

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