I've struggled for months to find a system that maximizes my productivity and keeps me focused on accomplishing my goals. I've tried dozens of paper and electronic solutions: apps, notebooks, sticky notes, you name it.... I'm writing about my latest system because I am far more productive now than I was with any of the previous attempts.
Workflow is very personal. This is not a prescription for success, just one guy's process for getting s*** done.
1) Write it down: This post (6 Things The Most Organized People Do...) makes a great argument for why you should write everything down. I spent a lot of time trying to hold information in my head. I'd used to take haphazard notes on Evernote, google docs, Post-Its, and notebooks. However, I never went back to the notes, and forgot many of the todos that were recorded.
I finally found a system that works for me. I have a single Evernote doc where I keep all my todos. I look at that document every morning and I move all the tasks that I want to accomplish that day into calendar events. Each completed item gets moved to the "completed tasks" section at the bottom. I create a clean document every month and only move over the items still on my plate.
2) Calendar it: I create a detailed calendar for each day, scheduling all the tasks that I want to accomplish that day. My calendar becomes my dedicated staff member, reminding me what I need to get done and when. I try to over budget time on tasks so that when I work efficiently I can get free time back. This allows me to go into the evening with a clear mind and focus on relaxing and spending time with the people I care about.