My weekly to do list: Apple notes.

There are dozens of weekly to do list apps app, planners and templates - but I keep going back to this simple Apple notes templates for organising my weekly to do list.

I mainly switch between Basecamp and Apple notes - although i've been using Apple notes for tracking my todos for the last 6 months.

This is how I plan my weekly todos. I have three main templates.

The one on the left is like the big macro view on what I want to get done in this batch. A batch usually lasts between 4-8 weeks. The middle notes list two things I have to get done from the bigger batch. I fill this middle batch every Sunday evening for that week - and i've found that adding more than two tasks usually ends up with tasks not getting done. So, I keep it to two - and, the one on the right is a break down of the weekly tasks into multiple easy to do smaller tasks.

I've tried working without a todo list many times - and I still got stuff done, but sometimes weeks go by, and when I look back at what i've completed in the last two months - i'm unable to see stuff that actually moved the needle. If you looked at my Github repo, there would as many commits as usual, but in the bigger overall picture, I didnt really ship stuff that mattered. Without to do lists, I end up being "busy", and not useful.

So, to counter that, and inspired by Basecamp's Shape Up, I started breaking down things into bigger batches. For the bigger batch I choose to do a big thing that when completed I would be proud of. Also, I do not add any unknowns in the big batch. For example, if I was looking to build a Shopify app, I would make sure that I know how the Shopify APIs works etc before I start the big batch. It is hard to completely remove all unknowns, but the less number of blockers there are, the easier it is for me to get things done as planned. Again, heavily inspired by Shape Up, I keep scoping down the project, until I am sure I can get it done in 4 weeks.

Then, I start the actual work, by first deciding what I want to get done in one week. For the middle notes, I dont plan more than one week at one time. The middle notes is basically just my weekly to do list. It's just looking at the big picture on what I want to get done this week. I usually work around 6 hours a day, 5 days per week - i.e. only for coding or writing content - and I feel that this is a lot of time to build something good every week. The idea is that every Friday evening when I look back at the week, I should be happy with the way I am moving forward.

The right most notes has each task broken down into smaller easy-to-do tasks. Because I break down each task into a smaller todo, I can jump between projects, without losing context. I also feel that looking at the big batch and the weekly to do plans, puts me right back in the mood whenever I start my day. This way of organising my weekly to do list has helped my ship things that matter to me.