Nerd Business


How to keep a daily schedule with iPad Notes (or pen and paper)

Apple Notes icon

Keeping a daily schedule is the simplest way to ensure we are getting things done. People have been doing it for centuries. It consists of writing down appointments, tasks, and 'stuff to do' on a paper, sticky note, or notepad.

Well, now we have tablets. But things haven't changed much. Rather than show off a robust 'digital notepad app' like Things or Evernote - in this post I wanted to illustrate the beauty of a daily schedule in the most simplest way. So I‘m using the default 'Notes' app by Apple. But honestly, you don‘t need an iPad - this guide is truly basic; you can do it the old-school way.

Here's what my schedule looks like this week...

iPad schedule with Apple notes

The basic principals of the schedule above are to keep it light and don't plan too far ahead. 3 days is plenty. Aside from this structure - you might notice a couple of unique concepts in play...

Firstly, everything is in past tense...
if you are confident in that what you write down will get done, then there is no better way to write it than - as if it already has been done. This gambit is entirely psychological, but I feel it makes the schedule more effective. It keeps your workload in check, because if you don't believe you can get all that done - you're going to be less inclined to overfill your days. And if you happen to get done more than what you planned - you can give yourself a purple star and write down that stuff too.

The second unique concept at work in my daily schedule is the emphasis on focus.

I believe that the most powerful tool we have for manifesting the reality we want - is pure, uninterrupted time for focused effort on a specific target area.

That stated, the foundation of my daily schedule is this concept of allocated time reserved for focus; focused attention on a certain task, project, person or any number of commitments or responsibilities.

Notice these 'focus blocks' aren't set a particular time of the day. But rather, they are a set amount of time, regardless of what time I decide to get started. This ensures flexibility - and allows you to engage when you're ready and willing. The key is uninterrupted focus.

Why tasks shouldn't be on your daily schedule

Task lists have their time & place. They are useful to help manage projects and business strategies. But they will fall apart on a daily schedule. Life just has too much stuff for you to keep track of it all on one linear 'task list'. So I recommend keeping tasks and 'to-do's on your daily schedule to an absolute minimum.

In fact, it might be that the ultimate goal of any day planner, calendar or schedule is to have nothing scheduled at all. Just pure, free time - so we can engage in the moment.

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.

Alfred North Whitehead

The reality for most of us is that we need self-discipline. Reserve time for the things that matter the most. Whether it's monotonous work, an overdue project, a responsibility - or a goal, objective, or dream.