My daily planning is up in the air as I switch out of Obsidian as an “everything” app and into more specialised note taking, task management, and planning apps. The weekly and daily planning are where I am falling over, and hoping to find some ideas!
For me, all my planning is a balance of Fantastical and Omnifocus. Sunday nights are designated for ‘review’. I have three projects in Omnifocus (Morning Daily Review, Evening Daily Review, and Weekly Review) These all help into planning out everything for me.
The hardest part for me since you mentioned specialized note-taking. I primarily utilize Ulysses and Craft (different hats) so to speak. However, there were a handful of times that Ulysses gave me sync issues so I jumped into Craft for the day to get through my errands and speaking engagements. This hiccup occurred a few times that I am almost considering either jumping ship or keeping a backup in Craft.
I create a weekly plan on the weekend, usually on Sunday. I use Things as my primary task app and Obsidian for my project notes and plans. The weekly plan is just a note in my Planning folder. I refer to the quarterly plan to make sure I’m making progress on the right things. Then I just have a bullet list for each day, Sunday - Saturday. Each day gets a simple entry of between 1 - 3 big rocks. Then at the start of each day, I open up the weekly plan and my calendar and fill in time blocks of 1-2 hours for each of the items I have for that day. Of course life can throw you a curve ball and an urgent call or email might displace what I had planned over the weekend. But I try to move around the big rocks to other days if I can.
I’m following the work schedule of quarterly planning sessions for work items that will go into one or more two-week sprints during the same quarter. All tracking in Jira, supporting documentation in Confluence and PowerPoint. Add sprint planning, demos and retros to that, and my weeks are filling themselves with ceremonies.
It’s pretty rigid, and leaves very little room for any of my own tools. Scaled Agile looks an awful lot like waterfall for us old-timers…
I do my planning for the week on Sunday afternoon. I start with a mind sweep (a la GTD) of everything that’s taking up space in my brain. I review my current project folders (Evernote), my task manager (Reminders), and my calendar, and basically write a big list of all the things I want or need to get done during the week.
Then I transfer that list to my calendar in specific time blocks. (e.g. Monday morning from 8:30 until 11:00 AM - write and schedule emails for the week, Tuesday from 8:30 until 11:00 AM, write this week’s podcast episode, etc.).
I just changed this up, and so far, it’s kind of amazing.
I put appointments in my calendar.
I have tasks in project notes, plus a catchall personal note with those random tasks that don’t really need a project (put registration sticker on car), and a similar one for random work tasks (another anti-corruption training!).
Then I click a link in my daily note and it schedules the tasks from all those notes into the time between my appointments.
I’m using NotePlan. To make it work, I schedule tasks to a date
>today; optionally, I estimate how much time it will take
'20m and maybe add a priority level
The link I click is an x-callback URL that triggers a NotePlan plugin (Auto Time Blocking); the link shows up in every daily note through a template.
So I really just have to have a rough idea of each task’s duration, importance (most have no priority set) and what day I want/need to do it. The rest comes down to one click. If I fall behind, or priorities change, or a bunch of new tasks crop up – all frequent occurrences – I just make any necessary changes, click the link again and it all gets shuffled.
The time blocks only show up in NotePlan, which is what I want (ie, they aren’t turned into real calendar entries, though I think you could do that). I can add some manually too, and it’ll schedule and reschedule around those just like calendar entries.
I can do it all with my keyboard because it’s all just text.
I’m blown away by how simple it is to use (though it took me a bit to figure out how to make it work).
Mine is very low-tech, because I’m spending a lot of my time doing care-giving.
I have each day M–F dedicated to a specific kind of work; Monday is planning and scheduling, Tuesday dealing with various tasks in support of my mom, Wed & Thurs to research and writing, Friday to housekeeping/ cooking etc. I’ve been doing this since January, and it’s mostly worked well, in that I’ve been able to do more writing this year than last. It’s an attention-time-focus tools, because I will be interrupted, and can’t predict when. Having a constrained field to concentrate on each day means less ping-ponging between realms of work.
I’m trying to spend Saturday and Sunday Not Working, but am pretty much failing.
I use Calendar for specific days and times for due dates and appointments. I make a note of dates/times in Notes if they affect my mom (I.e. doctors appointments) where I keep a log of her glucose etc.
Meal planning happens in Mela, with the shopping lists getting copied to Notes. Alas, I have’t automated this, but I plan to. I only started using Mela in July.
The daily/weekly task management happens on paper; a Weekly Planner from Write Notepads augmented by a 3 x 5 index card.
Post pandemic, I stopped needing to use a bullet journal as my deadlines dissolved by mid 2020; post 2021, so much of my time is not really predictable, that I don’t block out time anymore.
Now retired my days are planned more than when I worked as a computing scientist/programmer/consultant. Most of the day is organised around medication requiements including my addiction to caffeine (have to have my morning macchiato) interspersed with catch up of the previous evenings TV programmes that are only of interest to me not the rest of my household.
When I was in work my days were less structured! Arrive at the office at 9AM read any emails, maybe send a fax or two, be interrupted by customer phone calls and by managers who exemplified the Peter Principle in action, then onto some programming for integrations of my company’s product into other things, or setup and attend customer facing demos as required by the sales team. Somewhere in there was lunch and mugs of coffee. Finally left the office at 5PM and went home. The only time I could plan my days were those on which I provided customer-facing training courses. Much as I tried to follow time management philosophies — GTD, TimeSystem, TimeManager, Filofax, 7 Habits, etc etc — they were never successful because I was beholden to the whim of customers, sales people, and incompetent managers.
I’m going the other way. I’m moving more and more into Obsidian and I found that as I started using Obsidian for a lot of daily work I was missing things that were still in my task management system.
So my current but still evolving system is this.
Thursday I try to make sure all my inboxes are cleared out, That includes not just the email and paper inbox but also my inbox of items in the Reader app, Obsidian inbox where unlinked notes intially live, Text messages that may have lurking tasks, voicemails, sheep association transactions for registrations, transfers etc for sheep, Safari tabs, my general scanning folder where paper I scan initially goes, downloads folder, some parts of my Twitter feed and so on.
Friday is weekly review. What I’ve started doing is I create daily notes in advance in Obsidian where I put my top items to work on each day in a section at the bottom of the daily note. Those come from my review of projects in Omnifocus. My calendar is where I have the all day tasks entered, things like going shopping (which is an all day task for us as it’s a 150 mile round trip to get there) or scheduled appointments. I set it up with a weekly view so I see the holes of time where I can work on other stuff.
Daily I look at my calendar, check the weather, open my Obsidian note and do my journal for the day before. Theoretically I can then get to work on the most important taks I set out to do that day as documented in my Obsidian note from my weekly review.
In practice it all goes out the window once I step outside and do morning chores. Sheep have a way of disrupting my best laid plans.
But I try to reset again each Friday.
Quarterly I review the past quarter and plan the next one with a 12 week year type of planning process.
Sounds like you live in western half of the US or the Australian outback; driving 150 miles to get groceries one-way sure beats what I’ve had to do!
Love the reference about the sheep blowing away all of your plans
And it’s eveolved even more since then. Now almost everything is in Obsidian. I no longer call out my top tasks in my daily note by hand Instead they are automatically included in my _GTD_Dashboard because I’m using the Tasks Plug-in and some scripting to pull them in both by due/priority and then by context. So I have amy journal and results which is in the daily note and my plan of attack which is my GTD Dashboard.