© Gaye Wilson 2008
After reading a post about tracking jobs on David Seah’s productivity blog, I thought about how I schedule the actions I need to take. I’ve been thinking about the best ways to do things for some time, hence this blog, and am experimenting with different strategies.

The one I’ve come up with this week is the Corkboard Scheduler.

I had a corkboard sitting idle that I’d bought for something else. I had a bunch of square paper (9x9cm or 3.5×3.5 inches). I had pins. I had index cards. I put them all together, and came up with this:

Corkboard Scheduler

Across the top are six index cards. Each one has a label. The first one is a different colour than the rest, and it represents the jobs I want to work on This Week. The remaining index cards are categories of actions in my life. I was limited to only five categories by the size of the corkboard.

The idea was this: use one piece of paper (I’m going to call them note squares – they are about the size of a Post It note) per action. Write the name of the job/action on a note square. Pin the note square under the appropriate index card category. When I plan to work on the action on a particular note square, I unpin it from the category column, and pin it in the This Week column.

This looked good.

I found that in some cases I also wrote the date the action was due at the bottom of the note square. This gave me a deadline, and allowed me to see at a glance which actions needed to be put in the This Week column. I could also write the date the note square was written, so that I can track how long it’s been on the Scheduler. If it has been on the board for months, maybe the action does not need to be taken.

The advantage of this Corkboard Scheduler for the visual thinker is the ability to see at a glance what needs to be done, and in some cases, when. The note squares under each category tell me what projects are on my plate, the ones in the This Week column give me a visual nudge that I need to work those tasks into my time for this week.

The size of the corkboard I’m using limits the number of categories I can use, and the number of actions I can pin under each category. I can only use five categories and five actions in each category. This is fine, because that means that only the most important actions appear on the board. If I have too many, I won’t be able to focus on achieving each individual victory.

If, however, I find that I have more items that need to be recorded on the Corkboard Scheduler, I can use the other side for future projects.

I’m sure this is not a new idea, but I haven’t used it before, and I’m playing around with it to see how useful it is for me.

How have you used something like this?


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