If you use life planning tools, you’re probably an anal-retentive sort of person. So it’s a bit redundant for me to say that anal-retentive people will love the life planning tool I’m about to recommend.
Let me say this, then: if you’re a practical, no-frills sort of person who cherishes peace of mind, you will love a free program called Asana.
The basic unit of Asana is the “task,” which is exactly what it sounds like. You can set a due date for all your tasks. Every day I log in to Asana and it shows me all my tasks organized by due date. The ones due “today” are the ones I focus on.
You can also create recurring tasks. This is incredibly convenient. For example, I have programmed “do laundry” to show up every Saturday. I never have to worry about putting laundry on my to-do list again because Asana will automatically remind me. You can have tasks recur in unusual ways, too, like “get a haircut” every sixth Saturday, “pay rent” on the 27th of every month, or “exercise” every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
If you think a task will take more than one day to complete, you can divide it into “subtasks.” Then set due dates on the subtasks to keep you on schedule.
Group tasks together, if you wish, to compose “projects.” Some examples of mine:
Nikolai (my current fiction project)
Writing (this blog, journaling, potential projects)
To-do (chores and miscellaneous tasks)
Asana doesn’t compose a schedule for you. It only tells you when tasks and subtasks are due. I didn’t like this at first, since I’m used to scheduling my day with specific times to complete various tasks. With Asana, the focus shifts from filling up my day to simply completing the tasks at hand, regardless of how long it takes me. And, if I don’t finish a task, I can simply change the due date. Easy!
For writers, it’s also massively helpful to be able to attach documents to the tasks you are working on. Finding the appropriate files on Asana is much easier than combing through Google Drive or your computer’s folders.
Also, when you complete a task, a rainbow unicorn leaps across the screen to celebrate. That might be the best part of Asana.
Asana is different from other life organization tools in that it isn’t designed as a shiny procrastination device. Instead of giving me more work and more distraction, it helps me relax knowing my daily to-do lists are taken care of.
Have a look at asana.com and let me know what you think.
P.S. I’m not affiliated with or being paid by Asana in any way. I’m just a huge fan!