Organisation / Phd Life

Keeping organised.

After the last few properly sciencey posts its time to have a look at another aspect of PhD work, keeping organised.

I love lists!

While I do like paper lists, I have a habit of leaving my notepad in the office and then deciding to work from home (I don’t like cycling in the rain!)
What I use instead is Wunderlist. Its a useful task organising app available for free on all devices, but I’ve taken to using it via the browser interface as it doesn’t work quite properly on my linux machine in the office. (Also I can’t uprade it myself, but have to ask our IT helpdesk to do it for me…)

Anyway, why is it so good?

I can have lots of lists for each of the sorts of things I do, so playing with project data, or reading, or housework (I need lists for all my life! Helps keep by brain organised.) Below is a screenshot showing the side bar full of different lists and then in the main workspace is my list for dealing with project data. You can click on the picture to see it bigger.

Lots of different lists!

Lots of different lists!

You can add a task by typing it into the space at the top, super easy. To rearrange them into order of importance you can just drag and drop. It’s really intuitive.

Now note how I’ve highlighted one of those items with a red ribbon? I tend to do that for stuff that needs doing this week and they go into a ‘smart’ list full of other starred items, I mostly refer to that for my weeks work. You can see that below.

The starred list.

The starred list.

Some tasks involve multiple sub-tasks, or maybe you want to make a note of something like a webpage, or add a deadline for yourself, or a reminder (I don’t tend to bother with those last two, maybe I should do…)  Clicking on a task opens up a sidebar allowing you to fill all that information in like here.

The sidebar with fields for notes, subtasks and deadlines! You can even upload files!

The sidebar with fields for notes, subtasks and deadlines! You can even upload files!

I find that once I get onto a roll ticking off things on my to-do list I’m much more likely to keep going. I get a little lift each time! Now I know there are loads of other task management apps around, but this is the one I like. If you’re looking for one, why not give it a go as its totally free! If you are totally devoted to something else, why not let me know!

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2 thoughts on “Keeping organised.

  1. Late to the party, but I discovered Wunderlist recently and love it. I think what really makes it for me is the subtasks function. Excellent for breaking massive and daunting tasks down into small manageable chunks, so that you still get the reward of being able to cross something off the list and feel like you’re making progress.

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