In the first part of this post, I considered methods like GTD, the Pomodoro Technique and Streaks.
In the second part of this post, I will discuss the Action Method, Personal Kanban and the Franklin Planner. Let’s continue.
The Action Method
Action Method is a task management system for people and teams. It has a lot in common with Getting Things Done, but it’s more geared towards creative professionals who need to put their ideas into reality. It’s also designed with teams in mind.
This method asks adoptees to consider the verb of each task e.g. “write a blog post” and not “blog post”.
It also provides users with a way to track and delegate tasks, accept and reject projects. The Action Method comes with various purpose-built software offerings, which should ease the transition for new adoptees.
In summary, it focuses on the rather self-explanatory Action Steps, Backburner Items and Reference Items.
- It’s tailored to meet the needs of creative professionals.
- It focuses on actions that users can take and it provides an effective means of collaboration for teams.
- In some cases, GTD is more appropriate than the Action method. For example, GTD places a greater emphasis on the weekly review.
- There’s a small cost to various materials and software apps supporting the Action Method.
Kanban is a Japanese productivity technique developed by Taiichi Ohno.
It has influenced everything from manufacturing processes to IT development.
Personal Kanban is a derivative of Kanban developed by Jim Benson. It asks adoptees to visualise their work and limit their work in progress.
Adoptees use a Personal Kanban board that breaks down a person’s projects into “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done”.
This lets them see work they’ve yet to get to, as well as work in progress and work accomplished. Personal Kanban is simple to use and adoptees can rely on electronic versions like Trello or simply use a whiteboard with sticky notes.
This is minimalism at its finest.
- Personal Kanban is easy to understand and adopt.
- Kanban can be scaled up or down to meet the requirements of teams or the individual.
- It’s a minimialist system that will appeal to those who dislike complex methodologies.
- It’s origins lie in business and manufacturing. This may not suit the needs of creative professionals.
- It’s not suitable for every type of project.
- It lacks a holding place for projects that the user isn’t committed to but may undertake at some future point.
Developed by Stephen Covey, this methodology went on to form part of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The Franklin Planner has been around for over twenty years and has evolved and developed into a popular productivity system trusted by many business people.
A Franklin Planner is similar to a Filofax. It consolidates tasks, appointments and personal notes in one place. It asks users to set goals and organise their time by considering the entire week and not just each day.
The Franklin Planner comes with a weekly schedule sheet, which includes space for an individual’s roles, goals, daily and weekly priorities and appointments. Users should review their schedule at the start of each day to effectively plan and prioritise.
- The Franklin Planner is a highly adaptable system. It can be easily adapted and tweaked by users.
- There’s an established range of supporting materials to help users of this system.
- The system is geared towards those who like to work with pen and paper.
- It’s necessary to read Covey’s book to fully understand his methodology. I’m not knocking the book but it’s a sign that this productivity method requires some commitment and time.
- The Franklin Planner can take some time to understand and carry out.
- The Franklin Planner is more effective if the user takes up the other habits Covey describes in his book.
These habits represent a system for life, and not just a personal productivity system.
This overview shows that productivity has become an industry in itself. It’s possible to spend hours avoiding work because you’re searching for the perfect tools and methods.
The perfect system doesn’t exist and sometimes it’s more effective to pick one method, stick with it and get to work.
Please let me know about your favourite productivity system and how you use it in the comments section below.
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