My system for helping keep my brain focused during the workday is a system of lists in a note-taking program like Evernote or Simplenote. Every time I encounter an e-mail, talk to a coworker about something, or get assigned a pull request to review I turn that into a checkbox item. If I don’t get to an item in a day, those empty checkbox items get moved to the next day (or week). The system isn’t without faults but it seems to work. The only issue with the checkboxes is they don’t portray status of longer-running tasks.
This next week I’m going to try something different with how I keep myself organized. For simple TODOs, I’ll still use checkbox items. For longer running tasks with different states to jump through I’m going to try using a personal Trello board. We use Trello at Automattic for some projects as well as at RayWenderlich.com for project tracking. I’ve done simple Kanban boards before but I think Trello might be what I’m missing. Their mobile app is pretty good as well which helps with things I think of while on the go.
I’ll report back after I get some time in with it!