How to Plan Daily With Outlook (Using Full-Day Events)

Planning daily with Outlook (using full-day events)I’ve talked about various tools for planning your daily to-dos, and the latest method I used was a mind map dashboard.

Though effective, a mind map dashboard becomes hard to maintain as you add more and more information to it over time.

For general capture of ideas, I now use Evernote. For my daily planning, I use Outlook. Since I am already using Outlook to schedule meetings and as a database of contacts, then it’s often open throughout the day. It makes sense to plan with it. You can also use Google Calendar the same way. Let me show you how I go about it.

This is what my calendar looks like for a typical week – and let’s say that today is Monday:

One typical week in my calendar

If the destination date is too far away, you can also double-click on the event, and change its date in the event detail window.

Daily events instead of tasks

As you can see, I have regular tasks every day:

  • 1 hour of Spanish
  • Recording a short audio/video in Spanish

And I have 9 tasks planned for today (Monday), and a bit less for the next day. I usually plan for the day and the next day, but not much more than than.

Obviously, I keep in mind my medium and long term goals when deciding what to do today.

I use daily events (the top part of the calendar) instead of tasks, mainly because you cannot copy and paste tasks easily. Here is what the equivalent with the Outlook tasks would look like.

Tasks Pane

You can select multiple weeks to move tasks around

When you need to move tasks (daily events) from one week to another, you can select multiple weeks in the calendar:

Selecting 3 weeks

3 weeks selected

How I prioritize those tasks

I simply prioritize the tasks by adding a number to the name of the task. For example, if my top priorities are doing Spanish, writing a blog article and writing a guest post, then I’ll add 1-, 2- and 3- to those tasks:

  • 1- 1 hour of Spanish
  • 2- Writing a blog article
  • 3- Writing a guest post

What if I don’t complete all the tasks?

I often overbook my days, but since the tasks are prioritized, then it’s OK. I simply move the tasks that I didn’t have time to do to the next day. It does happen that some of the least important tasks get carried around from day to day several times, but like I said, as long as I do what’s important first, then I’m fine with that.

 

Have you tried this method? How does it work for you? Go ahead and share your insights below!

 

2 replies
  1. Ton Meeuwissen
    Ton Meeuwissen says:

    Hi Matt

    Thank you for your very good article. Mind maps are fine for managing the big picture and not for planning. I love the way you use daily events instead of tasks. Much easier to use and visually more appealing. I am going to implement this way of planning.

    Also love Evernote

    Reply

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