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How Do You Keep Track of The All Stuff You Have to Do?



These days most of the projects and stuff I’ve got swirling around my brain is being organized and stored in MindManager 8. I love the program because of the way I can creatively organize buckets of information around how I think and work, and how it lets others organize around how they think and work. Since they sell both PC and Mac version, I can keep working on the same map across both platforms.

Here is a sample of my current “Stuff” map. I normally operate in the “Now” bucket. The “Now” bucket are things of the highest priority or things I plan on accomplishing within the next day or two. When I’m finished, I’ll mark   them as done (normally by using the Strike Through font treatment), then move them to Finished. I’ll then drag things up from the “Next Up” bucket to the “Now” bucket in order of priority. Stuff in the “Later” bucket are several weeks to several months out.   I’ll do general brainstorming in the other categories and then move them around as I need to focus on them.

How do you keep on top of all the stuff floating around your head so you don’t lose track of all that you have / want to do?




  1. scoobie

    07/03/2009 at 3:52 pm

    I recommend my life organised, as it separate the stuff that is urgent from urgent and important.

    It has loads of active users but never seems to get a mention in blogs.

  2. tableteer

    07/03/2009 at 6:54 pm

    Rob, I also use Mindmanager (v.6), along with GyroQ2. With GyroQ you can add things to your “stuff map” (daily capture map) or any other designated map. It can capture text or a url from your computer’s clipboard and place that in your map’s note section. The great benefit of using GyroQ is that you don’t have to stop what your doing to get items into your stuff map, GyroQ automatically builds your map in the background while you continue working.

  3. Bob

    07/03/2009 at 7:41 pm

    David Allen’s Getting Things Done system, implemented using Excel (mostly).

    P.S. I have no relationship with David Allen other than satisfied customer.

  4. Charles Jannace

    07/03/2009 at 7:44 pm

    Reqall for iPhone, iGoogle, and Firefox. (My prayer list is kept in my head.)

  5. Steve S

    07/03/2009 at 8:13 pm

    JNewquay would be so proud…!!!

  6. Steve S

    07/03/2009 at 8:15 pm

    …Make that WNewquay (Duh!)

  7. Frank

    07/04/2009 at 9:20 am

    Thanks for the great idea with ‘Now’, ‘Next’, …
    At the moment I just write the recent and important things, or my current ideas in a PDF file called ‘important’ and save it.

    I also have MindManager but totally forgot it. Maybe I’ll start using it again for this.
    Why don’t you use ink?

    PS: One item in your MindMap brought a smile on my face: ‘Stuff to Pray about’ :D

  8. Rob

    07/04/2009 at 9:27 am

    Good suggestions, all!

    Frank, I do you use ink quite a bit, especially when working in slate mode. However, most of my day is spent behind a desk programming or writing, so the keyboard is my primary input method during the day.

  9. Genghis Khent

    07/04/2009 at 3:18 pm

    Since I’m an attorney, my spelling is “prey” not “pray.”

    Seriously, excellent article! The now, next up and later buckets are very helpful concepts.

  10. Michael Deutch (Mindjet)

    07/04/2009 at 5:26 pm

    Great article. My dashboard map is very similar. I have a map that reflects my life goals all the way down to my next actions. On a daily basis, I review my map and put together a ‘now’ branch to focus my actions for the day.

    You may want to check out Gyro-Q or a free alternative, TPAssist Capture, which allow you to capture any distraction, thought, or idea quickly without disrupting your current focus. At a later point in time, you can send all of these items into your MindManager map to organize into future or next actions.

    I frequently post map examples like these in the Mindjet Blog, at

    Thanks, Michael

  11. kati42

    07/05/2009 at 9:16 am

    I have tried MindManager, but have found that overall I prefer PersonalBrain for things like this.

    PersonalBrain is more flexible than MindManager in terms of showing relationships. Personally, the things I work on do not fit a strict hierarchy of single-parent multiple-children. With Personal Brain you can express multi-parent relationships, side-links to other topics that let you jump between them even though they are not parents or children. It also “moves” the map based on what node you’re focused on.

    The downside is that they don’t support tablet pen use as much as I would like. You can navigate, and you can use the TIP for text entry. But there aren’t ink notes. You can link to a OneNote page or Journal file for ink, but I’d prefer to have ink-based notes.

    I think this program could be very good if they add ink notes… I’m hoping that other tablet users try it and add requests on their forum to show demand for this feature.

    (I am not affiliated in any way with the company or product).

  12. mrpacs

    07/05/2009 at 7:01 pm

    Outlook 2003.

  13. Steven Gill

    07/06/2009 at 1:50 am

    I also try to follow GTD, but end up with real and on screen post-its (Stickynotes v6 – never liked the 3d one) & email inbox which get reviewed into grouped lists on many normal size pieces of paper and outlook for scheduling and if I’m lucky written up into project plans or more formal notes. I also like the satisfaction of finishing to do items on a post-it then screwing it up and throwing it away!
    I would like to use a mind mapper instead of post-its though but I would need to keep a TabletPC spare and always on by my desk and then I’d have a backup too.

  14. Jim

    07/06/2009 at 4:27 am

    mindmanager espec with gyroQ sounds great but I need functionality on an iphone too for my keeping track stuff.

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