When you're juggling a project that spans several departments or people, keeping track of what to tell and to whom can be a huge task. But with the right tool, used the right way, it becomes as easy as pie (and for the record, pie is pretty easy).
Use Todoist to Manage Your Meeting Agenda
What made this work was never having to interrupt my workflow to assign items to categories. I could just think about my issues, type them in, and they would magically appear in the right meeting agenda. The system worked beautifully for years until IBM bought Lotus and killed Agenda dead. Innovation checks into IBM, but it doesn't check out. In the years since, I've never found a program that made dealing with categories easy enough to make his system feasible again...until now.
What I'm using is Todoist.com. Unlike Lotus, it isn't a general-purpose information manager, it's a to-do list. It has the feature that you can define labels using an at-sign. For example: @jason or @joseph or @pd_meeting.
When you type a to-do item, if you type a label anywhere in the item, it gets assigned to that label. Then with a single click, or tap, you see everything assigned to that label. Unassigning a label once you've covered a topic in a meeting isn't quite as easy as doing the assignment, but it's easy enough so I can completely replicate my super-awesome multi-project, multi-person workflow.
Todoist lets you group to-do items into projects. I've set up a special project called "text blurbs." In that project, I simply type whatever information needs to be shared into a to-do item. "Is armpit hair stunt really in keeping with brand image? @miley-cyrus-meeting @public-relations-team" Viewing those labels adds those items to the agenda for this week's meetings, where I remove the label after bringing up the item. Once all the labels are removed, I mark the task done, and it vanishes into the archive.
Being the 21st century, Todoist goes one step further, and has apps for iPhone, Mac, Android, Windows, the web, and every browser in existence, and all of it synchronizes. So not only can Todoist handle my scheme of sorting information out to the right person or meeting, but it's usable no matter which device is at my fingertips.
Managing across many people and projects is complicated! Use a tool like Todoist.com and make it easy. When relevant information comes in that needs to be shared with different people or meetings, type it into a text blurb with labels for the people or meetings where it needs to be a meeting agenda item. When you arrive at the meeting, click that meeting's label to see all the items you need to discuss. When the meeting is done, remove that one label from the item, leaving it to be raised at the other meetings as well. You'll make sure everyone is in the loop and what happens in the loop...stays in the loop.
Join the Todoist Sweepstakes and Webinar
I was so thrilled to have a tool that could once again support my multi-person workflow that I reached out to Todoist and asked them to donate a few Todoist Premium upgrade codes for a sweepstakes. They said yes!
Plus, they're sponsoring a free webinar on May 21, 2015 (starring me, of course) where we explore tips and tricks for different ways to manage your task list. If you want to be entered into the upgrade sweepstakes, and register for the webinar, simply visit steverrobbins.com/todowebinar to sign up.
Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!