I have always valued organization. I know the importance of organization. I have purchased many organizational tools. The index card, however, is without a doubt the most valuable organizational tool I use regularly.
My iPhone has revolutionized my life. Seriously, I have replaced a bulky leather planner with calendar, contact list, notebook, and more with one slim device that not only does all of that but allows me to share everything in it with whomever I wish at a touch of the screen. Still, the most useful organizational tool I have at my disposal is an index card.
Index cards are inexpensive, rugged, and easy to use. There is no typing, syncing, or uploading. They are a sturdier to regular paper. You can organize all of your plans for the day on a card and check them off as you go. They fit into your pocket nicely too. I’m just a fanatic about my index cards. Here’s how I use them:
Each night before bed, or early in the morning I plan out my day. I prefer vertical index cards. They’re inexpensive, but if you want to see a life hack on how to make your own click here. I write the date at the top of the card and the day of the week. I draw a dot or bullet before each must-do task to let me separate ideas. I do my best to put the three most important tasks at the top. These are what I focus my day on accomplishing. At the bottom of the card I write the name of anyone I need to phone and their number. It just makes calling easier. I also include a slot for exercise, and a fun activity too. Keep the list to a minimum.
The blank reverse side is a great place for recording notes from the day. Phone numbers, names, dates, etc. can be added to my smartphone later when I have time.
I file my cards into a plastic box in my roll-top desk for about a month. I sometime review these cards to check progress, phone numbers, or just see what I once thought was important. I use the notecards in conjunction with my journal. I take my dreams and goals and break them down to tasks. These tasks go on the cards. My journal and index cards compliment each other.
I check my card throughout the day and take great pleasure in accomplishing a task. Sure, it’s a glorified to-do list, but it works.
If you write down the three most important tasks of each day and accomplish them before bed, you will do many great things. The key, like anything, is to fill out a card daily and act on it. Consistency and discipline are the keys to success.
More on the power of index cards to come.