Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Having one thing to track is fine. Having dozens at various stages in a process, and having to keep track of where each one is, can be a nightmare.
Today’s productivity tip is a simple thing I have been doing to not lose track of the threads of things moving through a process.
Two examples to give you a background:
At my current client, there are four environments for web software to release. Each change that gets made goes through from Development to Developer Testing to Quality Assurance to Production (release). Each step has to be done with certain activities, and missing one means that software will sit and never make it to the end user.
For writing the blog, I go through five stages: decide on the article, outline the article, write the article, finish the article (graphics, polishing), post the article and proofread the article. Articles are in various stages, but they all move through this process. If I miss a stage it will mean an incomplete article at best, or at worst, a missed publication date.
In both cases, I have to keep track of where things are so that nothing falls through the cracks.
Tracking the Stages
To track items through stages, you can do it this simple way. You will need the following:
- A piece of paper or piece of cardstock
- A pen
- Small sticky notes
- Optionally, a sheet protector
Set the paper with the long side up (landscape mode) and draw as many columns as you need for the stages your process has. Write the stage of the process at the top of the column. Insert into sheet protector.
Now, when you have something going through the process, write the identifier on a sticky note, and a brief description of what it is.
Do you have a way to keep track of things moving through a process? Share below.