Intro: Pocket Task Board
For some of us, organized life is an important thing which is hard to achieve. Procrastination is attacking us continously. Probably You also know something about it if You have some draft instructables created ready to be finally finished.
There are many ideas how to tackle the problem, some of them are:
- "Getting Things Done" (GTD) very popular time management method proposed in a book (same title) by David Allen,
- "Zen To Done" (or "Zen Habbits"), a simplified version of GTD proposed by Leo Babauta,
- All agile-like techniques e.g. Kanban, Scrum, Scrumban, Lean..., which were also adapted in some forms as life organizers.
Some of them have a kind of task list/board, some of them expects to have Your task list/board always with You to update it as much as possible to be able to process all incomming tasks as soon as possible.
The project's goal was to create a handy pocket version of task board using simple tools and materials and almost no cost.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Duct tape
- Thick paper like carton or bristol paper (I used a cartoon from frozen pizza box)
- Small sticky notes
I picket a duct tape as main building material as it is flexibel and relatively durable. If You have any other idea - please post an improvement in a comment.
Step 2: Columns
This is the moment to decide of a final dimentions of Your task board and also about the number of columns. Basic Kanban board needs at least 3 columns: To do, In progress, Done. If You consider "Done" as not needed anymore, You can reduce it even more, ending up with just 1 column as a corner case ;)
Then I measured width of small sticky notes I planned to use ~44mm (pictured). I added some margin and after simple multiplication, my final column dimentions are: 60mm x 95mm.
So I have cut columns' rectangles from a recycled carton I had.
I tried many approaches how to cover and link them together which I describe in next steps. You can pick any aproach which fits You and is easier for You to make.
Step 3: Version a - All Columns Together
One of the aproach I tried was cover all paper columns in one shot. So first I created a sheet made out of duct tape by stick them on each other by arround 1mm.
Then I put all columns in expected positions. This step is generally very important! Depending on how do You plan to fold columns. In my case - 3 columns - I planned to fold it first left column to the center and then right column on tom of 2 already folded ones. It means that right column, needs a little bit bigger gap with center column to have a place to cover the edge when folded.
Pros using this technique:
- Whole board is done as one piece which looks nice
- Columns are strongly connected on edges
Cons using this technique:
- Aligning columns is very important
- Positioning columns is very important
- It is problematic to extend by another column later if needed
Step 4: Version B - Columns Separately
Another approach I tried was to create covered columns one by one and then then connect them with an extra stripes of duct tape.
Covering a carton column is a kind of art. I tried to use 2 techniques: horizontally and vertically. The best approach depends on the width of Your duct tape compared to the dimensions of Your column. I found vertical covering better as it left less "edges" on the columns between duct tape stripes.
I checked also 2 ways of connecting the columns. One using small stripes just between 2 columns, and another technique I tried was to use one long duct tape stripe linking all 4 columns (pictured on 4 columns version later).
Pros using this technique
- Easy to align columns later
- Can be extended later by a column
- Column can be replaced if destroyed
Cons using this technique:
- Additional stripes makes more edges after sticking them
- Relatively more work is needed
Step 5: Pocket
To fully take advantage of our pocket task board, we need to have an empty sticky notes near by. The best option would be to have them together with the task board. So I tried to create a prototype of a kind of small pocket. You can experiment with Your own ideas (if You have one, post it in comment).
Step 6: Results
Pocket task board fits nicely into pocket and I don't feel I have it. Nice thing is that I can open it and put it on my desk - laying or standing.
Room for improvements:
- Some ideas for pockets to store empty sticky notes or a pen
- Try to use different materials than duct tape and carton
- You can stick a colorful stickers to make it nicer
Good luck and happy organizing Your life and work :)