Stalling. Procrastination. Putting things off. Dreading the to do list. Sound familiar? Sometimes, we truly do have too much to do; or we take on too much; or we have so many ideas we don’t know where to start first.
I have been using an A5 Filofax and a Franklin Covey Personal 365, and they have been ideal for listing my tasks, tracking meals, keeping a budget, and helping me keep appointments, they have sadly failed at helping me get my day-to-day activities accomplished, because (1) I do not always look at them, and (2) although I thought I had finally found “planner peace,” I have so many assembly ideas that I spend more time making new sections and dividers than I spend getting anything done. This has to stop!
Enter the Crawford Slip Approach. I am absolutely delighted with the system. I stumbled upon it while looking up images I could use for labels, using the Getting Things Done method by David Allen. The first reference came from Judy of the Woods, a delightful blog about a woman who built her home with her own two hands, proving that persistence pays off, no matter who you are, or what your size.
The Crawford Slip Approach has been around since the 1920’s. It is mainly used when brainstorming in groups. You simply write one idea on one piece of paper, and after you’ve finished your brainstorming, you sort them according to topics, and/or project lists. I imagine that if you want to get totally immersed, you would want each project to have its own board, which I think wouldn’t be a bad idea. You can see how Judy of the Woods did hers. She’s an inspiration!
Anyhow, in a collective group, such as a business meeting, each person would write their ideas down, and be freer to come up with ideas for the company, without interfering egos, as each person’s ideas would be anonymous. I am going to use it for completing my many unfinished projects.
Ms. Judy, of Judy of the Woods, has a handmade easel to hold magnetic boards, along with storage for several project boards, and I may attempt something similar later on, but for now, I am using a shipping box.
I cut off one side of the box to make a triangular shape, and then marked off the lines with a Marvy Marker. I wanted to combine the GTD system, so my sections are “In Box,” “Projects,” “Next Action,” “Daily,” “Someday/Maybe,” and “Archive.” I cut up some index cards, and used thumb tacks to fill my board.
I like it! I can see at a glance what I have to do for the day, and have a visual for what needs to be done in my “Next Action” section. Ms. Judy used pictures on magnets, and that works for her. If I want to get fancy, I’ll make some inchies and glue them to a thumb tack, but I don’t want to spend too much time decorating when I need to spend time working. I may reward myself with a few when I get some of my board cleared.
I haven’t yet started on it, but I plan on creating a mindmap on the back of the box. That way, when I need to work out next action steps, I’ll have somewhere to pin my thoughts. I do want to make that side more colorful with DMC floss, ribbons, or washi tape.
I am off to work on one of my major projects, and will hopefully have a post up about it soon. Stay tuned!