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Tech Journal

Apps, Hardware, Gear

Eisenhower Matrix + Moleskine Actions

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Take your productivity to new heights with the use of a task management method used by a president paired with an app that offers a fresh take on to do lists.

What is the Eisenhower Matrix?

It's a task sorting method which gets its name from Dwight D. Eisenhower. You take all the things you need to get done and sort them into 4 different categories. They are as follows;

Not Urgent, but Important
These are tasks that don't need to be done right this second but are important.

Urgent and Important
Tasks that need to be done as soon as possible.

Not Urgent and not Important
These are tasks that aren't really even worth delegating. These things should ideally be eliminated. If you absolutely cannot, delegate them.


Urgent but not Important
These things really need to be done but are not important. These tasks should be delegated to someone else.

 

These 4 categories are placed on a 4 quadrant matrix typically. From my personal experience, this method is extremely useful. It's meant to help you sort through everything and examine each task and forces you to decide where it stands in the overall landscape of what you want to get done. Overtime you will have a better sense what is important to you.

The Caveat

The E.M. is such a useful method but is in a way difficult to implement. You can use full sheets of paper to divide up your tasks—one for each day. To me though, that sounds like a waste of paper not to mention cumbersome. At the same time, anything less than a full sheet of paper doesn't really give much room to write down tasks. I tried designing matrixes for personal use but none ever worked the way I wanted. I thought that this fancy method was a pipe dream. I loved the concept but couldn't find a way to implement to where I stuck with it. Until Moleskine dropped a task management app called Actions, then it all changed.

Moleskine Actions

Moleskine's Actions app provides you with lists like any other to do list app. It's just more functional. It doesn't just show a long list of tasks like Apple reminders or similar apps. Actions shows your tasks in a timeline format. You can scroll through the days and see what's coming. What makes this work so well with the Eisenhower matrix is that each category has its own list, and each list can be a different color. So while you're looking at todays tasks, your 'urgent and important' ones can be in red, 'not urgent but important' can be blue, etcetera. With the ability to show tasks for specific days, you end up getting more done. You don't need to scroll through one list and find stuff that you can do today. That can be overwhelming, seeing everything at once. Actions makes looking at your tasks a more pleasant thing to do.

Actions isn't made specifically for use with the Eisenhower Matrix, you can use it however you'd like. Actions ties neatly in with Moleskines other app, Timepage. If you use both, you can have tasks show up on your calendar, and your calendar(s) show up with your tasks. Which is an additional layer of functionality. You don't have to switch between apps while you're trying to schedule a project or lunch date.

Conclusion

If the Eisenhower Matrix is of interest to you, I recommend downloading actions and making use of their trial period.