Using a simple index card is a simple technique to help you focus during the day.

The process is simple.

  • Each day, pull out a new card.
  • Write down the most important tasks you want to complete that day.
  • During the day, focus on those tasks.
  • Add other tasks as they come up. You don’t need to do these today but you still want to jot them down.
  • Add brief notes on the backside.

This technique would be used with whatever task management solution you currently use. Rather than jumping in and out of your task app all day, you can write down the most important tasks and jot down other to-dos and notes on your card throughout the day. Reconcile what’s on your index card with your other apps at the end of each day.

Writing down your daily tasks helps you plan and enables you to prioritize.

I enjoy the index card for this rather than a paper notebook because it is much simpler and has limited space, and I can have it standing next to my monitor to see it all day.

Option 1: Just an index card

The simplest and cheapest option is to buy a pack of standard 3x5 index cards. They work fine; you can pull a card out daily and leave it on your desk as you work.

Option 2: A nice index card and cardholder

If you want a nice upgrade to the system, you can purchase some vertical To-Do index cards. The cards I’m using are higher quality than a standard index card, and the front has a place for your tasks and the back for other notes and doodles. You can find other cards on Amazon or an office supply store to your liking.

Next, find a nice business card holder to keep your cards upright, making a big difference. Your task list is now next to your monitor and is hard to miss.

Option 3: Analog, by Ugmonk

If you want to go all out, Analog by Ugmonk has a high-quality card system that you can purchase. The starter kit is $65, and the cards require a subscription for $10 per month. The Analog kit includes a walnut or maple card box with a magnetic lid to secure your other cards, and it also comes with Task cards for Today, Next, and Someday.