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How to mark actions as complete on paper? (ticky boxes or cross out?)

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  • How to mark actions as complete on paper? (ticky boxes or cross out?)

    When you have a written to-do list on paper, how do you mark an action as complete? Do you cross out the entire line? Or add a checkmark? Or put a tickybox in front of every item in the list, so the tickyboxes for the completed ones get filled in?

    My to-do lists look messy when there are many items, some completed and some incomplete, and I tend to rewrite them to clean them up, which is a loss of time if I had a cleaner way of marking which ones are complete and which ones still need me to consider doing them, a way to let me quickly scan the list and know what's going on visually.


  • #2
    I cross out done items. They don't fully register in my brain as "done" if the status is denoted in the margin.

    I use checkboxes during the weekly review for any two-minute items that come up. Under other circumstances, I would simply do the two-minute tasks, but during the review, even a two-minute doing can take my focus away from managing everything. So I check those short items and do them immediately after completing the review. I also do the same for any two-minute items that can't be done in my current context.


    • #3

      I use a highlighter to mark finished tasks (based on a tip from of the coaches, I think).
      It is easy to distinguish between finished/unfinished tasks and you still can read the finished tasks!



      • #4
        Use Highlighter

        2nd the Highlighter. Easy to id what's not done.


        • #5
          Dated actions

          I date my actions as I add them to my list, so I know how long something has been waiting to get done. So I might have an action that looks like this:
          [06/30] Take car for oil change

          When the action is done, I cross through the date. If I decide not do do the action at all, I cross out the whole thing.


          • #6
            I loves me a highlighter!


            • #7
              Most of my system is electronic, but I still do some capture using paper (pocketmod booklet) and pen (Fisher spacepen). The really cool thing is that the booklet and pen fit neatly in my cellphone pouch with my phone.

              I cross out stuff that gets done or that gets entered into the system.

              - Don


              • #8
                Another vote for the highlighter

                Nothing gives me a better kick than seeing things getting done (TGD!)



                • #9
                  I recently found a system that works really well with paper. Unfortunately I can't find the link now so I can't give credit where its due!

                  What I do is mark all action items with a '–' at the start of the line.

                  When it's done I put a vertical line through it so it becomes a '+'.

                  If I move it to another list I put a circle round it.

                  The list I'm working off was designed to be used with notes taken at meetings, etc. so had other annotations, e.g. –> means that this action is dependent on another, and <– means that the action has been delegated to someone else at the meeting, and ∆ means that there's important data in the notes at this point.



                  • #10
                    Mark each action item w/a symbol

                    Years ago I got into the habit of writing a circled asterisk in front of each action item. It was a good way to highlight to-dos while taking meeting notes. The actions then pop out at you on any sheet that may be covered with all kinds of scribbles. Once I complete the aiction, I cross out the symbol. The same applies to any list of tasks I generate.


                    • #11
                      I use a yellow highlighter to mark my To Do's as done.


                      • #12
                        agree with vatark

                        I think I must have read the same tip as vatark somewhere because I use - and turn it into + when done. I try to line up the vertical lines so if its ALL done its obvious and gaps are obvious too.

                        Its also quick & tidy, and leaves room for other annotations or notes if things change.


                        • #13
                          Here's the post about the system used by vatark and sarahg (also contains a lot of other useful stuff):


                          • #14
                            I recently made a trial switch to paper and have to say that for me I get great satisfaction out of striking through the whole NA. Checking a box on paper would be akin to checking a box on the computer and I was going numb to my lists there.

                            Done write it doesn't need to be messy and you can still read the completed action if necessary.



                            • #15
                              I use a simple form for my lists. It includes a column for me to check "done" and write the date completed underneath. This makes it simple to run my eye over the page and see what still needs to be done, yet everything is still neat and legible (to me, anyway) and the page serves as a nice log of what I've done.

                              On my calendar, I scratch through meetings that I've attended, deadlines met, etc. in colored pencil (a different color each day) so that I can still read the ink-written original notation underneath.