I mentioned previously that I haven't used a paper system for organization and planning in recent years. One thing I have used for planning this year is Google docs. When I started working full-time in April, I found myself frustrated when a day would go by and I didn't have a way to measure my productivity.
We use Google spreadsheets extensively at work to track our stories and projects and it occurred to me that a personal spreadsheet might work well for me.
Here's what I came up with (from earlier this week):
It's super simple. Each day of the week gets eight spaces (eight simply because it was the right spacing to fit neatly on my monitor--the important thing is not to have too many). I write down the key tasks of the day and cross them out when I complete the task. Sometimes I only have two things written down for the day. Other times I put things in after the fact.
Everything is really general. I'll write stuff like "write first draft of _____ story" or "call B.P. for background info" or "transcribe interview."
The point is it gives me a few real goals and also a sense of satisfaction when a day goes by and I can see that I have gotten things done.
At the end of the week, I move all the struck-through items to the bottom of the spreadsheet and assign uncompleted tasks to a day.