ADVANCED TUTORIALS

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The Weekly Review

No matter how good your intentions are, sooner or later your personal organization system is going to be outdated, even a little, even for a while. Things are going to come faster than you can digest, and you will have the feeling that you are losing control. Your system will no longer accurately reflect your reality and stress will return.

The purpose of the Weekly Review is to get a clean, clear, current and complete system, so you can firmly rely on it. The Weekly Review also allows you to focus each week on what is really important, leaving out countless new inputs and potential distractions.

The aim of this wizard is to simplify the process and guide you, so you can do it better and spend less time than usual.

Step 1: Capture loose papers and materials

Start by gathering up all the loose ends generated during your busy week. Put all accumulated business cards, receipts, notes, and all kinds of paper-based materials in your Inbox to clarify them later.

Then think a minute about any uncaptured stuff and put it in as well.

You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Enter to capture stuff and PgDown (fn+down arrow on Mac keyboards) to continue with the next step.

Weekly Review - Capturing

Step 2: Clarify all the outstanding stuff

Review all the stuff that have come into your life since the last time and decide what to do with them.

Clarify the expected results and place them in the appropriate lists, save any reference notes and materials, and eliminate the items not needed.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut PgUp (fn+up arrow on Mac keyboards) to go back to the previous step.

Weekly Review - Clarifying

Step 3: Review your past Calendar events

Review the last week Calendar entries. Check the completed events off. Look for remaining action items, reference information, and so on, and transfer them into the active system.

To do so, use the Capture option (CTRL-1) every time those events trigger thoughts about things that still need to be done. Go to the next step when there’s nothing left uncaptured.

Weekly Review - Past events

Step 4: Review your upcoming Calendar events

Look at future Calendar events in detail.

Capture (CTRL-1) actions and projects required to arrange them, to prevent last-minute stress.

Weekly Review - Next events

Step 5: Review your Next Actions

Review your Next Actions list. Check off completed actions, and move the ones that should be in other lists.

Update info. Add further actions steps (CTRL-1) if necessary

Weekly Review - Next actions

Step 6: Review your Waiting For list

Check off received items.

Need to send an e-mail to get a status report? Need to add an item to someone else’s Agenda? Record appropriate actions (CTRL-1) for any needed follow-up.

Weekly Review - Waiting for

Step 7: Review your Projects

Evaluate the state of your Projects, ensuring that at least there is one Next Action for every active project.

Browse through any relevant project plans yo trigger new actions, completions, waiting-fors, etc.

Put on hold (waiting) those you cannot continue for the moment, and mark those you have finished. Reactive the waiting projects that can now be addressed.

Weekly Review - Projects

Step 8: Review your Someday/Maybe list

Check for stuff that may have become interesting or valuable to activate, and clarify them. Delete items no longer of interest.

To facilitate the review, remove the items that need not be reviewed on a regular basis: topics that you want to write about, books you’d like to read, music you want to download, countries that want to visit, etc. To do so, exclude the tags those items are related to. This way, the Someday/Maybe list is reduced to the set of items that you really need to check each week.

Weekly Review - Someday/Maybe

Step 9: Be creative and courageous

Are there any new, wonderful, creative, thought-provoking, risk-taking ideas you can Capture and add into your system?

Weekly Review - Ideas

Step 10: Finish!

Review all the stuff that have come to your mind during the Weekly Review and decide what to do with them.

Clarify the expected results and place them in the appropriate lists, save any reference notes and materials, and eliminate the items not needed.

Weekly Review - Finish

Customization of the stages

You can adapt the Weekly Review to your particular situation, by inserting personal notes in the stages you want. We have called it Personal Checklist.

Imagine that in the first step (capturing) you don’t want to forget to check an external inbox or the pending tasks assigned to you in your company’s software. Or that before step 7 (projects review) you want to review your Goals to make sure you have no goals without at least one associated project.

You just need to edit your Personal Checklist and add the necessary notes at the appropriate stages:

weekly review, personal checklist edition

The Weekly Review process will show your personal checklist before each stage. You have to click on the “Done” button to leave the checklist and enter the standard step.

weekly review, personal checklist

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