I switched from Planner to Lists – here’s what I learned
22. June 2022
With its Board View, Lists has sneaked into Planner. It has become logical (too) to use Lists for task management, and it made me curious: can one really use Lists for tasks? I wanted to find out.
Something could indicate that we are going in that direction. There are no big (public) development plans for Planner, while the list of what is being worked on with Lists is very long.
I doubt Planner will disappear right away. But it is always nice to be at the forefront of development. Therefore, I have switched from Planner to Lists with my tasks. And in the process, I learned something. I’ve put it together here in a list form, and let’s just jump into it:
1IT IS DIFFICULT TO CLEAN UP TASKS
My Planner was about to be a bit of a mess. I used it both for the large tasks where there were many intermediate steps, and for the small tasks that were mentioned at the coffee machine. It has not all been resolved, and far from it has all been initiated.
Should it all be included in Lists? Hardly, because then I just move clutter from one place to another, which will not give me the fresh start that I now have the opportunity.
Instead, I had to set up a strict rule: if I had not touched this task for more than 3 months, then it did not come along. It felt like ignoring work, but that was it in advance. Whether it has been deleted or is forgotten in Planner can be secondary. And it was actually very liberating to do.
2 I can not always understand my own tasks
It’s a little embarrassing as I try to make a virtue out of describing tasks well. But in this process I have found several tasks where I just thought “What the h …. is this?”. Fortunately, there were links in the assignments, so I could gather the clues and thus come to mind what the assignment was about. But it shows that writing assignments is really not easy. You must be very precise in your formulations, so that tasks can withstand +2 months, without having to be a detective to recognize tasks.
We have written about the good tasks in Planner before, and if you want the good advice (and get better at it than me), then you can read it here.
3 Lists is not Planner (yes, huge shock, right?)
When you have been happy with one way of doing things, and now you are forced to do things in a different way, it is rare that it goes completely smoothly.
It is easy to start squeezing the old system down over the new system, which is unfair to the new system as it is probably thought differently than the old one.
This is very much the case with my switch from Planner to Lists. Because even though I can keep Buckets and task cards with Board View, it’s not the same way of working. And I still miss that the Buckets are just as flexible as in the Planner. The challenge then lies in making Lists’ features work for me.
It requires another difficult discipline.
4 defining needs is difficult
I have had to think well and thoroughly about what my needs are when it comes to tasks. How do I get the best overview so I get the most important tasks done first, and not just get one long list of tasks in a random order. I’m not there yet, but I wonder if a new blog post will appear when I have found a solution for myself.
5 it is healthy to replace tools
I have come to the conclusion that it has been a healthy exercise. The obvious healthy thing, of course, is that I have cleaned up my tasks. It can only be a good thing to get cleaned up and sorted out into old things (as long as you can still find your things afterwards).
But even better, it has actually been to get an idea of what I really need in terms of Task Management. Was Planner really the best bet for me, or is there something else that would work better? It is a good way to take a thorough look at your own workflows and become wiser about yourself.
So my biggest recommendation to jump into trying to change tools once in a while. Maybe you find something that actually works better for you. Maybe you find out that it was all perfect as it was.
But then you know.