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Old 12-09-2011, 22:16   #1
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How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

How do you organize your "TO DO" lists most effectively? I am one of those people that need a well designed list or plan to work efficiently towards a completed project. (If not...........ooohhh pretty!).

For this refit I had originally broke the projects into 4 catagories and worked in order:

1) needed to get the boat in the water
2) needed to get the boat sailing
3) needed to get the boat comfortable for short cruises
4) needed for cruising full time

The problem is that I am now in the fourth catagory and need to rework my list as it involves so much more than the boat itself. I need to break it down into catagories and time lines. (this is where I am having trouble)

It needs to incompass things like:
finishing refit,
provisioning checklists,
cruising gear/spareparts/charts needed,
logistics of mail/communications/banking,
skills to work on before departing etc...

So, please, librally share how you do or would organize your project plan (TODO lists).

Note: I'm not really asking for what actually needs to be done. I need help making a list of "sections" to use as my framework.

Thanks for your ideas!!
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Old 12-09-2011, 23:15   #2
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Re: How do you organize your to-do lists?

1) Hull safety.
2) Rig safety.
3) Abandon ship safety.
4) Living needs.
5) Cosmetics.

These are the things that need to be done to ready a vessel for sea. Before going to sea, seamenship must be without question.
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Old 12-09-2011, 23:56   #3
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Re: How do you organize your to-do lists?

I need to do it now so we can start cruising
I can do it in Mexico
It would be nice
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Old 13-09-2011, 00:00   #4
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Re: How do you organize your to-do lists?

1. What does my wife want to make my dream a reality!
2. Everything else.
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Old 13-09-2011, 16:30   #5
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

Hello Kindle... I too understand the need for organization and lists are a helpful adjunct to that end. Since you're afloat now by the looks of your lists, this is how I have/had/and do keep myself on track:

We use 3x5 index cards exclusively. In no particular order, I'd organize the lists thus:

#1) charts/books to purchase including shop manuals for anything you might have to fix/have fixed and start buying them now.

If I may be so bold? Put stuff away -- seriously, right now, put everything away. I'm not trying to be snippy however you will find (at least I did!) many things that should be some place else, and none of that will be apparent without stowing the gear/supplies now. You'll probably discover that what seemed ideal for one thing isn't and something else needs to be in that spot. This WILL save you money in the long run. When a worker comes to a boat to do work if you're a disorganized chaotic mess ... well, time is money and it's your dollar. (shrugs)

#2) spare parts wanted/ (engine belts, impellers, liquid electrical tape, fittings, teflon tape, rescue tape, et al)
This card will have your engine numbers, fan belt sizes, fuel filters, oil filters, et al (you might also note prices so you'll know when you've spotted a bargain)
#3) tools as you discover the necessity or after you've given that racheting wrench a swimming lesson... if you've lost the 7/16 socket, or discover you need a deep well 1/2 -- one card for tools/hardware

#4) Grocery Goods -- this would include little things (birthday candles for instance aren't always readily available) along with every spice you use (don't forget the holiday spices) ...
Along with your ship's stores you'll want to be shopping for containers to put the food in -- so start buying those containers now and finding a home for them.

#5) Homestuffs: includes sun shades for the windows (make them yourself) along with screens, -- comfort items. And once you're living aboard this list will expand. You'll be sitting down and think "gosh, it'd sure be nice to have a fan right there where I can turn it on without getting up" -- for now, just get aboard living and the list will make itself.

#6) The final card with wishes/things to keep an eye out for, e.g. my card currently has things such as an '8" pan stove wind-break' that means if I'm in a thrift store I'll look for a spring-form pan (the type you'd use to make a pineapple upside down cake) ... currently I'm using a piece of tin foil to encircle the burner when cooking but I'd like to up-grade. This card has all the things I'd like (but not enough to pay retail for) -- it's a reminder list for consideration, not a ToDo however I've found it very useful in keeping myself on-track.

And finally, I have one piece of paper with dimensions for everything. Okay, that would be the portlights and windows (all of them), the distance between the dinette seats, height of dinette, distance between steps to forward cabin and bunk, width of stove, opening for reefer, depth of dinette seats and width... basically, anything I might wonder about, it's there. I don't refer to it as often any more but while designing my head/holding tank it was helpful to know the distance to the deck fitting, hose lengths, etc. Anyway, it was one sheet and any time I measured anything a note was added to the paper. I still have it in my purse.

Good luck, and try 3x5's -- you might find them helpful in focusing Kindle, at least this system works for me.
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Old 13-09-2011, 16:38   #6
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

Everything Dominic said and then under those headings what janice142 said. Then you will probably find some things of your own like inventory control, etc. It is important to have an inventory with a location where everything is stored, a list of where all the through hulls are located, etc.
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Old 13-09-2011, 17:06   #7
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

organize? when my boat nags and screams, i decide what is most important first for flotation
then electricity.
for passage making.
and what is emergent,
what is nagging.
is fine.
do-able under way..
or..
on a dock

anchored

hauled.
and then there are the things i WANT .......
and i am still trying to figure out where everything actually fits....



definitely bring rescue tape. you WILL need it.
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Old 13-09-2011, 21:56   #8
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
It is important to have an inventory with a location where everything is stored, a list of where all the through hulls are located, etc.
Yes, I agree and have already done this-thanks!



Quote:
Originally Posted by sww914 View Post
I can do it in Mexico
Yes, I was thinking of making a new catagory for projects that can be done and what supplies I would need (varnish, brushes...) thanks and I will make this its own catagory.



Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
put everything away. I'm not trying to be snippy however you will find (at least I did!) many things that should be some place else, and none of that will be apparent without stowing the gear/supplies now.
YES!! I have lived on several different boats however, this is time is different as we have not been living aboard and I am still trying out different stowage configurations. It takes longer to get it right when its not your only home. Great suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
#2) spare parts wanted
#3) tools as you discover the necessity for -- one card for tools/hardware
Yes, the problem here is going to be eliminating tools-my husband is an airplane mechanic/builder and we will have to whittle down the inventory. Also, I am pretty sure he is planning on bringing an entire second engine-the 3x5 is going to have to have very tiny print

Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
Along with your ship's stores you'll want to be shopping for containers to put the food in -- so start buying those containers now and finding a home for them.

..just get aboard living and the list will make itself.
I spent DAYS finding the right container configuration for my galley provisions before our first shakedown to the Bahamas. It worked great and it really maximized my storage. And was worth all the time and multiple trips to the store to exchange for different sizes to get the perfect fits. Another wonderful suggestion. As for getting aboard, again, you are correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
The final card with wishes/things to keep an eye out for, ... This card has all the things I'd like (but not enough to pay retail for) -- it's a reminder list for consideration, not a ToDo however I've found it very useful in keeping myself on-track.
AHHH........I knew I posted this question for a reason. I LOVE this idea and am definetly going to use it. Right now my "wish list" is combined into my TO DO list and denoted by a low priority. This will be much much more effective

Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
I have one piece of paper with dimensions for everything.
Yep, my measurements are all on my Itouch was indespensible during the initial part of the refit

Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
Good luck, and try 3x5's
Janice142, Our organizational styles are so similar! I was just nodding away when I read your post. However, I had not thought of using index cards instead of the computer. Hmmmm... I think I like this idea too. Going to go play around with this right now. Thank you so much for sharing all of your suggestions.

I hope more ideas and suggestions are posted.
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Old 14-09-2011, 14:18   #9
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

There are computer programs that will store your info and display it on cards and you can then print them out on 3"x5" cards.
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Old 14-09-2011, 19:12   #10
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

Kindle,
The first two are pretty much interchangeable but some things are not so you have to decide on those and place them in the appropriate list.
1. Safety of personnel.
Broken down, what ever will endanger life and limb. It might be lifelines, or exposed electrical wires. Whatever you think, write it down and do the most serious first.
2. Safety of craft, equipment. Again write it down in order of seriousness. Here is where I put spare parts and equipment that are required.
3. Things that are needed but will not stop departure date. Here I put things that are needed to be done underway. I.e. lights in cabinets, more fans, brushes and varnish, etc.
4. Things that would be nice and will be done when can be afforded time or money.

This is how I prioritize my list but there are some good categories and ideas that others have raised and I will, with their permission work them into my lists.
I also worked aircraft in the Air Force for 30 years. Now in retirement I resurrected some aircraft forms and modified them for my personnel use on the boat so that the admiral or others can see at a glance and understand. Also so I don't forget what is important and what I want.
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Old 14-09-2011, 19:16   #11
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

spiral notebook, notes and list on current page, each new page gets the most important transferred. a lot of things dissappear... dont make the cut prioity wise... :>)
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Old 17-09-2011, 10:59   #12
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

Many years ago I took a course in Estimating, IE how to price out a job so you could put out a bid for said job. One of the sub units of the course was critical path planning.

Basicaly how it works is this. You draw a timeline. Start to finish. On that time line you list everything that needs to be done to complete the job. Branches off the main time line for associated tasks, which become their own timelines. Once those branches are complete they merge back into the main timeline. Some things can't be started until other tasks are completed or at least brought to a certain degree of completion. It's a graphical way of laying out work, and I suppose somewhere they may have developed software to do it. Probably very expensive software. I use a piece of graph paper and a pencil.

Anyway, I try and do that for everything I do on the boat. For instance there's no point in spending money on gear that you won't be using for another couple of years, so why bother. CPP allows you to focus on the immediate.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 17-09-2011, 11:03   #13
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

geeez...my BOAT lets me concentrate on the necessary and to prioritize as stuff happens......my nicely organized list hit the bbq as firestarter years ago.....
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Old 17-09-2011, 11:30   #14
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

I do it along the timeline and follow up and adjust daily.

Sometimes I take up projects for other sailors. Then I will make a proper plan along:
- the job-lines,
- the time-line,
- the budget-line.

I share the basics of such a plan with whoever employs me and I follow up at least weekly.

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Old 22-09-2011, 20:52   #15
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Re: How Do You Organize Your To-Do Lists ?

I do it the exact same way I did as a engine room supervisor in the navy. With the exception that I would hand out pages of stuff to different people to take care of. Now my wife is the admiral and I'm just a bilge cleaner.
Anyway, I just go over everything with a fine tooth comb by system. Hull, engine, electrical, safety gear, damage control gear, Rigging, etc....... Then I start fixing it system by system till I'm done. I do the same thing with my tractor and truck BTW. I'm anal about maintenance. Our boat just has very minor stuff to do right now but next month we're getting an insurance survey and I can guarantee you he will not find a single thing wrong because of how I do my work lists.I don't care about timelines one bit either and I won't work on boats under them. It either gets fixed right or not at all. I've had to swim a few miles before from one that sunk, Not mine, and I will NOT be doing it again! Drunk captain hit a reef but had absolutely no damage control gear onboard. He was the Chief engineer of the ship we served on and knew better. We could have saved her. It was his private yacht.
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