I wrote a post a short while back on the “Forever Calendar”. What the Forever Calendar gives us is every possible day-date combination that could possibly exist in 7 quick-copy lists. The shared list I’m bringing to you today, I think, (1) brings a welcome aesthetic change to your calendar lists… as well as (2) a more visual calendar calendar tucked away in each month’s note. Take a look:
The ideas for both the day-date styling and the calendar layout came from Rob Cherny. I’m just giving it the “forever” twist (which Christiano Lima Santos) showed us in the abovementioned post. So no original ideas from me… just a lot of formatting to bring this shared list to you:
Also… if you’d like to highlight dates in your pop-out calendar like so:
… The quick tip is included in the shared list.
P.S. You can go ahead and embed the shared list in your account – it will not count toward your monthly list limit (for those who haven’t upgraded to WorkFlowy Pro yet). It has at least 4 different formatting options you can choose from. So get clicking 🙂
The Russian forever calendar
The following forever calendar for our Russian users was put together by WorkFlowy user, Olaf:
Unless you’ve got an electron on your hands, you’re not going to be able to make your task show up in 2 different places simultaneously without duplicating :-).This is the challenge many face, despite the best features that apps can throw at us: how to manage full-blown projects and miscellaneous personal tasks at the same time. Tags do help somewhat… but for the most part, the most sensible approach (to me at least) would be to keep projects in project outlines… and have a calendar for miscellaneous personal tasks (Chronological tickler file/ Kanban Calendar). It’s tough to have your cake and eat it. There’s no reason why you couldn’t have a Kanban Calendar for an individual project… but then again, not all projects can be broken down on a timeline. Well, yes and no… but if you’ve got your tasks all plotted on a calendar… the how do you get to use a more classic Kanban system (Backlogged, Work in Progress, Done, etc.) or the Eisenhower Matrix or any other prioritization method at the same time? Inevitably there may have to be a duplication if you want your tasks in different contexts: Chronological vs. prioritization-oriented vs. workflow-oriented, etc.
A couple of questions you might ask yourself are:
1. Is every aspect of my project time sensitive and so needs to be plotted in a calendar… or only broader milestones thereof?
2. Can I comfortably get away with a simple mention of a project in my calendar (or a link to) a project?
3. Does my project need to go into a calendar (since it doesn’t account for daily schedule)… because it may be something I work on routinely every day until it’s done?
So keeping project-related tasks in your project outlines makes a lot of sense if you need to use a Personal Kanban workflow, the MoSCoW prioritization method, some kind of Agile method, etc. You don’t very well want to disassociate your tasks from the context of their projects.
What I’ve gravitated toward over the years is consolidating my personal miscellaneous tasks and project tasks in what I call a Kanban Scheduler which I wrote about in this post:
This goes beyond prioritization (Eisenhower Matrix, etc.) and plots things you need to work on in real time on a timeline… your daily planner… So I pull in miscellaneous tasks from my Kanban Calendar (glorified tickler file) and mark out blocks of time I’m going to devote to any project. Within the same Kanban schedule outline I have a Pomodoro (technique) outline which logs how many 25-minute blocks of time I spend on a particular project… but I work within that project outline itself. I don’t pull out all of the tasks. And even so, it really depends… sometimes I might get a bunch of small, varied tasks related to a project done in a block of time… in which case what goes in my Kanban Schedule is the general project itself. On the other hand, if an aspect of a project is broad enough to span a number of hours or days, I’ll put down that aspect of the project as the thing I’m working on… and then generally all of the nitty gritty is worked out and through in my project outlines.
Some of my projects have deadlines, other don’t. Even for those that do have deadlines, I know roughly how much time (or Pomodori) I need to spend daily on any given project to complete it in a 2-week period or by the end of the month.
In short, it depends on each person’s obligations, context and deadlines… but I generally find with most people (even if they do have deadlines) that their project tasks do not need to be assigned a date tag or duplicated into a calendar or schedule of some sort.
I’ve used multiple methods over the years, much like everyone else… but the trick is to be able to have access to the things you need access to in real time. So what I do, above and beyond whatever system I’ve got going… or a mashup thereof… is I keep a @wip (Work in progress) tag at the top of my home page (along with some others)… and I have the habit of tagging a task I’m currently working on at this very moment (or whenever I resume again), wherever it may be in whatever outline, with a @wip tag. I may tag a task in my Kanban Calendar (Eisenhower Matrix section) with a @wip tag… I may tag something I’m working on in a project outline with a @wip tag… etc… and when I click on that from my home screen I get one or two things I need to keep uppermost in mind for right now. So I don’t need to keep track of the minutiae in my Scheduler or Kanban Calendar. I just need to know where to pick up with my current project(s).
Then there’s the Kanban scheduler I talked about. Often that’s my go-to… especially when I’ve got to focus on several things during the course of the day… that requires extracting (copying) tasks from elsewhere and plotting them in your schedule for today and figuring out how your day might shape up. Sometimes I don’t use a Kanban Scheduler if I get to focus on just one or two things the whole day. I use it as the situation arises. Either way, when I do set up a Kanban Schedule for any particular day, it’s going to require a bit of effort… plotting… admin. And it makes all the difference when I do. BUT… I still work and organize within each project outline… and keep referring to my Kanban Schedule throughout the day… and keep my eye on the watch (especially if I’m doing Pomodori, in which case I set a countdown timer).
Each person needs to come up with a mashup of techniques and methods that suits their lifestyle and routine. Whatever you do set up in WorkFlowy, it needs to be accessible at the drop of a hat. Each person will develop ways of getting back and forth easily.
Shoot me an email and I’ll send you a free copy of my book if you don’t already have one: email@example.com
In my book I present a couple of scenarios for date tagging… and BTW, the WorkFlowy team has indicated that they’ll be working on a due-date/ reminder feature to consolidate your stuff that is date-tagged in one view. So if that’s what you need… disregard the above essay 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing all of this and in the end you have answered my question. So I have stopped trying to figure out how to do something that cannot be done – knowing that in itself is very helpful.
Upon further thought I believe I did find a work around because the I realized the issue is not related to a specific date – the calendar per se, but rather something that needs to be done in a particular week. To that point I have tagged my actions and projects by month – as needed and now what I have done is created 4 weekly tags which I add when I need to look at what’s on tap for that week of the month.
So using the search: @DEC #wk1 brings up exactly what I need.
A simple and elegant solution 🙂
I have what I hope is a quick question and you have an easy answer. I love the idea of using this calendar, but I have thought of way to use this without having to duplicate the item that is categorized elsewhere. I have been trying to figure out how to do this with tags, but that would require 31 tags which seem onerous. Am I missing something?
Thanks so much.
I reckon that you go to that list that is categorized elsewhere :-). Preferably embedded into your account and then duplicated so it’s editable. What I do is leave a hyperlink to that list at the end of each current month in my Kanban Calendar. So it’s a hop, skip and a jump. And then a quick navigate back to where I was.
I am not sure I was clear enough in my question to you. Here’s the example – I have a task and it’s hierarchy looks like this:
Client>Project Name>task [due Dec.4]
I want to see the task in this hierarchy and also show up in the calendar without having to duplicate the tasks. So I see this:
Calendar>Dec4>task(same one as above).
While I’m not sure I’ll come to use it, I’ve found a nice way to provide a monospace in a way you don’t need to use a monospace font for everything: we can use Workflowy Code Formatter (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/workflowy-code-formatter/kglihipcanlbglgikjghocmbbbbkfemn) and surround what we need to be in monospace in backticks.
Image of result:
An added bonus is that this plugin highlights code and highlights letters and numbers differently, so we get an extra styling for the calendar itself 🙂
Roma, this is brilliant!
Thanks for the lateral thinking here. I’d already tinkered with the Code formatter but it never occurred to me.
You could go ahead and use one backtick at the beginning and end:
You could highlight the number of days remaining:
… or vice versa:
You could highlight an entire week:
… or just a block in your calendar:
Also, additional formatting/ CSS tweaks show through in combination with the extension’s formatting:
I’m already using a global monospace font, but this is a good way to be more selective 🙂
What I do for specific fonts for different outlines is I tag the list title with the (tailor-made) font of my choice… so if I wanted my entire calendar outline to be in monospace, I’d just tag the parent list as such (and make the tag invisible at the same time). I wrote a post on this:
Here’s a graphic from the post:
https://workflowy.com/s/BzGP.56xFF5HM4I That’s my Russian template for forever calendar
Thanks Olaf! I added it to the main post. Awesome!
I cannot imagine notetaking without Workflowy! It solves a huge problem of providing summary level information to those who need it as well as providing a deep dive for those that need that level of detail.
However, I don’t see the advantage to using Workflowy in the context of this article. For maintaining appointments, calendar apps (such as Outlook or Google Calendar) offer too many advantages such as reminders and inviting others. For to-dos, using a to-do app (Wunderlist/Microsoft To Do or Any.Do) provides reminders, assignment to others, and recurrence to name a few features that I just can’t live without.
Don’t get me wrong, Workflowy has become a “go to” app for me that I’ve grown to depend upon for taking notes. But please let me know if there is something I’m missing here.
Calendar apps do a great job for time-specific events… but do a poor job as a holding container/ tickler file for date-specific (but not time-specific) tasks. Wunderlist, Trello, etc. are great… they just don’t drill as deep as WorkFlowy. They don’t allow you to fluidly progress from a task into a full-blown project. With WorkFlowy, just like with your note taking, you have infinitely nestable lists, together with the ability to effortlessly set up Kanban stages (To Do, Doing, Done, etc.). True… WorkFlowy does not offer notifications… but then again, not everybody relies on notifications. If people do rely on notifications, they find their tasks and events tend to creep up on them. If one constantly refers to their setup in WorkFlowy each day, like I do… no mess, no fuss. There’s a whole category of WorkFlowy users who pop tasks into WorkFlowy and swear by it. No ways I can go back to “normal” to-do apps… because they’re too… normal. For time-sensitive things I’d like an audible alert for, I create an iOS reminder once in a while.
Nothing special. It’s in Russian, part of October.
Nice! I think the fact that you only have 4 digits in the list makes it nice and compact. If you ever have the time to put together a “forever calendar” of any shape or form for Russian users out there (and there are many!), you’ll have a ton of thankful WorkFlowy users. We could share it here 🙂
Frank, thanks a lot for great hints. I’ll look at that more intently.
In my forever calendar, I put a weekday name in a header so it looks more compact.
Aslo I highlight weekends with bold font to make a calendar’s structure more readable.
Hey Olaf, could you include a screenshot for curiosity? 🙂
Probably the original template would suit you better (i.e. more compact). I like the idea of highlighting weekends. Thanks.
I have a question re: your template. What do I do once I embedded it into my WF account? Let’s say this year’s September begins with a Friday, so I’d like to copy the Friday list and make a September calendar out of it, but it seems like I cannot duplicate embedded lists.
Feel free to reply in Russian if it’s more convenient for you 🙂
What you might be trying to do is duplicate a list within the embedded list (can’t be done because it’s not set to editable)… but you could duplicate the entire outline if you want and then it’ll be editable… or you could copy instead of duplicating. The way you copy would be to Alt+Click on the list you want to copy and then Ctrl+C. Let us know if that helps!