How do you organise your checklists?

Hi,

I have recently been working on a part of my system that is checklists. In the process of creating (anew) and curating, I am leaning from some of the insights of The Checklist Manifesto and base my system on the well-known GTD, as well as maintain a folder hierarchy based on JD.

As structure emerges, I’m organising and classifying all my checklists. I’d like to know more about how you all PKM folks manage checklists.

For the sake of working with the garage door open, here’s my current structure:

Screenshot 2024-05-18 at 11.27.55

Of course, it makes sense to me to store the checklists I know I review periodically like this. I’m currently only really perplexed about the misc category. I prefer not storing them in 02 Checklist directly, as that would clutter my view of all the categories when I expand the folder.

On the other hand, nothing makes more perfect sense than simply having the miscellaneous category under its own decimal. But this is a JD matter, and I probably just have to define the number that is always the misc category and is reserved in any decimal.

In what terms do you think when categorising your checklists into folders (or other forms).

I encourage you to share your thought process and structure, whatever it may be!

I use Remember the Milk for my morning, afternoon, and evening checklists. Each of those is a single checklist, and they are aggregated into a single smart list that guides me through my day. I also have a “Pause” checklist that I try to use for checking in with myself should I catch myself stuck or in a negative state.

In Obsidian, I primarily use Templater for my checklist templates. I have a separate Templater folder with sub-folders for “Commands” (files named like Obsidian commands) and “templates” (the content targeted by the commands). When it comes to actually using the checklists, I have a daily note that I generate each day using a button. That brings up three additional buttons for my daily preview, processing time, and daily review. Each of those buttons will populate the to-do list into my daily note. I use buttons to generate these on the fly because I use the Review plug-in and my daily notes are created in advance sometimes, so I have to have flexibility.

I’d like to use this in more places like my meeting notes at my job: I believe I generally do the same thing in terms of preparing for and following up on meetings. I would probably just have a button in the meeting note template to generate that.

I have some standalone templates in my Templater folder too. My problem is that I doubt I’ll remember they are there when I need to use them, so I feel the need to build them into a process.

Let me know if you want to see any specifics.

P.S. I see Checklist Manifesto is on audiobook through my library. I think I’ll start giving it a listen today :slight_smile:

Hi, thanks for sharing.

I’m interested to see how you use the templates/commands to generate new checklists, as well as the plugin and structures of your daily note you use to populate them.

Back in the day, I would populate content of notes that were checklists with Templater under headings in my daily note. I think that I’d like to do that again - the buttons seem to be a nice addition that would allow me to generate those checklists only when I want them, instead of having all these “tasks” not done and open at the end of the day.

Sure! Below under each level 1 heading is the contents of the file. This uses Obsidian Buttons, Templater, and Periodic notes.

Daily Note Template

Daily Preview

```button
name Begin Daily Preview
type append template
action exclude/review-daily-preview
remove true
```

Processing Time

```button
name Begin Processing Time
type append template
action exclude/buffer-time
remove true
```

Daily Review

```button
name Begin Daily Review
type append template
action exclude/review-daily-review
remove true
```

Notes for Review

exclude/review-daily-review

  • Sync Obsidian mobile
  • [[Intentions Implementations Sorted by Date|Reflect on my intention for the day]]
  • Clean up weekly priority list in RtM
  • Review tomorrow calendar
  • Set alarms for time-sensitive tasks in my calendar
  • Review Due Dated tasks and flag items needing addressed very soon as highest priority
  • Review and schedule highest priority tasks, if applicable
  • Select my top two priorities from my weekly task list
  • Set an intention for tomorrow
    • Create a new notes
    • Run the command

The way I do it is I have a folder in my vault where I put all my checklist templates. Then I have a Templater script which I assign to a hotkey and to a button on the mobile toolbar.

image

When I run the script it presents me with a list of the checklist templates, and I pick one and it makes a copy of it in the correct destination folder.

Then I just start checking things off. When it’s time to go through that same checklist again, I run the script, get a new un-filled-out copy, and start checking things off.

<%*
const checklistTemplateFolder = 'Utility/Checklist templates'
const checklistDestination = 'Checklists'
const dv = app.plugins.plugins.dataview.api
const templates =  dv.pages(`"${checklistTemplateFolder}"`)
const template = await tp.system.suggester(templates.file.name, templates)
if (template === null) {
    return ''
}
await tp.file.create_new(tp.file.find_tfile(template.file.path), template.file.name + ' ' + moment().format('YYYY-MM-DD HH.mm.ss'), true, app.vault.getAbstractFileByPath(checklistDestination))
%>
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I like this approach:

That brings up three additional buttons for my […] processing time, and daily review.

Daily review should be distinct from the processing time.

Currently, I have them as one, but I just got an epiphany about separating them.

Let me tell you what I currently do.

I have a task in a Planner project in Todoist called Shut-down set for 5pm each day.

When it’s time to do the review, I open the checklist in Obsidian and mentally check things off (I do not actually check anything off)— as with other checklists, but go through them as if bullet-points — having these generated each day through a periodic notes system would allow me to actually check them off. (I have a project to re-build it after having switched to bullet journaling for a couple of months)

I’m currently following my bullet journaling cognitive scripts with no clearly defined system, in the middle of transitioning back into Obsidian and high-tech.

A simple system — simplicity — didn’t quite cut it in real life.:slightly_smiling_face:

I kept it up for so long because I wanted to “be the kind of person that does bullet journaling”—whatever it might have been in my head at the time.

Perhaps you could tell me more about the way you approach these two habits (essentially checklists)?

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What’s your process of reviewing and deleting the used checklists later on, and how often do you do it, and when?

Checklists for me are a single use thing, for example a “Get kids ready for school” checklist. No need to review it.

I just bulk delete everything in my checklists folder periodically (when I remember).

I understand the epiphany. At one point in time, I had a single checklist for the entire day and could not decide as to whether I completed it in the evening or morning. I was consistent with neither because it asked a lot for me to do processing work with the little energy that I could give at both times. Then I realized that I could have more than one and put harder processing work in a separate list that I complete whenever (or not - sometimes I just need to take a day away from email and note processing).

I tie both my daily preview and daily review into Remember the Milk checklists for my morning and evening routines, respectively. The daily review is kept very short because of blue light and all that. The daily preview is likewise kept short because of limited morning time for pre-job computer work. Processing time is more random - I generally tend to do it sometime after I complete my after-job checklist in Remember the Milk.

Thanks for the inspiration again.

I just wanted to share the template I’ve created. I also used the Meta Bind plugin, which is a successor to the no longer maintained buttons plugin.


disabled rules: [yaml-timestamp, remove-yaml-keys, yaml-title]

This daily note has been created on <% tp.file.creation_date(“dddd”) %> at <% tp.file.creation_date(“HH:mm”) %>.
<% tp.file.cursor() %>

Start you day here

[[00-09 System/02 Checklists/02.01 Daily/start my day.md]]

Preview

[[00-09 System/02 Checklists/02.01 Daily/daily preview.md]]

Get current

[[get current]]

Shut down

[[00-09 System/02 Checklists/02.01 Daily/shut-down|shut-down]]

Before you sleep

[[pre-sleep]]
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