The workflow below is an example of how Routine can be used to (i) reduce context switching (ii) stay focused on what matters (iii) save all thoughts, ideas and tasks and (iv) organize long-term information to act upon at a later time.
💾 Capture everything
As advocated by David Allen in his popular book Getting Things Done, anything on your mind is a blocker to your focus. David Allen therefore advises to get those things out of your mind quickly for those to be processed, reconsidered & categorized later.
Routine is designed with that philosophy in mind, allowing you to capture a thought, idea, note or task within seconds.
- Open the through theDashboard
- Type something you want to remember for later
↵and a task will be created and saved in your inbox
Because the dashboard can be opened using the hotkey anywhere on your desktop, it is the quickest way to get something out of your mind without context switching so that you can get back to what you were focusing on as quickly as possible.
On mobile, the process is very similar:
- Tap the
- Enter the name of a task to create or something to remember
🛠️ Connect your third-party services
Work comes in different form and through different channels. On top of tasks and ideas that pop up in your brain, many work items live in other services from a project management tool that your company uses to collaborate, to emails that often contain an action up to chat services (professional and personal) why more and more knowledge workers use to send requests to one another.
Having all of those requests, tickets and tasks in a single system would greatly help overview all your work and therefore prioritize them and plan your week.
Through Routine’s integrations, you can easily connect all your third-party services (chat, email, project management etc.) to bring all your work in a single workspace.
- Head to Settings
- Open Integrations
- Activate the services you use on a daily basis
📥 Process inbox from time to time
All the tasks that you create are, by default, saved in your inbox. You should process your inbox of tasks the same way you manage your email inbox.
From time to time, go through your inbox and process every item until you reach Inbox Zero.
The most effective process, sometimes referred to as the 2-minute rule, has been widely covered throughout the years by productivity experts.
For every item in your inbox:
- 🧽 If the task is no longer relevant, archive it (
- ✅ If the task takes less than 2 minutes to perform, do it right away and mark it as done (
- 📅 If you already know when this task needs to be completed, schedule it (
S) for a specific day
- ⏰ If you do not know exactly when to work on this task, postpone it (
P) to a later week to reconsider it
- 🔄 Repeat this process until you reach Inbox Zero
📅 Plan your week
The Planner screen combines both the events from all your calendars and all your tasks for the week.
At the beginning of the week, go through the tasks from the current batch:
- 🎯 If a task is important, make sure that you will dedicate attention to it by blocking time; drag & drop the task in the events area
- 📅 If you want to complete a task on a specific day, schedule it for that day by drag & dropping it in the area under the day or by using the
- ⏰ If a task is not important this week, postpone (
P) to a later week to reconsider it
- 🌗 Leave in the batch the tasks that you want to complete this week but do not know exactly when
You should regularly reassess the priorities by going through your batch, postponing tasks that you known are becoming less important as the week unfolds, blocking time for urgencies etc.
🎯 Focus on what matters right now
The Today screen has been designed for you to focus on what matters right now: the tasks you set for yourself and the events you are supposed to attend during the day.
At the beginning of the day, we advise to follow this simple system:
- ❌ Ignore all the events and tasks that you will not attend
- 🗳️ Based on your availability, pick 1-3 important tasks you absolutely want to get done, picking some from your batch, for instance
- 🎯 Allocate time for the most important items to make sure they will get the time they deserve (drag & drop or
- 📅 Unschedule the tasks (
S) that you will not be able to complete today but are still important (they will be put back in the current batch for reevaluation) or reschedule them (
- ⏰ Postpone all the unimportant tasks to a later week for reconsideration (
The Today screen allows for you to focus on what matters. However, sometimes you might be working on something and switching to the Routine app to check your next meeting or tasks for the day can feel like a waste of time.
SPACE) hotkey and get important productivity information that you need: the list of your tasks for the day and your upcoming events.
📚 Organize information
Routine allows you to go a step further to save and organize information contextually. For example, a task that needs more information in the form of a description or notes that are taken during a meeting, Routine organizes everything automatically and through the same mechanism.
Moreover, those notes can embed checkboxes that represent full-fledged tasks themselves that can be opened, scheduled, postponed, completed etc. as any other task in Routine.