How to plan and write notes and ideas for working and personal affairs in one service
Svitlana Popovska

How to plan and write notes and ideas for working and personal affairs in one service

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For many, organized life stays out of reach no matter how hard they try. They still juggle their responsibilities, finish their projects, desperately try to get enough sleep, and have some sort of social life, but they can't get everything in order so that the system can work at least a bit on its own without 24/7 control.

This is a story about how an approach to taking notes and planning has evolved over a year.

Affairs, notes, ideas, tasks, knowledge, links, important dates, cleaning schedule, new habits, important documents, having quality time… How do you keep everything in your head and not forget? 

Most people make plans, make to-do lists, create documents, and sort them into folders. Some find everything they need in Apple Notes or Google Keep and folders on their laptop, but others need more. A simple notebook in their smartphones or a paper notebook may be insufficient. That's why this article is about organizing digital space and living in a less stressful environment.

Here are a few tips on how to plan ahead, what to do if you have too much stuff on your to-do list, delegate responsibilities to your colleagues to have more time for specific tasks, and track your tasks.

But first, a story

I have worked with xTiles for over a year now. When I got an offer to work with a start-up that wanted to create an application that would be like a baby of Notion or Miro, I didn't hesitate for a second, even though I've never liked Notion or Miro.

Before that, I worked in an advertising agency and as a freelancer marketer-strategist. I had to spend much time structuring information in presentations, tables, and folders. I tried many different applications at that time, so I knew that Notion, Miro, Obsidian, Evernote, Todoist, and others might ease the process of tasks and data organization a bit. However, I couldn't use them fully to be my command center, work for the agency, freelance projects, or my personal diary. Keeping in mind what I put and where I put it was quite a challenge.

So, when I saw xTiles, I fell in love almost on instance… or rather, I felt that this was what I needed. It offered so many healthy options I needed to organize things. Additionally, I could work on such an outstanding product. That was a perfect combo!

That's how my journey of experiments in creating digital space started. I had the need to keep tasks, ideas, compendium, and links in one place, but neither the team nor I had ready templates or solutions. Everyone created their own space, sometimes, we “spied” on each other, and step-by-step, we got different use cases of xTiles.

The team conducted many interviews to understand the product better. During one of them, I saw how someone planned their week using xTiles. It was a powerful insight and revelation. I wanted to try it too. 

I started applying many approaches to planning. I read everything about planning and productivity I could get my hands on. As a result, for 3 or 4 months, I used classic Weekly Planning. Slowly, I found out that planning in the context of days is great, but:

  • Many affairs and tasks don't have a due date.
  • Many thoughts aren't tasks yet, but you want to write them down.
  • There are personal projects and your team projects, and it's good to separate them and see the progress for each.
But first, a story
But first, a story 2

That's why experiments continue, and the next was the PARA method by Tiago Forte.

  • I kept all my current tasks that were part of Weekly Planning once in Project Space. Also, I added links to my working projects.
  • I put all the tasks I was in charge of into the Area of Responsibility. Mainly, it was personal tasks.
  • I started building my knowledge base in Resources. I fixed all my raw ideas that might become projects or tasks.
  • I moved the Archive to another page to free up some space. Also, it never hurts to save your Archive.

It began to look like a personal Digital Space with color coding and more room for stuff I couldn't identify, and I was amused by it for some time. However, there was a caveat. I had many personal and work projects, and it was inconvenient to keep them under different links. I couldn't say what was going on inside without opening them, and that always required many new tabs in my browser, or it was a struggle to remember.

That's how I developed my current approach, where all my projects are tiles with all the necessary links, present-day status, thoughts, to-dos, and a bit more because there's always more you need to write down, and only then consider, transfer, work on, or delete. This way, I would only need a few minutes to check on my current tasks and claim to be a bit more organized person.

Currently, my Digital Space is a mix of Weekly Planning, the PARA method, important/unimportant, urgent/non-urgent matrix, and the magic of xTiles.

What is the secret of my digital space?

The main secret is organization whenever I can apply it. I try to be very specific when sorting my documents and projects, even though it's not possible all the time. Here are a few things I do regularly that help me keep my digital space useful.

All my projects, whether they are working (for example, xTiles email marketing or Template library) or personal (home renovation, abroad trip planning, garage sale, grocery shopping, etc.), I keep in one page on different tiles. This way I still have a clear view of everything I need to accomplish regarding one project or task.

Each project has the main points, tasks, or status I need to have in front of me. I try to get rid of unnecessary items so that nothing can steal my attention and focus. It took me time to learn that less stuff usually means more room for thinking and decision-making. Also, it helps me stop procrastinating because I have only important things in front of me.

Each project has links to more in-depth documents where I work when I need to focus and which I can share with the team. I believe that having everything organized in an easily accessible place is about self-care and healthy habits.

I keep all the things I can't share with others regarding each project on different pages. That is for big projects where one tile is not enough. I don't think putting all your eggs into one basket is a wise move. Even if you still can find the thing you need, others might "break" something. In the long run, I have everything organized and can decide when it's time to share.

I have separate pages for goals for the week, important tasks, and what can wait. I keep them in a prominent place to have them at hand anytime I might need to check something.

I have a separate document called "Miscellaneous" for stuff I am not sure I don't need. Mostly, it consists of junk mail I don't have enough time to check on. I added letters from my checking account to this doc. So, basically, it is some sort of a post office, but I am planning on creating sections for different things to have everything organized, even where the organization is not the main priority.

I created a separate document (it lacks structure yet, but I am working on it) where I started my Knowledge Base. 

I usually write my raw thoughts in the xTiles mobile application and transfer them from Quick Notes to relevant documents/pages/tiles.

For me, it's a perfect combination, allowing me to focus or, on the contrary, be creative, write down my chaotic thoughts, structure information, and take a look at where my thoughts are right now or what was interesting to me this month.

With xTiles I started to write articles, even though the first piece I wrote was an experiment. 

P. S. I'm very happy to be able to create, organize, and accumulate knowledge in one place.

What is the secret of my digital space?
What is the secret of my digital space? 2
What is the secret of my digital space? 3
What is the secret of my digital space? 4

Summing up

Staying organized is a challenge for most people, and I am no exception. However, we're not hopeless. By utilizing a tool like xTiles, you can effectively manage your to-do list, projects, personal affairs, and even stuff like shopping lists and entire house renovation projects all in one place.

The key to organizing your life is to focus on only what is truly important and necessary. Maintain separate spaces for work and personal projects, but keep them all in one centralized location for easy access and oversight. This approach not only helps you stay organized, but also promotes better physical health by reducing stress and procrastination.

Also, I recommend incorporating various productivity methods, such as weekly planning, the PARA method, and the important/urgent matrix, into your organizational system. Experiment and find the perfect combination that works best for you.

Staying organized is a journey, but with the right tools and mindset, you can unlock the path to a more productive and fulfilling life!


How can xTiles help me get organized?

xTiles allows you to centralize all your to-do lists, projects, notes and ideas in one place. You can prioritize tasks by importance/urgency. It provides a space to capture ideas and build a knowledge base.

What are some tips for using xTiles effectively?

Declutter by removing unnecessary items that distract you. Maintain separate workspaces for work/personal but keep them centralized. Experiment with different productivity methods to find what works best.

Why is getting organized so important?

Being organized reduces stress, prevents procrastination, and promotes better physical/mental health. It allows you to focus on what's truly important. It enables you to be more productive and creative.

Before xTiles
Constantly switched between two different apps for task management and journaling.
Annoyed that his digital files were all over the place with no clear organization.
Felt a bit scattered using many different tools to manage his daily tasks.
With xTiles
Delighted with his personal task management and journaling template that is customized to fit his needs.
Pleased with how his documents are organized and how quickly he can retrieve any specific file he’s looking for.
Feels focused and organized using only one tool to plan and manage his life.
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What is xTiles ?

Organize digital content
Organize digital content
Combine images, links, and text in one Simple, Flexible, Customizable space.
Personal dashboard
Personal dashboard
Easy to use and flexible canvas based on blocks, tiles, and tabs.
Team Hub
Team Hub
Create visual projects for digital planning and task management.
Choose the templates that are right for you. Create your first relevant dashboard in 1 minute.
Public page
Public page
Sharing, real-time collaboration
and editing.
Free up your creativity by taking advantage of the web and mobile apps synergy.


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