Skip to content
Shishir's To-Do List Philosophy
Share
Explore
Getting started

Setup Piles

If you set up too many piles, you'll spend all your time piling!
The main step in getting started with this method is deciding on how you want to "pile" your tasks. I focus on three primary dimensions ー in the next step, these will become the main 3 columns in your Task Table.
Key Hints
Every piler knows that if you set up too many piles, you'll spend all your time piling. So as few piles as possible!
Pick colors for unique values ー they will flow through the other views and make things easy to see at a glance
(1) Priority Bucket Selection
A few notes:
I personally like buckets that are timeframe based - today, this weekend, this week, this month, someday.
I keep Done as a Priority instead of a separate column. Others may disagree, but I think it leads to less gardening (one less column!).
I start each bucket with a number for two reasons: (a) it makes it easier to sort in any view and (b) it makes it possible to set a slider that scales which timeframes to show in any view. Try moving this slider:
0
5
I also use a small trick to have the name of the priority bucket change to include the relevant date with these :
Today:
5/12/2022
, End of this week:
5/15/2022
, Current Month:
May
.
Search
Timeframe Label
Date Label
Timeframe Seed
#
1
1 Today [5/12]
5/12
1 Today
1
2
2 This Week [5/15]
5/15
2 This Week
2
3
3 This Month [May]
May
3 This Month
3
4
4 Someday
4 Someday
4
5
5 Done
5 Done
5
There are no rows in this table
(2) Category Bucket Selection
A few notes:
I've developed a category set that I use across all my systems - my email labels, calendar colors, physical file folders, etc all use the same taxonomy of categories. I've kept roughly the same set for over a decade now, so they are pretty ingrained in my head. Mine may not match yours, but I highly recommend coming up with something that works across your systems, not just your todo list. As an easy example, it means I can filter my email and task list side-by-side and know I'm focused on the same set of things.
I number these as well, and keep the same numbers across systems. Creates some muscle memory for me - "that's a category 2 project".
Yes I know there's no Category 5 and 6. I have used those for various things over the years, but for the most part it creates some distance between the first few categories that are all directly work related and Categories 7 and 8 which are on my personal time.
Search
Category Label
Description
1
0 General
2
1 Tech
Product, Eng, Design, ...
3
2 Business
Sales, Marketing, Support, ...
4
3 G&A
Finance, Legal, Real Estate, ...
5
4 People
Recruiting, HR, ...
6
7 Advisorships
Companies or people I'm investing in, advising, or helping in other ways
7
8 Personal
Everything personal - kids, trips, social, health, etc
There are no rows in this table

(3) Me/Not Me Selection
As outlined in , I try not to assign out tasks to individuals and instead just keep two values for Me vs Not Me.
Search
Who
1
Me
2
Not Me
There are no rows in this table

👉 Next up:

Want to print your doc?
This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (
CtrlP
) instead.