Alternate Title: Organize and prioritize your personal projects.

I keep my life sane use David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) together with the Pomodoro Technique. GTD is great for managing the little stuff (like email) and Pomodoro is great for managing and prioritizing projects.

I use Index Cards for managing the Pomodoro Technique

For each activity, I use index cards (like story cards). The one in the photo has a title and two boxes – each represents a pomodoro which represents 25 minutes of uninterrupted work. In the example on the left, I am estimated that writing the blog post will take about an hour (two pomodoros).

You may be wondering what those blue and green squiggles are. Like on Agile projects, I annotate cards with themes to help with organizing them visually. On the left you can see the legend for my personal backlog. It ranges from Blue Sky (future oriented) work on my Agile Coaching Company to foundational work that has to get done or will improve my productivity.

I plan based on importance, urgency and balance

When I plan each day, I like to see some balance between themes to make sure I am looking after all my interests. Themes are an easy way to organize my backlog.

What about prioritization? Thanks to Gino Marckx for designing the Quadrants of Effectiveness Game, I use Stephen Covey’s quadrants and the Eisenhower method of prioritization. All you need to do is to scatter your cards according to Importance and Urgency. See photo below.

There is one pile of cards under CSC (hence the big box and the elastic band – like an epic). How did this work out for me? It was a good way to get started when I felt like I had too many choices. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed, perhaps, you may think of this post and take a step back to organize and prioritize your work.

What’s this business about 11?

I am using this to indicate that this is an add-on to get extra mileage out of the Pomodoro Technique. See cultural reference for details on where this comes from.


This is where I come clean on where I slack on Pomodoro Technique. I do allow interruptions since they usually have high value. I also don’t track them either. I have done so in the past, however, I don’t find it particularly critical for me. So there. So maybe my knob only goes to 1.1 … 🙂