3 Steps to Plan Your Day in Just 5 minutes
A visual guide to using Focuster
Jordan Baker, Founder – Focuster
27 January 2016
There’s been lot of attention lately on daily and morning rituals and how that relates to entrepreneurial and professional success. A key component of that is setting priorities for the day and scheduling those priorities in your calendar. This can be time consuming with traditional tools. Thankfully, Focuster helps automate this process.
Focuster is a productivity app that turns your todo list into a schedule in your calendar and keeps it up to date, automatically. It gives you smart reminders so you make more consistent progress on your highest priorities.
Not a Focuster user yet? Signup at http://focuster.com and follow along with the rest of this article.
First, capture the items in your head into the todo list.
Estimate how long it will take
Make it quick. Be generous with the estimate if you’re not quite sure how long it will take.
Tip: you can enter the time in Focuster along with the action. For example: “Drop off packages to UPS 15m” or “Draft proposal 1hr”
Shorter actions are better
1 hour or less is best. Break up longer actions into several shorter ones where possible and this will make it easier to find a free time in your calendar and to acknowledge your accomplishment more quickly.
Now go beyond todo lists and decide what you want to get done today by dragging actions onto the action list for the day.
In the image below, Focuster has scheduled the action for 3:00pm, automatically syncing with your Google Calendar.
You will be reminded to work on it when it’s the next item in your priority list and you have free time.
The Activity Bar
The Activity Bar shows key information about your time at a glance. Hover over the activity bar to understand the different colors.
- completed: see your progress as you get it done.
- scheduled: how many hours of actions are scheduled for today?
- over: this shows up if something you wanted to get done today won’t fit into the schedule.
- left: how much free time is left during your work hours today. This is based on looking at your calendar and also accounting for whatever actions have been scheduled.
Starting an action later
You can adjust the start time of the action by clicking on its assigned start time and entering a new one.
Or you can drag it onto the calendar at the time you want.
3. Get it Done
Make sure your priorities are front and center. Focuster’s Now view shows you only the next thing coming up so you aren’t tempted to skip a difficult but important activity.
Focuster’s Now view highlights what to do, now.
Keep your priorities in mind as you work — make the Now view your home page, or download the Chrome extension to help you recover quickly from distractions like social media, or lower priority tasks.
Stay Focused in your Browser: Chrome Users
Install the Focuster for Chrome extension.
Stay Focused in your Browser: Other browsers
Set your home page to Focuster’s Now view. Check your browser settings, or use these instructions but use https://next.focuster.com/now as the address.
We’ll cover how you can more efficiently plan your week in Focuster.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you think of this article, or any other requests for things I should cover, in the comments below.
— Jordan Baker
Wondering if your favorite tools integrate with Focuster? Drop us a line on Twitter.
Here are some improvements and fixes we made to Focuster in the past month:🔧 Work hours in Settings: More intelligent selection of your work hours so you only see the choices that make sense. 🔧Auto-splitting + time...
Focuster Product Update. June 2018 More calendars, Trello integration, recurring actions and more Jordan Baker, Founder - Focuster 13 June 2018 We always take your feedback seriously and develop the product keeping it in mind, too. So, for the last couple months,...
Podcast: How to Become Better at Managing Your Time Jordan Baker, Founder - Focuster 7 August 2017 Just last week I was interviewed on Tom Morkes’ In the Trenches Podcast on the topic of “How to Become Better at Managing Your Time”. In this broadcast you’ll learn:...
Product updates: better focus and improved scheduling Discover new features that will keep you focused and save time on data entry Alina Filatova 28 June 2017 Hide your Todo list for better focus Sometimes your long Todo list with all of your plans, ideas and multiple...
5 Practical, Easy to Implement, and Science-Based Productivity Tips You Can Start Using Today Nils Salzgeber, lifestyle coach and co-founder of njlifehacks.com 13 June 2017 There are thousands of productivity tips promising to help you increase your performance and...
Due Date Updates Major updates to make sure that due items don’t fall through the cracks. Alina Filatova 31 May 2017 Auto Scheduling for Actions With Due Dates Due dates won’t slip through the cracks anymore. All actions with a due date will automatically appear in...
Planning With Focuster: 3 Updates to Boost Your Productivity Alina Filatova 30 April 2017 Planning is a crucial part to get things done. Especially - get done what’s more important. We’re happy to introduce new ways to save time on planning with Focuster and hope...
Focuster + Zapier: all your priorities in one place A complete guide to Focuster and Zapier integration Jordan Baker, Founder - Focuster 25 April 2017 Have you ever wished that you could bring the power of Focuster as your dedicated scheduling assistant to your...
5 Ways to Get More from Your Todo List Jordan Baker, Founder - Focuster 21 February 2017 Almost every professional and entrepreneur we know uses tons of apps to organize their days: at least couple of them to communicate with clients and teams; one or two to plan and...
Multiple Lists: from chaos to clarity in your todo list Learn how to create a perfect todo list to make sure you'll get done your most important things. Jordan Baker, Founder - Focuster 14 February 2017 If you’re like most professionals I know, trying to balance all...
New in Focuster: Pin Actions Anywhere Jordan Baker, Founder - Focuster 5 February 2017 Even with smart automatic scheduling, sometimes you’d like to manually adjust your actions to start at a specific time. Focuster’s pinning feature allows you to set up a start time...
Self-Care Secrets for Freelancer Superheroes Jordan Baker, Founder - Focuster 3 February 2017 For freelancers and entrepreneurs, taking care of business is top-of-mind every day. But how much attention do you give to taking care of yourself? Increasing self-awareness...
Start moving the needle on your day now.
"If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real."