Select Page

3 Steps to Plan Your Day in Just 5 minutes

A visual guide to using Focuster

Jordan Baker profile image

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.

1. Capture

Focuster’s to do list

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.

2. Schedule

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.

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.

Next Time

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.

Related Posts

New In Focuster: Pin Actions Anywhere

New In Focuster: Pin Actions Anywhere

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

Self-Care Secrets for Freelancer Superheroes

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...

5 Simple Steps to Reclaim Your Focus

5 Simple Steps to Reclaim Your Focus

5 Simple Steps to Reclaim Your Focus Can you stay focused for more than 8 seconds? Jordan Baker, Founder - Focuster 14 June 2015 I ran across an interesting fact the other day: Most of us can only stay focused on any one task for just 8 seconds, or the same amount of...

5 Ways to Combat Decision Fatigue

5 Ways to Combat Decision Fatigue

5 Ways to Combat Decision Fatigue Jordan Baker, Founder - Focuster 31 July 2015 Why do we often say before making an important decision, “Just let me sleep on it”? It turns out this is more than just a popular idiom — actually catching some zzzz’s before making a...

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."

Tony Robbins

101 Cooper St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

© 2017 - focuster

Follow Focuster to get productivity, focus and time management tips.

Share This