Our friends Trevor & Simone are about to leave for a 3-month bike tour. They’ll be flying to Jordan and cycling back to the Netherlands.
The last few days before a big bike trip can be pretty crazy, with so many things to do, but when we entered Trevor & Simone’s flat, we were greeted by an impressively organized to-do list. It has 3 columns: Backlog, Doing and Done.
After admiring their list, we asked them to take a picture and explain the logic behind it.
The list is actually based somewhat on Trevor’s experience in IT and the task board used in the Scrum method of project management. Trevor explained to us a bit more about how the list works:
We started with a brainstorming session of everyone on the trip (in this case just the two of us) and used the collective wisdom to write a few words describing each task on a sticky note. We then put all the notes on the wall, discussed them, eliminated duplicates and made an initial priority list with the most important or useful tasks at the top of the list.
Items to focus on are those that absolutely must be done like fixing the bike, visas, vaccinations, tickets and so on. Yes, it is possible to cycle without a blog or Twitter account…
Once you have the tasks prioritized, put them into the ‘Backlog’ column. Don’t be scared. It’s not as bad as it looks.
The theory is you take the most important item from ‘Backlog’. Move it to ‘Doing’ while you work on it. When it’s done, move it to the right column. Rinse and repeat.
When you start itemising things like this, the number of small but time consuming tasks becomes a bit intimidating. The nice thing is that progress is easy to see. Everyone can see what is being done at the moment and there is less chance of forgetting something.
We like this idea as a simple way of keeping things organized in those chaotic few days before a big bike tour. It’s similar to our method, except ours is written on a white board (and therefore it’s not quite as easy to reorder items or move them from one column to another).
How about you? Leave a comment below and tell us how you make sure everything gets done before you go on a tour.