A Honey-Do list in Kerio Workspace
In case you don't know, a "honey-do" list is just a list of things that need to be done around the house. It has a rather sexist history as the image is that of a helpless housewife asking her very capable husband "Honey, would you do this?". That's not what it is in our house: for us, it's just the list of stuff that needs to get done, no matter who actually does them. I call it a "honey-do" list only because my wife's physical disabilities do mean that a lot of it falls to me, so it is much more "my" list than hers.
I've written a few other articles about how you might use the free Starter Edition of Kerio Workspace for personal needs rather than business. This one is a little different because I'm not sure that it actually is a great use of this tool.
On the other hand, I've never been happy with any of the other ways my wife and I have tried to handle these things in our forty-five years of marriage.
There was a time when we did this on a physical pieces of paper, including multiple "stickies" plastered here and there to remind us (well, to remind me, honestly) that certain things needed attention. That just doesn't work. The paper disappears, the stickies are their own form of clutter and much of this stuff is repetitive anyway, so crossing it out or taking down a stickie only means that the task has to be written down again.
It's really a scheduling problem
It struck me sometime ago that the issue is not really remembering that things need to be done, but rather scheduling them so that they get done at the correct intervals. Smoke detector batteries need to be changed once a year, but the living room needs dusting just a little more often.
Google Calendar Reminders
We started putting things on the calendar and when Google Calendar came out, I started using that. It was helpful: I could schedule repeating reminders for things that need to be done every week, every month and every year. I'd have it send me email to remind me to "Clean the Kitchen" and so on.
By the way, I'm not talking about the daily stuff of loading the dishwasher and wiping down counters. That stuff is a given every day. What I mean is the kind of dusting and cleaning underneath, behind, on top of, and inside of everything that you don't do every single day but does need to be done on some regular schedule. This is deep cleaning.
So the Google Calendar reminders help, but they aren't enough. For example, yesterday my wife mentioned that we'd be having company this weekend and that I should give the living room a thorough going-over. She was concerned that I wouldn't have time as she looked over my work schedule for the coming week.
I expressed some surprise as I had actually done all that cleaning and more just the day before - hadn't she noticed?
Well, no, she hadn't. She'd been out while I did all that and had been tired when she got home, so she simply had not noticed. She didn't know the work was already done.
You might now be thinking of those Google Calendar reminders: why wouldn't she know when the living room was cleaned? The Google email reminders say when it was done, right?
Well, no. Demands from my business might prevent me from getting it done on that specific day. That highlights a problem with the email reminder method: they are easy to ignore when dozens of work related emails drown them out.
That made me think of Workspace. Could Workspace give us something better? I thought perhaps it could.
There are a couple of ways to approach this. We could just use text, effectively just typing in a list and editing it as things are done. Or each task could be a list and the dates that it has been done could be added to the text. That would work, but that wouldn't make things stand out as they might if I used something else.
Of course the first thing I thought of was to use Task Lists. These chores are tasks, so that certainly makes sense.
However, I did not care for the esthetics of that. Tasks lists just didn't look good to me. I decided to try Event Lists instead.
I like the way that looks. What I'm doing is setting the date to when I last did the particular work, not when I expect to do it next. At a glance, this tells both me and my wife how recently any chore has been done. That's more useful than showing a future date because it imparts urgency when it is too far in the past.
It would be better if Workspace could do the email nagging and of course better still if I could set a "too long" period for each event that would cause events to get shuffled to the top, turn them another color and trigger more emails. Maybe when Kerio completes their API for Workspace such things will become possible. For now I think it works well enough in conjunction with the email reminders. Or so I think right now. Whether it actually will be an improvement remains to be seen.
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