Creating a Weekly Review Checklist with URL Schemes

photo courtesy of pixabay.com

I fail miserably at the Weekly Review. Heck, there’s a podcast that I listen to when I get frustrated. Check out the Weekly Review podcast for the weekly scoop from James Dempsey and Jean McDonald as they try to get back on the GTD bandwagon.

A lot of failure in my personal productivity system comes from the lack of a weekly review. I’ve read David Allen’s Getting Things Done book and I know about the Weekly Review list. But I just never follow it. That’s when I decided I needed areal checklist customized for me. I set out to customize my own checklist using URL schemes. URL schemes are links that allows one app to execute an action in another app. For this experiment, I am using URL schemes to open different apps. Here is an article about URL schemes from the Inside OmniFocus web site that explores this topic.

https://inside.omnifocus.com/url-schemes


Designing My Weekly Review Checklist

photo courtesy of pixabay.com

A weekly review is a workflow that allows me to update my projects list, task list, file references, and anything that I am responsible for. I clear out my physical inbox (bag, purse, notebooks), the digital inbox (e-mail, notes app, task manager inbox) and move items into the appropriate area of my life. It gives me a chance to update my task manager to the current state of reality. I can trust my task manager’s lists because I know that it is fresh and current.I attempt to define an item’s value. Life is all about checklists. I have to review these checklists to make sure I know where everything is.

I used the GTD Weekly Review list as a template for my own weekly review list. I recreated the GTD Weekly Review list in OmniOutliner and Microsoft Excel.

I created a GTD Weekly Checklist in Microsoft Excel and in OmniOutliner. I used this checklist as the basis for my customized Weekly Checklist.

  • Get Clear
    • Collect all my loose papers
    • Clear digital inboxes from my apps
  • Get Current
    • Review checklists
    • Review calendar
    • Review Projects and Larger Outcome Lists
  • Get Creative
    • Review Someday/Maybes
    • Brain dump

The Weekly Review can get overwhelming. Sometimes I’ll skip it because I’m already overwhelmed. But having a customized Weekly Checklist can speed up the process and ensure that I won’t skip any steps.

I started customizing the Weekly Checklist to fit my life.

Get Clear

Collect all my loose papers

I have various places where I collect scraps of paper, invoices, notes, and anything of interest. I added my inboxes here:

  • Check messenger bag
  • Check wallet
  • Check desk drawers
  • Check desk inbox
  • Check car compartments

Get “IN” to Zero, Get Current, Get Creative

I have various digital inboxes to clear. I need to customize my Weekly Review checklist by listing all of my inboxes.

  • Drafts 5 inbox
  • OmniFocus inbox
  • Ulysses inbox
  • Bear inbox
  • Evernote inbox

This section is where I want to provide links to my different apps using URL schemes. A quick Google search is invaluable in discovering URL schemes for your favorite apps.

For example, if I wanted a link to open my OmniFocus inbox, I use omnifocus:///inbox. If I wanted to open my Fantastical app, I can type in x-fantastical2:///. You can find many URL schemes online. Here’s a screenshot of my Get “IN” to Zero section:

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Each link will open the appropriate app. Customize your links to fit your workflow.

Some apps such as DevonThink and OmniFocus allows us to copy a link to the clipboard. Let’s take a look at an example from OmniFocus. If I choose a task or a project, I can visit the Edit menu and select Copy as Link. A link will be copied to the clipboard.

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This link can be pasted into my checklist and it will become a URL shortcut. Click on this link to jump back to OmniFocus and the original project or task.

If you would like to edit the link, you can control-click on the link and select Edit Hyperlink to change the Display Title and the underlying link.

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I provided a copy of the GTD Weekly Review checklist in Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, and OmniOutliner format. Customize these lists to fit your workflow. The Microsoft Excel spreadsheet can be imported into Apple Numbers and customized there (for those of us who don’t have Microsoft Excel). URL schemes makes it easy for me to quickly launch an app when I go through my Weekly Review checklist.

I used my iPad’s split-view to show OmniFocus on one side and Apple Numbers or OmniOutliner displaying the Weekly Review document on the other side. Split-screen mode on the iPad makes it easy to view two separate apps at the same time.

It becomes easy to use my customized Weekly Review checklist to quickly run through this tedious process. It’s been a timesaver. In the next post, I’ll explore doing a Weekly Review checklist using Keyboard Maestro to guide us in our Weekly Review.

I hope your Weekly Review becomes easier to use with these template files.


Thanks to @nostodnayr for sparking the idea of using a Weekly Review checklist :clap:t2:

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Google Drive download link for the sample files is located here:

Included in this zip file:

GTD Weekly Review (as listed in David Allen’s GTD book)

  • Microsoft Excel format
  • Apple Numbers
  • OmniOutliner

GTD Weekly Review - A personalized sample with URL Scheme links

  • Microsoft Excel format
  • Apple Numbers
  • OmniOutliner