Now that I’m starting the New Year, I’ve settled into an organization system that works pretty well for me. I thought I’d at least record it here if anyone’s interested, including my future self who may look back on this system as an unmitigated disaster and wonder what I was thinking.


The first part is a weekly planner I carry around – yes, a hard-copy. It’s a little booklet folded down to 3.5 x 6, which I’ve found is a good size to fit in my pockets. It has 2 pages for notes, then a list of long-term goals I have (with weekly milestones), and upcoming events. The main point is a daily planner section in the middle (I make a new one each week). On the left page is all of my daily tasks, and the right side is a daily schedule. I update it diligently, and record my hourly usage (if i have time, I’ll upload a sample page).

The last page is a review section, where I total up how many hours I spent each day on tasks, and then write a review of the week, noting room for improvement, and so on. It also faces my 6 month goals, “this month” goals, and weekly goals (which also appear at the top of each daily task list, so I make sure my daily tasks align).


I use the Pomodoro technique to stay productive. Last year, I was only using my planner, but was not NEARLY as productive as I would have liked. The pomodoro technique keeps me accountable, and assuages my guilt over doing things for fun (I’m a little obsessive about productivity). I work for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. Every fourth break is 15 minutes.
I also use the kanban system, with each column being a day of the week (though the first is “today”, followed by “done”, and the last 2 columns are “next week” and “later”). I sort the cards by the order I need to do them and get started. The cards match tasks on the daily agenda in my weekly planner.
Kanban flow combines a pomodoro timer with a Kanban board, so it’s great. I’m still working on totaling numbers, but my average productivity has probably increased 8-10x so far this year!


Finally, to track work for software projects, I use OpenProject. It’s open source,  enjoy it, have contributed to it (okay, I fixed a grammar mistake…), and it’s been very useful. I put a lot of detail in the user stories and tasks, and then reference the work package # in my planner and Kanban board.

That’s my org technique. Time will tell (or has already told, future self) how it works. I imagine I’ll continue refining it, though – every week so far since mid-May 2014 I’ve made some minor tweak or another.

I enjoy memorizing Scripture, and since I’ve been asked this a few times, I thought it would be useful to share on here.

My memorization system is built around doing certain activities at certain periods of time. The most basic thing is that I memorize two chapters per week. Now, if a chapter is very long (like Mark 14), I’ll spend the full week on it. On the other hand, if it’s short, I may do three in one week (like 1 Peter 3-5).  I determine “long” and “short” chapters by how many verses it’ll be per day.


Six Month Plan

I maintain a six month plan of what I’ll be memorizing, at a granularity of what chapters I’ll memorize each week.


Each month, I read through the New Testament. This takes about 30 minutes per day, and is a daily tasks (see below).


Each week, I recite everything that I have memorized. I also read through everything I have memorized to keep it “fresh”; this is spaced so that I read a passage about midway between recitations of that passage. Both of these are daily tasks (see below).

I also have a weekly goal of memorizing two chapters. Again, it may rarely be one or three chapters depending on length, but I stick to 2. I decide to increase/decrease based on what the number of verses will be per day; I try to keep it between 6 and 18. It usually falls around 10.

Daily Tasks

First, I memorize a certain number of verses depending on what my chapters are.  I memorize that passage one verse at a time, with and then building on that. So I say verse 1 over and over, then 2, the vv1-2 twice, then 3, then vv1-3 twice, etc. Once I have the entire passage, I recite it every 30 minutes for two hours. After that, I recite it every hour on the hour. So, with memorizing it by 6am (my goal), I’ll recite at 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30, 8, 9, 10, 11, noon, etc.; until I go to bed.

I also use to help with memorization. Their website can tell you more, but basically it quizzes me periodically on what I have memorized, and I grade how well I remembered. Based on the grade, it increases or decreases the frequency of quizzing. It’s great at catching little mistake that creep in without you realizing it. I do a review each evening.

Additionally, each day, I recite whatever book or section I’m memorizing out of. I recite up to that day’s memorization, and then read the rest.

I also read a New Testament passage as part of my Reading the Bible in a Year plan. When I’m in the Old Testament, I supplement with a Read the New Testament in One Month (RNTOM) reading.

I also recite one section of what I have memorized. When I first started, that was one book at a time. As I’ve memorized more, I’ve shifted to doing one section based on the RNTOM sections, so about 1/30th per day. I then grade myself based on how I did, and note any sections I need to pay attention to in the memorized book reading.

I also read either one section that I have memorized, or the “Next book” I’ll do. This is when I review sections I had trouble with.

I also do the RNTOM unless I’m already doing so with my Reading in a Year plan.


Here’s the breakdown of my daily tasks for this week. My weekly goal is to memorize 1 John 4-5.

Week of November 30 - December 6

DayDaily MemorizationMemverse PracticeMemorization Book ReadingDaily Bible ReadingRecitation PracticeMemorized Book ReadingNew Testament Reading *
Sunday Nov. 301 John 4:1-61 John1 Corinthians 9-11Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)1 Peter (future memorization)Revelation 12-22
Monday Dec. 11 John 4:7-121 John1 Corinthians 12-141 Timothy, 2 Timothy, TitusMark 1-9Luke 1-5
Tuesday Dec. 21 John 4:13-181 John1 Corinthians 15-16Ephesians, PhilippiansMark 10-16Luke 6-11
Wednesday Dec. 31 John 4:19 - 5:31 John2 Corinthians 1-4Hebrews1 & 2 Timothy, TitusLuke 12-18
Thursday Dec. 41 John 5:4-91 John2 Corinthians 5-6Mark 1-9Ephesians, PhilippiansLuke 19-24
Friday Dec. 51 John 5:10-151 John2 Corinthians 9-13Mark 10-16HebrewsActs 1-7
Saturday Dec. 61 John 5:16-211 JohnGalatians 1-4Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)2 Peter (future memorization)Acts 8-14
Daily tasks to memorize 1 John 4-5, practice what I have already memorized, and prepare for future memorization.

* To read the New Testament in one month, and if Daily Bible Reading is not from New Testament


How Long Does it Take?

I keep track of this and have 30 weeks worth to look back on.

The Daily Memorization & Memverse practice takes around an hour (but spread out in about 30-40 second chunks, plus a larger one at first when I memorize, and another large one when I review on Memverse.

The Memorization Book Reading takes between 30 minutes (mainly reading) to an hour (mainly reciting).

The Daily Bible Reading takes about 15 minutes (plus another 15 for notes I take).

The Recitation Practice takes right at 30 minutes.

The Reading/Review takes about 30 minutes.

This adds up to about 3-3.5 hours per day, and averages to about 24 hours per week.

It’s time well spent.