The ‘To-Do-Today’ page is your main view of Red Urchin. It lists and tracks all of your activities (things to do) for a given day and allows you to efficiently prioritise, process, complete, reschedule and add/edit delete activities as your day progresses.
The activities come onto the ‘To Do Today’ page in three ways:
You can enter them directly into the ‘To Do Today’ page for any date
They have been entered in a sub page and marked to be actioned causing them to appear in the corresponding ‘To Do Today’ page for that date
They can be rescheduled from another ‘To Do Today’ page.
We will look at the layout and functionality available for the page and activities (no matter how it got on your list) and then look at the very simple ways you can prioritise and work through your day to ensure that you get everything completed you need to complete.
The ‘To Do Today’ page has four sections that are shown below.
1. Header Area
The header area contains the ‘To Do Page’ date and the sub page navigation tabs, the Search box and the Export, Settings and Help icons.
The ‘To Do Today’ tab will take you to the current date. Selecting any of the sub page tabs will show the sub page display screen which lists all of the current (active/inactive) sub pages of that type. You can also view a specific sub page by selecting it or add a new one from the icon menu.
The Search box allows you to free text search all of Red Urchin pages to quickly find what you need displaying the results by relevance. The Exporticon allows you to print or export the current page. The Settings icon contains all of the core Red Urchin settings which are covered here and the Help button will bring up the help for the page you are currently on.
2. Date Tabs
The date tabs allow you to quickly display the ‘To Do Today’ page for another date. You can enter an activity for that date, check activities or reschedule incoming or outgoing activities. You can switch to a date in the current month by selecting the relevant date tab, and move to other months by selecting the month tab at the top and bottom. The current date tab is always highlighted. Selecting the ‘To Do Today’ tab at the top of the page will return you to the current date.
3. Calendar Section
The calendar section displays the current calendar from your device so you can easily see what commitments, free time and other schedule related information. Depending on your operating environment you can add/edit/delete/open calendar entries directly from the Red Urchin application. You can do this be either selecting the current appointment, selecting a blank area to add a new appointment or selecting the Calendar button at the top of the section. It is important for scheduling your activities that you can see blocks of available time easily in your schedule.
4. Activities Section
The activities section is the key area of the ‘To Do Today’ page. It details not only your activities but key information about those activities so that you can apply some simple rules to easily and effectively schedule and complete your activities for the day.
The activities section is broken down into three areas – Key Activities, Outside Activities and Due from Others. All three sections function exactly the same, they just make it easier to segment your activities. Most of your activities will go into the top ‘Key Activities’ section, and all activities from other sub pages will appear here (unless you delegate a task to someone else from a sub page). Some users use the ‘Outside Activities’ section to keep personal tasks ungrouped from their work based ‘Key Activities’ and some users bundle them all in together. Whichever way you choose to work, Red Urchin works with you.
The last section, is the ‘Due from Others’ section. You would enter an activity in here if you were expecting it completed by someone else. The ‘Key Activities’ and ‘Outside Activities’ section are designed for activities that are for your actioning, the ‘Due from Others’ is for activities that are someone elses responsibility to complete. Activities are stored in rows and you can enter activities in any row (you can leave spaces) that suits the way you like to work.
There is a number of fields and settings that make up the row for an activity.
The Activities field is a free text field where you can enter the activity/task to be completed. i.e. ‘Call Bob Smith – re: Sales Reports’, ‘Fill in Leave Form’, ‘Pick Up Kids from School’, ‘Go for run’. You can enter any freehand text or abbreviations that make sense to you, but the general rule is to enter enough to make sense without having to go and lookup what the actual activity was when you are ready to complete it. This is the only mandatory field in a row.
The A/B field delegates the prioritisation for your activity. It does not need to be entered if you do not wish to, or you can enter one or two levels of prioritisation for your activities. For your first level, choose either A or B based on what type of activity it is and as a second level (recommended) you can set the numeric prioritisation. The rules for A/B prioritisation are:
A : Absolutely must be completed today! B : Should be completed today (would really like to) but it is not the end of the world if it isn’t
Once you have selected either A or B for your tasks you then automatically have a first level of prioritisation. From there you can further prioritise your A and B activities by ranking them in order of importance to complete. You can select A1, A2 and A3 etc. If you add a new activity and give it a priority that already exists, the application will renumber all activities above it. This gives you a simple picture of what needs to be completed and what order you need to complete them in.
The Reference (Ref) field allows you to add a reference for the activity if required. The purpose of this is if you need additional components/references/information to complete the activity you know where to find them.
There is two options for this field. You may choose to link it to an existing sub page (Communications/Meeting/Goal) or you can use any freehand code you wish that assists you in referencing that document.
To reference a sub page, type either C, M or G as the first letter, which will bring up the sub page menu. Select from the list of active sub pages. A reference will automatically be entered into the field. For example, if you selected Communications Page/Bob Smith, the reference would be C/BS. Once entered, by selecting the reference you will open the corresponding sub page.
To enter a free text reference into the field, simply enter the text into the field (maximum 6 characters). You can use this to reference anything other than sub pages. For example, if someone sends you an email asking for to produce a report based on some enclosed criteria you would move the email to a ‘pending’ or similar email folder, enter the activity in Red Urchin on the ‘To Do Today’ page when you need to do it and then enter ‘E/P’ (abbreviation for Email/Pending) in the reference field. So when it is time to complete the activity you know immediately where the additional information is that you require. Some other common abbreviations are IT/P – Intray Pending, E/R – Email Reading etc or whatever makes sense to you.
The Time field allows you to enter a value for the estimated time to complete the activity. These times are entered in minutes and are compiled at the bottom of each section so you can schedule your A/B priorities working with available free time in you calendar.
The Delegate field allows you to enter a short text entry (maximum 6 characters) to note where, or who, you have delegated an activity. A normal entry in this field is the person initials or group name etc. For example, ‘LH’ or ‘SALES’ etc
The paperclip allows you to attach documents to your activity. You may have a sales spreadsheet that is relevant to your activity and using the paperclip you can link it so that when you are working on that activity you can easily get to the document required. You can attach documents from multiple sources (Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive).
Action Icon (*):
The * allows you to complete particular functionality for an activity. Selecting the action icon for an activity opens a menu with the following functions:
Change Font – this allows you to change the colour or highlight the entry if you want the activity to stand out
Mark As Completed – this sets the task as completed, which makes it still visible but greyed out (or marks a previously completed task as uncompleted)
Change Reference Value – allows the user to change the reference value of the activity
Move to Date – reschedule your task to a different date
Delete Entry – deletes the activity completely. This should only be done if there if the activity is no longer applicable.
Moving Activities – To move an activity to another date you can drag and drop the activity to the required date tab or you can use the Action Menu (*) and choose the Move Activity to Date function.
Tidy Up Page – If you need to tidy up your page, select the Red Urchin logo at the bottom of the page. Your current activites on the ‘To Do Today’ page will be reordered by completed and priority and any blank lines removed.