Express is a simplified subset of Clarity Agile Work Management Framework designed for personal use.
Express methodology is designed to help you manage your personal tasks and day-to-day agenda. Express accomplishes this by categorizing all the tasks in your agenda by their priority in time with a focus on immediate future goals. Express also defines routines to help you regularly manage your personal priorities.
Express tasks are your personal to-do items - whatever you need to do, and can be done. All tasks in your agenda should have two parts - the summary and the description.
Task summary should be short and as succinct as possible - but with enough details for you to identify and understand what the task is about without needing to look at the description. “Buy flowers for the anniversary”, “Send updated contract to John”, “Prepare the agenda for the marketing meeting on Friday” are all wonderful examples of what a task summary could look like.
Besides summary, tasks can also have a description - description should contain all the extra details you need to note about the task that does not fit in the summary. Description is optional.
Depending on your personal preferences you can include other details to help you organize tasks - hard deadlines, and such.
The Express agenda is a list of all tasks you need to do. Think of the agenda as the list of all the things you need to accomplish within the foreseeable future.
It is perfectly fine to have one or more personal agendas provided you can allocate your time for each one of them. As it often happens, you might keep a personal and professional agenda separate from each other. You can also choose to keep a single agenda for both - it is entirely up to you.
All tasks in Express agenda should be categorized in four different sub-categories called stages - Today, Now, Next, New and Later.
Each of these stages have special meaning and rules for what kind of tasks go in which stage.
The Today stage is designed to contain all the immediately upcoming tasks you need to accomplish within a period of current day. This stage contains all the tasks you need to accomplish Today and no more. Tasks in this stage are populated from taking the tasks from Now stage.
Tasks in Today stage should be clear and well defined - any tasks that are unclear and you can not accomplish should never be placed in Today. This will help you keep focused and eliminate uncertainty about what you need to accomplish.
You should try your best to avoid placing tasks directly into Today once the day has began. You should treat your Today stage as your personal daily commitment - any disruption to your commitment should be treated as an exception, not a norm.
This stage should contain all tasks you should be working on during the current week, but not Today. This stage serves as the primary source for tasks you need to accomplish during each day of the week. You should try to keep the number of tasks in this stage realistic - tasks you are not certain about accomplishing during this week should be moved to Next or Later. Tasks in this stage are generally sourced from the Next or New.
This stage is similar to the Now, but contains all the tasks you should accomplish during Next week. Tasks in this stage are generally sourced from New or Later.
This stage should contain all tasks recently added but not yet prioritized to be done either Now, Next or Later. This stage serves as an intermediate for all the other stages.
You are free to bypass this stage if you already know when the task should be accomplished and what the task is about and no information is missing for you to accomplish the task. You should not move tasks out of New if the task is not clearly defined and you cannot clarify, for example, because an outside dependency prevents you from doing so.
You should avoid moving tasks from New to Today. As a general rule, once Today has begun you should try your best to not change it, if at all possible. This will help keep yourself on track with your own daily commitments.
All other tasks you might need to do in future but without a fixed deadline within the next 2 weeks. This stage serves as a kind of “everything else” box for your agenda.
You should prioritize all tasks in the same order you need do them - the tasks that need to be worked on sooner and have higher priority are at the top of each stage, with tasks of lower priority ordered after all high priority tasks.
Your principal method of prioritization and priority indicator when using Express should be time - when does the task needs to be done.
Express prescribes two routines you should follow to help you manage your upcoming tasks. They are Daily and Weekly reviews.
Although Express is flexible about when exactly you should perform these reviews, it is very important you allocate some time for them and make it part of your routine. This will help you keep your personal tasks in check.
Daily review is a routine you should perform at least once a day. During the daily review you prepare all the tasks you need to accomplish during Today. This is done by taking tasks from top of the Now stage and moving tasks to Today stage.
It is recommended to do a daily review every morning, but you can choose a different time depending on your personal preference - for example, at the end of each day for the next day.
During the daily review you should also review the New stage, clarify any missing information and prioritize these tasks to either of the other stages in the Agenda.
Weekly review is a routine you should perform at least once a week. During this routine you review your agenda and prioritize tasks for Now, Next and Later, and review any tasks in New not reviewed during your Daily review.
It is recommended to do a weekly review in the morning of the first day of the current week, but you can choose a different time depending on your preference.
To use Express you should adopt a personal task management application.
Nearly all personal task management apps can be used with Express methodology. There is only one feature your task management application should have to support Express - you should be able to create tasks organized in compartmentalized lists. That is, you should be able to organize your task lists into custom categories or sub-lists - Stages.
This is usually done by having several sub-lists added to the main task list, or by using labels, or similar functionality.
Some personal task management applications you can use along with Express are:
Found a great task management app and want it listed here? Reach out!
Can multiple people use the same Express agenda?
Yes, but each Agenda should only contain tasks for one person at a time. For example, you can open your Express agenda to your coworkers, family and others for them to define new tasks and add information to your Agenda, but your Agenda should never contain tasks for other people.
Can I modify Express?
Yes, absolutely. Express is designed to help you manage your life, not impede it. If you feel some aspect of Express does not work for you, you can change it.