QuickLaunch: Getting started with your Personal Backlog


Getting started with your Personal Backlog

Your Personal Backlog Board is the board where you are going to manage everything to do with your personal, family and home life.

Why doing this exercise is important

This is an area that often plays second fiddle in people’s lives, which causes problems, stress and regret.

But having this system will give you balance and peace of mind, because it allows you to think about all the areas that otherwise get steamrollered by “more important” things. (More important usually translates as more urgent.)

When you are doing this exercise, bear in mind that this is a constantly evolving picture of your life, so you don’t need to get it 100% right first time. Take a first stab at it now, and it will evolve over time into something that will help you create the life that you want.

Walkthrough Video


Mission & Roles List

  • Vision and Beliefs Card: answer the questions to see what is actually important to you, and how you would like to spend your life
  • Mission Card(s): if there are any things you really want to achieve with your personal life, note them down here
  • Role Cards: have a think about all the roles you play with your life, the different hats that you wear. There are a few already created to help you think. Within each role that you have, start to think about what are the important areas within that role you want to focus on. (For instance, with the family role, who the people that you want to be aware of and make sure that you don’t neglect.)
  • Identity Card: this is where you want to have a think about who you need to be. Most of us have some sort of picture of the ideal version of us, let’s start to express that and get it down on virtual paper. Also start to look at who you could spend time with, and what sort of media you would want to consume that can support that.
  • Capabilities Card: this is where we look at what we need to be able to do to fulfil our mission and execute our roles, in comparison to what we are currently able to do. This helps us build a list of the things we need to work on in terms of our development, be that learning new skills, and also where we start to work out what assistance and input we need from other people. These can also be the seeds of objectives we want to have.

Objectives List

  • Objectives card: now that we have created our missions, identified the roles that we have in our life and looked at the focus areas (in terms of what’s important to us within those roles), we can now create our objectives cards. Objectives are about how we move forward towards executing that role well, and they normally involve some sort of measurable progress in terms of what’s achieved in what time frame. (As an example, if in our personal card whenever objectives is to get in shape, then an objective can be to lose X kilos by a certain date. The objective cards on the board have a template within them that will help you.)

Projects List

  • Projects Lists: When we created our objectives we created, we looked at how we were going to achieve those, in the transition strategy section. When we did that, you will fin that one or more projects probably arose. (Just think of a project as anything where there is more than one step needed for you to complete it). We now need to create projects lists for all the projects we want to do RIGHT NOW.
  • (NOTE: You can copy lists by clicking on the three dots at the right hand side of the top the card, and you can create a new list by double-clicking on the screen anywhere that is not on a list card.)
  • Projects Card: Once a project list is created, we can then start to put task cards in there. You can prioritise these using emojis (I use the star for a “Must” task that is really important, the thumbs up is for a “Should” task if its something that we should do, and everything else is blank.) Once a card is created, you can assign a due date, delegate it to someone, add notes, files and checklists, and do all of the other things that happen to an action card.

Miscellaneous Tasks List

  • Miscellaneous Tasks Card: this is simply a place to park anything that doesn’t really belong to any other project or objective, but which you still want to remember to do.

Pipeline List

  • Pipeline List: this is is a place to park projects and tasks that you’re not going to do at the moment, but which you want to look at in the future. This is a massively valuable list, especially for people who are unable to currently have an idea without trying to act on it because they worried that they will otherwise forget about it. Make sure you make good use of this list, and use it to manage how much you’re doing at the moment! It’s better to do several things well and consecutively, then try to do several things concurrently and do a poor job on all of them!

Notes & Info List

  • Notes & Info List: this is a handy place to park things you want remember – you can obviously break this out into more lists if you want to categorise them!

Logins & Links List

  • Logins & Links List: this is a useful place to keep your login credentials. (Trello is pretty secure!)

About & Help List

  • About & Help List: this contains a bit about us, and also links to this instruction page, and to the template board in case you delete or overwrite something from your own boards.

Please Note: the layout of the board that you get and these instructions are designed to help you build a firm foundation. (Think of it as the shallow end of the swimming pool.)

There are many more things we can do with this board, but whether you do them or not will depend on what you need and how far into this you want to go!