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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you just keep an old fashion piece of pen and paper and cross it off as you go? Do you have an awesome xcel spreadsheet? Anyone out there using something like Microsft Project or is that overkill? You just finish every project before you start another so you dont have to have a list?

I remember reading something in a Don Casey book about he prioritized with a 3x3 grid but I forget what the details of each box were. I believe he divided it up by structural, cosmetic, and systems?

I just keep one MS Word document with each task listed as a heading then bullets underneath describing where I left off with the project, what I need to order or bring to the boat the next time. Some times there are a few weeks between visits to the boat for me so I often need a refresher.

I dont think theres any magic bullet, whatever works, but I'm curious what others are doing.
 

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I'm a list maker but unfortunately I like to try different methods of keeping my lists and never settle on any one. I have lists in MS Project, various iPad list apps, tables in Pages (iPad), composition books, legal pads.

I like making lists. I get bored with any one way of keeping them which in the end is not efficient at all.
 

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Master Mariner
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Since we sail frequently, some items on the list will keep us from sailing, some, even though sailing gear related, won't, so sailing is the priority there.
Alternately, some items on the list will interfere with our day to day living aboard and others won't. For instance, if the cooling water pump for the fridge is going bad, it obviously won't keep us from sailing, but it will definitely interfere with the quality of our daily life. On the other hand, it may take months to repair the water heater (we live in the tropics).
Sometimes something comes up that pushes something we thought was very important, to a less important spot; it's all subjective and fluid.
General maintenance is on a schedule which will keep us from sailing, but something like a leaky hatch, which can't be repaired where we are, obviously won't.
Most of our to do lists are on post-its around the chart table. They get edited and superseded a lot. Some days we actually cross things off! Others, we prefer to go exploring ashore or snorkeling, after all, this is supposed to be fun, isn't it?
 

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Asleep at the wheel
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I use the notes feature on my iPhone. I prioritize based on stuff that keeps me from sailing, stuff that makes it comfortable/enjoyable for my family to come along with me, and then everything else.
 

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I get a blank piece of paper and don't write any of my jobs to do on it. Then i screw it up and throw it overboard as a sacrifice to Neptune and then head to a bar.
Next day i check to see if he has fixed my boat yet.


Mark
 

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safety things play on my sleep so get done ASAP requiring no lists.
things to improve speed underway or ease of sailing are second. I'm reminded of them every time we get underway so they get done after research and planning and saving and again need no lists.
maintenances on schedule - lists to do and lists to maintain adequate spares
cosmetics - again reminded any time my eyes are open so no lists. Done when time/weather allows.
Keep folders in my emails so anytime I have email access on any device to do lists/projects are there.
Problem I'm having is I (for the first time )have a new boat. It has systems I have no prior experience with so I'm in the "you don't know what you don't know" group. It's like being a baby just starting to walk. You fall a lot. So far it's falls=x get ups= x+1. Just hope it stays that way. Sure keeps it interesting.
 

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I keep a to-do list and a done list in OneNote. It lives on Skydrive and I can access it from desktop machines, phone, or tablet.

I keep a very rough estimate of costs accrued the same way, rounded to the nearest $100.

I also keep notes there that I might want to refer back to later. For instance I have all of my line lengths in a table. If I'm looking at line remnants I can easily check to see if that great deal on 7/16" XLS Extra will make a good new mainsheet for my boat.

This all sounds highly organized, but in reality it is a bit more chaotic. For instance there are multiple shopping lists on there, many of which aren't necessary anymore.

My racing dinghy is a 505 that I split with a friend. We keep a similar list but it is stored in a Google Docs Spreadsheet and has $$ spent per person on items that are on the list. For instance last week I bought a boat cover and that was added to the list. That way we have a running tally of who owes who how much $$. Occasionally we split buys or tools for the big boat as well, and that also ends up on the same spreadsheet.
 

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I have a number of boats to maintain so for me a comprehensive list is pretty mandatory given limited time to work on them. I use an excell spreadsheet with the following columns: 1) priority (I rate this on a 1-10 scale) 2) boat, 3) date added 4) what's wrong 5) tools/parts needed for repair

As things get done I copy them to page 2 of the spreadsheet so I have a list of what has been done, and what parts were needed (it makes redoing something easier)

Every month the spreadsheet automatically bumps the priority number of an item up one, so a 1 becomes a 2 and so on. This keeps me from forgetting about something with a low priority number.

This list is shared between me and any partners/family that might also do work on the boat, so we can all see what needs to be done, and can all add to it as something comes up.

Then when I have the time I just start at the top of the list and work my way down.
 

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Tundra Down
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I use a trusty perpetual waterproof graphite core calculator, capable of everything from calculus to poetry, and a stack of, unfortunately overlapping, steno pads! Eventually results get distilled into a spiral log record. Receipts are a helpful part of the lists.

Down
 

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I have simple to-do lists, but then I break down each item into a diagram (using Excel) that helps me prioritize those tasks and figure out what materials I need before I start the work. When I installed the composting head I diagramed out all of the steps needed to complete it by starting with the completed head and working backwards through the steps. By working backwards you have to determine what needs to happen before the next step and keeps you from missing critical steps.
For example: head complete – install fan hose – install fan mounting ring – make fan mounting ring – pattern fan mounting ring with cardboard - head mounted – platform installed for toilet to sit on – make platform – pattern platform with cardboard – cap old thru-hull - remove old hoses – remove old head – empty holding tank (critical step). However, this task had another branch due to the fan – wire fan – run fan wires – add fan circuit breaker – determine fan wire connection point to batteries. Then because the fan runs 24/7 I needed to add solar panels to keep the batteries topped up and that had its’ own lengthy branch.
It sounds harder than it is, but it forced me to really think through the entire process before I started it and prioritized the list for me – Solar panels first, removal of old head, make necessary pieces, etc. This also helps in determining the stuff needed – starboard for the base mount and vent ring, 30 feet of 12 gauge wire, connectors, 2 amp circuit breaker, etc.
Between major projects it makes sense to start with the most critical items first, but the reality is that some less important things may get pushed up due to circumstances – ie; since the boat is out of the water for bottom paint, it makes sense to change out the cutless bearing, and add some varnish to the rub rail, even though rigging is a much higher priority, but can be done in the slip.
 

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This is as personal as how you blow your nose. For me I have a spiral notebook that is labeled "BOAT". I use it for everything including "to do" lists.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I sync notes between Outlook and iPhone Notes with iTunes, and more detailed plans for complex projects in Word synced with Google Drive.

Priorities are similar to those discussed above, with the addition that I don't start buying for a new project if I already have all the parts for another project of similar or higher priority. I have so much stuff built up I may not add any new projects for the next two years.
 

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Barquito
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Similar to Dave E. I have a notebook that I keep for just about everything. Really sucks when I forget the thing on the boat (1.5 hour drive). I just write a list of projects. I put a mark next to ones that need priority due to safety or other considerations.
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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My to-do list is in a note app on my Droid, which includes things to buy. This helps tremendously when I'm at the store. Repairs and upgrades that are finished go into the boat log with dates and part numbers. I used to have an Excel list when I first bought the boat, but I don't have the bandwidth to keep it updated, but it would good to be able to track costs as other posters have said. Right now, the receipts go into Quickbooks, which is going to give me one crazy big $$$ number at the end of the year. Priority order is just in my head, and some get bumped up for various reasons because the opportunity presented itself. When something gets time critical, I put a sticky note in my wallet.
 

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Load Bearing Member
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I keep my logbook in MS Word. I have my To Do list at the end.

Every spring it is divided into: Before Launch - Before Sailing - The Rest

I copy it to my tablet; sometimes I print it if I'm stopping at a store or something.

It never seems to get shorter. "Repair V-berth filler plate trim" has been on it since I bought the boat 2 years ago.

I have a separate Maint/Upgrade doc that lists my PM tasks and any info about planned upgrades (where did I see that? what did it cost?).

Ken
 
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