For over a year, I’ve used the Amazing Marvin desktop app and improved the UI by discovering its powerful strategies and features. This year, I finally figured out the Amazing Marvin setup that works best for my task management workflow. (Note: for my overview of Amazing Marvin, read this article.)
Marvin users have their own needs and ways of doing things. I want to share why I chose specific items on my Day View and how it could be useful for you as well. I will suggest some alternative options that you might want to try.
This article assumes you are familiar with the Amazing Marvin desktop app, particularly where to access and enable the over a hundred Marvin Strategies. I include links to well-done Marvin documents that further explain the strategies I use.
Amazing Marvin Setup and Strategies
1. Weekly Targets is a strategy that reminds me to complete tasks in two areas of work: Client Website Development and Freelance work. This is useful because those are the two priorities I should address for the work I do.
2. Most Important Projects (MIPs): This strategy shows the current projects I want to focus on. The MIPs strategy has been the most successful for me in getting things done. Most of the projects I plan in Marvin take a few weeks to three months or more. By having the current projects visible on Day View, they are always Top of Mind and accessible.
I have used other task managers and created project lists, but I often forgot about them unless they had hard external deadlines. But in Marvin, I can easily click on a project and view its subtasks and notes. The percentage indicators motivate me to make progress on the projects.
3. Goals: Similar to MIPs, I keep links to two or three goals I want to complete. The goals are usually long range, and the progress bars also help me keep motivated. Marvin provides a way to plan your goals using projects or review strategies. (See this article about setting up goals in Marvin.)
4. Top Mini List displays meetings and events on my calendar that are not usually created as tasks. By using this display, I can tell which meetings might disrupt my workday. This feature is also useful for using the Day Planning Strategy described later in this article.
5. Custom Squares link to various parts and actions of Marvin through square icons.. The squares contain links to different strategies such as the Weekly Scheduler, Projects Overview, Master List, Marvin Strategies, Tomorrow’s Day View, blog ideas, and Client Projects. Because of the Custom Squares, I stopped using Marvin Sidebar and Skinny Sidebar, where linked buttons are placed.
6. Schedule Categories: This area in my Amazing Marvin setup lists my daily tasks for my Morning, Afternoon, and Evening categories. In Marvin, you can create smart lists to have specified tasks appear in a designated category automatically. Marvin includes several other ways to manage daily task categories, including an Agenda view and a themed view.
7. Bottom Menu: When the Custom Squares section is not in view, the customizable Bottom Menu allows easy access to my frequently used Marvin actions and links. The menu also includes an external link to the excellent Marvin Help Guide that explains every strategy and feature of Marvin.
8. Day Progress Bar: This feature indicates the progress made on completing the current day’s task. It doesn’t motivate me to finish work, but seeing the progress throughout the day is nice.
9. Rewards: The Amazing Marvin desktop app also has a rewards strategy that I have set up but have not yet used to reward myself for getting work done. Self-care is important to staying productive and finding a good work-life balance. This strategy allows you to assign points to tasks that then get added to your self-created rewards. I will produce a separate article or video about this strategy as I learn how best to use it.
Planning My Day
Day Planning: I use the planner strategy to manage my tasks and projects efficiently. The planner allows me to drag-and-drop tasks from my Smart Lists and Master List in the left sidebar, and it suggests how full my schedule is for the day based on the estimated time duration I assign to each task.
If you do daily planning, the Day Planning strategy is highly useful, especially if you organized your projects and tasks into smart lists.
My Tutoring Services
I provide coaching for setting up Amazing Marvin strategies and Mac automation applications based on your particular workflow needs.