In the end, I went back to using paper for my most important daily to-dos, which I pull from two apps (OmniFocus and OmniPlan) when I’m planning the next day at the end of each day. (When I do other tasks or other things come up that aren’t my most important tasks and that aren’t on the list, I add them too, but I try to focus on the few things that are most important.)
All of the things I get done are checked off on paper (rather than disappearing, like an app does), so I can see what I’ve gotten completed lately. At the end of the day (or the next day) I go over the day and highlight the completed task that’s the most impactful or largest or whatever else makes me feel like making a particular task as that day’s highlight.
Turns out, I kind of love this. It’s quick to glance at past entries and see the biggest thing I got done each day, since the highlighting makes it stick out amidst what would feel like too much information clutter, and I can always read the other to-dos that are checked off if I really want to. I’ve only been doing this for a little bit, but a couple of days ago I was feeling kind of meh about my week and then I glanced over the list of recently highlighted items and was surprised at how many fairly large, unpleasant, or impactful things I was actually checking off but had immediately forgotten.
I’m bad at celebrating medium-sized victories and tend to just immediately move my focus to the next thing and this really helps counteract that. (Which makes getting more done feel better, which makes me feel like getting more done… and upward the spiral goes.)
I think this is the method I’m going to keep, in the end.
In the not-too distant future, I might start to pull out two or three major accomplishments at the end of the week during reviews and then distill those again at the end of the month to select 2-3 so that at the end of the year I have a list of 25-35 accomplishments that stick out to me and make my progress a little more palpable.