Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

Hey there!

I was asked a question the other day that I get a lot:

“With all of the projects you work on, how do you stay on top of everything that you have to do?”

I’m going to show you what I’ve recently switched to for my analog note taking, and why I have them set up the way they are.

Yes, I said “them.” Oh, and here’s a link to that awesome Uni-Ball pen I show in the video:

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

Hope this helps!


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hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
I want to talk to you about a question
that I got the other day from somebody
who asked and it’s a question I get a
lot you do a lot of different things how
do you keep track of what you have to do
for all those things you know how do you
remember what you need to do and I want
to share with you something that I just
started working with that I really
really like and this project this
once-a-day project is one of the reasons
that I started doing it you know I like
notebooks I think paper is a beautiful
I love digital I like using asana Asin a
for my project planning and I love using
in fact all of the notes that I end up
doing in terms of URLs and resources and
everything they’re all held in a BB edit
text file and then asana project for
this particular project but and I didn’t
know how many projects I was working on
until I went to this system so I’m just
gonna say this out over straight out I
adore Levenger I love Levenger Levenger
to me is like is like when I was a kid
and I got boys life and the the new
scholastic reader every week in class
when the Levinger catalog comes I just
love it if you’ve never seen it le ven
ger it’s pens and notebooks and writing
accoutrement right so I like their their
notebooks and I have two of them now I
started with one it was really thick and
it was hard to deal with I’ll show you
what I did with that but I have two
notebooks and like this particular one
is the one for front burner projects and
as you can see I’ve actually got notes
on the the videos that I have planned
for this week so this one has the
one-a-day videos it has a section called
meta which is basically you know
business stuff general business stuff if
I need to get something done for the
entire business when do you sleep which
is a project I’m working on with Trevor
podcasting class which I put together
for video to go go and camera-ready you
something I’ve been working on for a
couple of years it’s gonna be kind of
like on camera instruction the way vo to
go go
is voiceover instruction and this is
kind of the this is kind of the the one
burner that I have and then I have a
second notebook that’s exactly the same
and in this one I have the project I’m
working on with Mike Ostroff addiction
audition psych 101 vo to go go the AC
master class rehearsal Pro and acting
stuff this is the front burner one even
though this one is labeled back burner
it’s because it’s projects that I either
am NOT actively managing at this point
or are in the future and I love these
they have different types of pages they
have the the daily weekly planner page
which I use the most then they have
project planning pages which have sort
of date description deadlines things
like that and I never just do written
stuff on paper I actually find it to be
satisfying and rewarding to not only
write things down but also type them
into a digital format so that I have
them wherever I go I use Google sheets a
lot I use Google Docs and I thought I’d
be really creative you know this this
has a particular size disc that holds
these all together like eight disks at
all this is a junior size this is I
think the one inch or one and a half
inch and it holds a certain number of
pages and I thought well I’m very busy
I’m gonna need to hold a lot more pages
than that so I ordered the two inch
discs and they didn’t work out so well
because they’re huge they’re absolutely
huge right this these are the two inch
discs right and the problem was I’m
using it now to sort of like hold blank
content blank pages that I’ll end up
putting as I need them into the other
books but when I had when I was trying
to write when it was this way and I was
trying to write on this side my hand
would run into the disks and I couldn’t
write all the way to the edge of the
page it was a little unwieldy you know I
don’t know if this is interesting to you
at all but I just love being organized I
love being able to know to go to
ooh this place to find something to
create a system that works and this
front burner back burner system where I
have one notebook that’s kind of for the
stuff I’m working on now and another
notebook for the stuff that I’m working
on for the future really really has
worked out for me and I hope I hope you
maybe there’s something in there that
won’t work out for you what what’s your
organization style are you digital are
you analog or your paper maybe a
combination of both like I am let me
know in the comments below I’d love to
pick up some tips from you and if
there’s any questions you have about how
I do things I’ll give you one last
little tip I got this pen at social
media marketing world when I spoke there
a couple years ago from the Facebook
people who took me aside to show me some
new things they were doing see it’s a
pen that says Facebook but the real
important thing is that this is a
univille signo I don’t know if you can
see that I don’t know if it’ll show you
that closely but it’s uniball signo it
is the most beautiful gel pen ever the
gel doesn’t clump up and it’s got this
beautiful blue color that is different
from other blue pens it’s not a dark
blue it’s like a medium blue and I just
really like it I I’m sorry I’m a geek
when it comes to these kinds of things
so anyway let me know what you think in
the comments below if you want to see
the latest video sign up for my my
youtube channel and click on my head
there or find the subscribe button below
this video you want to see the latest
video I did that frame click on that
that’ll play it if there’s no frame
there I’ll go to my channel you’ll find
it I’m David H Lawrence the 17th I thank
you so much for watching and I’ll talk
to you tomorrow



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  1. You’re right… we couldn’t read the letters on your FaceBook pen… what was the name and model again of your favorite blue Gel Pen ?

    Oh and btw I don’t think you’re being a nerd at all. I think its simply that as we grow older..many of us begin to notice and appreciate items that are high quality.

    Love organizational tips like that video… thanks from Nova Scotia.

  2. Great video! I’m not quite the office supply nerd that you are, but I do have my moments. 🙂

    Currently I use notebooks for individual project details (specific voices, accents, relationships and story line) and a google sheet for deadlines, RH information, etc. So, a bit of the micro versus macro.

    Nice tip on the pen, may need to check that out. I currently use an upgraded Bic pen, Bu3 grip which has a nice flow, a rubberized grip, and comes in three colors.

    I do enjoy your daily videos. I watch them in the morning with my coffee and each one helps put me into a positive working direction. For the future, I’d love to know how you schedule your day. Do you have a routine you follow, like auditions in the morning, projects in the afternoon? Or are your days so mixed that each one is different?

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and expertise.

  3. Hi David,

    I find that my organization is always a bit of a work in progress. However, I have been using Evernote a bunch recently and really like it. I am able to access it from different platforms and it uses ‘notebooks’ as a way of organizing things. I guess I have become more digital in my organization.

    Cheers! Chris

  4. I have not been able to get into the concept of using online calendars. When my bank offered me a free day planner book I jumped at the opportunity. It just works for me. I don’t have that many projects going at once. All I need is a place to keep track of projects and deadlines that I can find at a moments notice. And I don’t have to turn on a computer or phone to read it.

  5. So valuable. As David Allen says, “Your brain is for having ideas, not holding them.” And analog is the way to go—tons of brain science to support the “impressionability” of ideas when engaged with physically (as you know!). Thanks for this! Ideas for how to start working with my new Levenger…

  6. LOVED this video! You spoke to my soul. So nice to hear that someone thinks JUST LIKE ME! I live for organization. It helps clear my mind and spirit. I’m in the process of re-hauling my entire house so we can make a big move and so I can get through all my VO2gogo courses with clarity and sanity. I’ve always loved the concept of both written and digital formats but wondered if I was duplicating efforts. However, it feels right – so therefore I will continue to do what makes me happy. I currently use Opus One for my digital thoughts and a daily calendar notebook for additional quick written ideas. I will incorporate your Front and Back burner ideas since I use a similar process but will take your notes to refine my ideas. You’re the best David!!

  7. Funny David, but I’m with you — Love to write it first, organize and then type into digital form. When I was a kid in Toronto and L.A. my favorite stores where the stationery ones. Paper, Pen Pencils, notebook colored penciles etc. Better ‘n candy to me. LOL