Thing-a-Day 16: The Annoyed Task Planner (ATP)

Thing-a-Day 16: The Annoyed Task Planner (ATP)

Annoyed Task Planner

An Annoying Day

Sunday! I woke up late after sleeping fitfully, having suffered TWO CHARLIE HORSES, which made it difficult to walk around this afternoon when I finally got out of bed at 2PM. Grouchy. Cold. Not feeling like working.

I thought maybe of doing some Calendar updates, but I knew that I didn’t have a lot of energy in me to deal with it. I’m thinking of going to sleep again, but I first had a brainstorm about how I might convert my annoyance with the world into The Annoyed Task Planner.

Annoyance as Inspiration

I’m not in a particularly good mood today, but sometimes this is the source of inspiration. Rather than dig-deep to find some perky optimism to sprinkle on the day, I’m choosing instead to indulge my displeasure.

Strangely, this indulgence of displeasure always seems to have an uplifting effect on me. I can’t stay in a bad mood for very long, I suppose, before it decomposes into snarkiness.

ATP sheet The Annoyed Task Planner (or ATP, as I’ll refer to it), recognizes that you’re in a bad mood and doesn’t try to cheer you up. It acknowledges that life is annoying, and it doesn’t put a lot of demands on you. You can opt-out at any time. But if you DO sign up, you get to pick three things to do. Three mundane, probably dumb things to do. But they are things to do, none-the-less. You are encouraged not to think too much about it, or even aspire for much. Really, who has the energy today to do it?

After that, you just DO it. There’s a handy worksheet on the right side to help gather your thoughts, and there’s also the annoyances logging below.

ATP Annoyances The annoyances logging provides you with a way to vent about everything that is annoying you, either focused on whatever 3 tasks you choose, or something “other” that you just need to complain about. At the end of the day, assuming you don’t fill this up, you’ll get a nice scatter plot of where you were mostly annoyed. There is also my favorite new form entry element, the angry scribble, where you can draw-in just how irked you are to give your annoyance log entry some backbone.


If you are in a suitably bad mood, AND you’re interested in giving this form a whirl, you can download it here:

Let me know what you think. Enjoy…or whatever.

About this Article Series

I'm challenging myself to create something new every day for the month of November 2014! The November Challenge Page lists everything in one place...check it out!


  1. Katie 10 years ago

    I absolutely love this! Especially the angry scribble boxes! Printing a few now.

  2. Maria 10 years ago

    This is sooooo great! Thank you so much! I already feel better, acknowledging sth can release tons of energy! I love the idea of vampirically siphoning the energy of other working people as my own, hehe

  3. kevin williams 10 years ago

    Nice concept! Have you thought of using smileys instead of the text in aftermath? Downside – you sound like you’re getting some positive vibe from the text that a smiley might not contribute.

    +1 on the angry scribble boxes

    eg – 37signals smiley based customer service ratings

  4. RoadWriter 10 years ago

    First time I’ve commented, tho I’ve read your blog for a while.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! You’ve tapped my Inner Grump. You Caught her attention in spite of her well-honed skill at procrastinating and resistance to what she “should” do.

    Off to print this on snarly colors of paper, to meet the daily moods. And try it out.

    +1 re “angry scribble boxes” and vampiric siphoning of energy . . .

  5. Celenie 10 years ago

    You are hilarious!

  6. Joe Steinbronn 10 years ago

    That its acronym shares a name with the biological unit of energy should not be lost. Well done, Dave.

  7. Rachel Heslin 10 years ago


  8. Guy Porter 10 years ago

    Could you add some color to this? It’s brilliant but grey.

  9. Abigail 10 years ago

    I am totally new here, (sent via a post by Shanna Mann on G+) but had to comment on the brilliance of this. So: This is brilliant.

    I kinda need a moleskine-esque book of this. Maybe more than kinda. :D

  10. TPTfan 9 years ago

    Finally, a form that makes griping a legit form of planning. :D I’ve always wanted to be disciplined enough to use the oh-so-gorgeous ETP, but often fail just trying to prioritize the task list. The TPT works best my job requirements and is what I always return to after experiments with other forms/planners fail.

  11. Erin 9 years ago

    Absolutely fabulous! I love it and have shared it with all my friends. Super fun to use.

  12. Author
    Dave Seah 9 years ago

    I’m glad that people like this! We embrace our curmudgeonly selves and grump our way forward! Yay! I mean BAH!

  13. Jenn 9 years ago

    Hi Dave – I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, so I can’t believe I didn’t find the ATP sooner — so funny, and so real. I’ve printed one each for me and my husband, and will give it as a little gift to a few select team mates today. Seems right for a Monday. And it’s helping me start off the week with a sense of humor. Enjoy your blog and tools, by the way. Thank you!