Collecting What Needs to Be Done
There are a variety of ways to keep track of work tasks. Before you employ any of those methods, the best thing to do is determine what everything that needs to be done.
The best method for doing this, I've found, involves turning to David Allen's Getting Things Done. In this book, David Allen describes a method for collecting all of the loose ends that need to be done.
To do this, you'll need an "inbox" of some sort. You'll also want scrap paper. What I do is collect paper I no longer need and cut it into eight pieces. I then use the back for my collecting process.
On each sheet of paper, you'll write what needs to be done. You will want to keep only one item to each sheet. This way, it makes it easy to manipulate the different sheets of paper. Gather every floating item in your office. Write down everything that comes to your mind. Put it all in your inbox. You're not going to deal with it yet. You're just getting it all together.
For e-mail, don't print your e-mails. Just ensure they are all going to one gathering place. Allen suggests only having as many inboxes as you need and no more than that. So, you might have an inbox on your desk to collect all the physical stuff, one electronic inbox, and a phone inbox. That's it. Otherwise, things get entirely too complicated.