Organization 101: A Visual Guide to How I Manage the Information in My Life

Over time, many, many readers have asked me how I keep myself organized and find the time to maintain The Simple Dollar, work a full time job, handle a family life that involves two kids in diapers, and have any free time at all for other pursuits including some degree of intellectual curiosity. It’s not easy, and the only way it’s worked at all is by putting together some basic organization techniques that keep things in focus.

So, without further ado, here are the basic tenets of how I manage all of this stuff and keep things moving forward, with a lot of visual help along the way. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments, because if you’re thinking of a question, chances are someone else is too and it makes sense to ask there and have my responses there, too.

The Most Important Thing

The absolute most important thing in my life in terms of keeping my thoughts organized and not losing valuable ideas is this:

Organized 1: Pocket notebook

I keep a very simple Mead pocket notebook and a pen in my pocket at all times (hence the beat up look). Wherever I’m at, if an idea pops into my head, I jot it down in this notebook. I’ve even pulled off the road to do this and I’ve also been known to pull this out during conversations with others if they cause me to think about something.

What goes in the notebook? Anything and everything: tasks I need to do, words I want to look up, ideas I want to research or follow up on; all of these things are fair game. I usually write one distinct idea per page so that I can make “sub-notes” underneath it. Let’s look at a couple of examples from the notebook to see what I mean.

Organized 2: A task

When I open the notebook, the first item I find is a note reminding me to “get lime remover for hot water heater,” and under that I jotted “ebay? plumbing supply?” This was the result of a conversation with a person who installs hot water heaters for a living. I described to this person that my hot water heater was making a “percolating” sound, much like a coffee pot, and he immediately suggested that I try running lime remover through it. I pulled out my notebook, jotted that down, and asked him where to get it – obviously, he said to try eBay or a plumbing supply store.

Organized 3: Another task

This is a note reminding me to follow up on a pont of intellectual curiosity. Here, I read an article from the September 2007 issue of The Atlantic about Karl Rove and I found that he was politically inspired by the presidency of William McKinley and that of McKinley’s advisor, Mark Hanna. I wanted to follow up on this to learn more about McKinley and Hanna, a pair I had only brushed upon once a long time ago.

On an average day, I’ll make ten or so notes like these. They’ll vary as much as these two do, from areas of intellectual curiosity to tasks that need to be completed. However, just making notes doesn’t mean that I do anything about them. I follow up on these notes once a day by putting them all in my inbox, then processing it.

The “Inbox”

Here’s a look at my inbox at the moment:

Organized 4: Inbox

It consists of a folder (which contains several things I need to review that you can just see peeking out), two envelopes, a black pamphlet between the envelopes, and two pieces of paper torn out from the notebook. This is actually rather thin for my inbox – often, it has as many as thirty things in it. Note that I don’t actually have a plastic or metal inbox – it struck me as an unnecessary expense, which I suppose reveals my frugal nature a bit.

My goal at the end of each day is to have that inbox empty. I usually do this by doing an inbox “processing” after work each night. I go through everything in it and do one of three things with it:

If it takes less than five minutes, I do it immediately. If something afterwards needs to be filed, I just put it in my filing box at the front of the box, then every once in a while I file this stuff away. This actually winds up being the majority of the stuff in my inbox.

If it’s a longer task, I try to break it down into smaller pieces and try to do the first piece of it. I usually wind up sketching out at least the first few steps of a longer task in another notebook (that you’ll see in a minute) and then each day I’ll check each of these longer tasks and make sure I’m moving forward with them in some fashion. This keeps a lot of moderately complex tasks urgent for me.

If it’s food for thought (like a book or a magazine or a note to research something), I put it off to the side in a “thinking” pile to deal with later on. This “thinking” pile can get quite large, but I really enjoy going through it when I have an hour or two to burn, as it provides almost all of my creative ideas.

If I get into a routine of trusting my inbox, then I don’t really have to remember much at all and can instead focus on just getting through the stuff I need to do, and that’s a giant relief.

Organizing Documents

As I mentioned above, I file stuff somewhat regularly. I do this with a big pile of file folders and a pair of simple cardboard filing boxes like this:

Organized 5: Filing

One of these boxes is bill statements, receipts, and tax documents for the last seven years; the other one is instruction manuals and other materials. I plan on moving to an electronic filing system in the future when I get a true workstation set up, but for now the paper filing works fine. For the most part, I just stack stuff that needs to be filed inside the box, then file it into the folders about once every month or two. This takes care of all of the paperwork miscellany that would otherwise be floating around.

The Portable Office, or “Go Bag”

Naturally, I like the ability to take the stuff that I need and just go wherever I need to be, whether it’s my actual office at home, the dining room table, a coffee shop, the kitchen counter at my parents’ house late in the evening, or wherever else. To do that, here’s my “go bag.”

Organized 6: Go bag

Yet again, I reveal my frugal tendencies: this is a backpack I’ve had for twelve years, and it was originally picked up used at a garage sale. There’s an ink stain on the bottom that I picked up from an exploded pen circa 1999. It’s also been sewn back together at least twice. It does the job I need and I’m not desiring to impress anyone, so I’ll likely be using it until it falls apart.

Here’s what I keep inside of it:

Organized 7: Contents of "go bag"

From left to right (roughly): a baggie containing several essential cables, a small number of books (with the recently reviewed The Paradox of Choice, a copy of What Color is Your Parachute? 2008 under that), a Dell Inspiron 1505 laptop, a Nintendo DS (a few games are also in that baggie with the cables), an iPod Nano, a power supply, a card reader that can read about any small memory card under the sun, a memory stick, and a Moleskine reporter’s notebook. Not pictured but always present in the bag are a file folder (seen in my inbox picture and which usually contains a few documents plus at least some of the contents of my inbox), a few pens (I was actually out of them at the time I took the picture), and the digital camera with which the picture was taken.

The reporter’s notebook, though, is much more interesting – it’s my “project” book. Each page in that notebook equates to a project that I’m working on. That page is a list of the specific steps that need to be done to get the project done. Whenever I finish one, I cross off that step in the notebook, and I usually try to keep at least a couple steps into the future written down for each project so I can see where I’m headed. For example, if I write a series for The Simple Dollar, a project would likely consist of a list of the basic concept for each post in the series, and I’d cross them off as they were fleshed out or else discarded for some reason. This keeps me on the ball for every long term project I’m working on, breaking them down neatly for me into nice, discrete steps.

Keeping a Schedule and Reminders of Important Events

SunbirdAs I’ve mentioned in the past, I use Mozilla Sunbird as my primary schedule keeper. Within it, I basically keep track of every possible timed event in my life, from the usual appointments and birthdays and anniversaries to things like infrequent home maintenance tasks. The tasks listed here are basically an extension of my inbox – I use the automatically generated “to do” lists that Sunbird can spit out for you to see the things that I need to be doing on any given day.

Let me walk you through an example of how it works. Let’s say I’m out and about and I hear about a blogger meetup in Des Moines on a Friday that I happen to be available. I jot this info down in my pocket notebook and, when I get home, I toss it in my paper inbox and start processing. When I get to that item, I go ahead and fire up Sunbird and enter that event so I can then crumple up the sheet. After I fire up Sunbird, I notice that it’s been three months since I changed my air handling filter in the house, so I enter the event, then run downstairs and change the filter.

If there’s more than one scheduled event in a day, I usually print off a copy of the day’s schedule so that I have it with me and don’t have to fire up my laptop to check on things or to make any last minute changes – I just edit with a pen and keep going.

Idea Organization on my Computer

Obviously, when I’m busy at my computer, the last thing I want to do when I have an idea or a task is stop, pull out my pocket notebook, and jot something down. Even when it’s sitting on the desk next to me, I still don’t usually want to stop and jot down that idea. Yet I want to also be able to easily retrieve any ideas and notes and tasks I have on my computer from any computer, and for that exact purpose, I use Google Notebook.

Google Notebook is an online application that basically lets you jot down notes to save for later. These notes can be your thoughts, pieces of web pages, images, or whatever you wish, which is nice, but it’s not really the reason I use it. This is why I use it:

Organized 8: Google Notebook

This is what my default web browsing window looks like in Mozilla Firefox, my browser of choice. Notice that little spot at the bottom that I’ve highlighted that says “Open Notebook”? No matter what website I’m at, all I have to do is click on that (or press Alt-N on my keyboard) and the following opens up:

Organized 9: Google Notebook in use

This little window pops up. Within it, I can just jot down any idea I have in a very free-form fashion. I can also separate them into different “notebooks” to keep them somewhat organized. I just click where I want to write and just jot down the thought, and if I want to, I can drag in pieces of web pages that I’m on as well. I basically treat this as an extension of my inbox, processing it each night.

What’s most useful about this is that I have this plugin installed on every computer I use regularly, plus I can access the notebook from any web-accessible computer.

Another absolutely vital piece of organization for me is Remember the Milk, a website I’ve written fondly about in the past. Remember the Milk is basically a very convenient list maker; for example, you can use it to make grocery shopping lists or Christmas gift lists.

Organized 10: Remember the Milk

Why would one bother to use this for a grocery list, you might ask? Let me paint you a picture. Throughout the week, we do jot down our grocery list using a piece of paper on the fridge and I sometimes also note ingredients in Google Notebook for things I’d like to try making. My wife and I will go over this, just to make sure we haven’t forgotten anything, and I’ll make the “master list” with Remember the Milk, which seems pretty mundane, right?

Well, check this out:

Organized 11: Remember the Milk Mobile

If you visit m.rememberthemilk.com, you can access your shopping list from any web-accessible cell phone, like mine is. So, when I get to the store, I just log onto the site on my way into the store and there’s my list. What’s special about that? Let’s say my wife thinks of a recipe she wants to try after I’ve left. She just logs on, adds the items to the list, and I have the complete, correct list when I get to the store. A similar logic applies for Christmas gifts, or a list of errands to run, or pretty much anything else you can imagine from a checklist.

Dealing With Email

One last important aspect of my personal organization is email. For this, I follow three simple rules.

First, don’t close the email program without emptying the email inbox. This means deleting the junk, reading each message, and either dealing with it now or adding it to Google Notebook. I empty the inbox, then close the email program and don’t open it again all day. I usually only do email twice a day at most unless I have five or ten minutes of idle time that I can use to shorten my email session later in the day or tomorrow morning. One quick thing I do that helps with this is that I use the Quicktext extension for Mozilla Thunderbird (my preferred email program; again, both are free). This plugin lets me respond to most of the common messages I get very quickly – I have nine of my most common responses pre-written with fields that automatically fill in names, and so I just hit Ctrl-R to reply, then Alt-0 (or any other number) to insert a message automatically. This does most of the email response work for me.

Second, don’t save it unless you need it for reference. If you’ll need the message for reference in the future, save it. Otherwise, delete it. Some people insist on saving every email, then they can’t actually find the useful items amid the thousands of saved messages that really don’t mean a thing. Unless you’ll need it again in the future, delete it now.

Third, if the amount of mail is too overwhelming, delete it all. If the message is actually important, the person will contact you again. If it’s not, well, why bother reading it to begin with? I usually use this approach when I return from a vacation from email – I just wipe all of it out if I open up my email program and feel utterly overwhelmed.

Do You Want To Know More?

In the end, there’s really only two principles behind everything: don’t lose an idea, but don’t get overwhelmed, either. Everything else is just a specific implementation of one of those two ideas or a way to resolve them when they conflict with each other. If you want to track down some of the ideas that contribute to this philosophy, here goes.

First (and most obvious) is the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. It’s been written about over and over again online, but that’s because it’s really useful. However, for most people it’s like trying to shoot an elephant gun to kill a gnat. Just read the book and pull out only the pieces that you need for your own life. If you’re looking for more, I compiled a list of great personal productivity books a while back – and they’re roughly ordered in their level of usefulness.

If you read those and still want more, here are three excellent online resources:
Inbox Zero by Merlin Mann at 43 folders, explaining in detail the value of emptying your email inbox.
Zen to Done by Leo Babauta at zen habits, which focuses mostly on mental strategies to get things done.
The Hipster PDA, again by Merlin Mann at 43 folders, which explains in a somewhat humorous tone the value of keeping something in your pocket to jot stuff down on.

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44 thoughts on “Organization 101: A Visual Guide to How I Manage the Information in My Life

  1. Thank you! You have no idea how much I needed this post! I am always struggling with organization, and it helps to see how others manage to stay organized.

    I’ll be bookmarking this post for later reference!

  2. Heidi says:

    Wow, what a system! Just yesterday I was wondering how you keep it all straight.

    I am going to start with the small mead notebook and go from there.

  3. BuildAndSucceed says:

    Wow. This is an awesome post.

    Bookmarked!

  4. Mrs. Micah says:

    I love my idea notebook! I use it for measurements, sketches, post ideas, to-do lists, quotes, etc. Instead of using Google notebook (my Mozilla browser wouldn’t accept it last time I tried, and Firefox makes my computer crash for some unknown reason), I use Google Calendar. So it e-mails me reminders that I should be working on something or meditating or paying a bill. I love it to bits and little pieces. :)

  5. Ivan says:

    Thank you for this article! Usually articles about organization are a litte bit too theoretical. But your article shows the practical side of GTD for “normal” human beings. :)
    I also carry always a notebook with me but the challenge for me is not to write everything down but to organize all the ideas and tasks. Your article gives me a lot of inspiration!

  6. plonkee says:

    I’m a GTD fan as well. I don’t think I could cope with your notebooks though; I’m a bit of an index card person myself.

  7. Laura says:

    I appreciate seeing how you organzie your busy life. I personally use a planner book and then I use google calender as reminders fo rbig events.

  8. It’s amazing what you can get accomplished when you find an organization system that works well for you. There are a lot of ideas out there and if you pick and choose the ones that are right for you, then incorporate them into your daily habits, you’ll be amazed at the amount you can get done. Well worth spending the time to work a system out.

  9. Amy says:

    Very informative! I need to start using an idea notebook to keep my ideas all together in one spot. I tend to write down my ideas on any scrap paper that’s handy when the idea occurs to me. Then I shove it in my purse or it gets shuffled under a pile of bills or receipts. I actually do have an idea file on my desk at home, but unfortunately very few of those pieces of paper actually end up in that file. I’m sure the notebook would help.

  10. Mary says:

    Something I have started doing that is amazingly helpful is to scan my documents into the computer. I realized that there are a lot of papers I wanted to keep because of the information they provided, not because I needed the document itself (like recipes, instruction booklets from buying ikea furniture or electronics, magazine articles, graded school papers, syllabi, assignments and what-have-you). Of course, anything that I think I need again, like tax forms or banking stuff, I keep in a file folder, but that file has become remarkably slim since I started doing this. I have access to a great scanner that doesn’t require any computer to scan (just an SD card), so I can just set up shop for a while scanning documents while reading my rss feeds or checking my email. I don’t label the individual files-that would take forever- but I clump scans into folders and label the folders, labeling individual scans only if there are one or two in a scan-set (like a one page document).

  11. KenFan says:

    Very nice article!

    Instead of GNotebook, I prefer to use the ‘send-to’ function in GToolbar and just email myself a copy (something I learnt from MicroPersuasion). This allows me to keep all the reference material in one place and make use of GMail’s great search engine.

  12. KK says:

    Google notebook is now mobile http://google.com/notebook/m . I think that may eliminate your need for RTM. -unless you use reminders.

  13. Writers Coin says:

    I haven’t read Getting Things Done but the notebook idea is something I’ve always done and I actually have that same Moleskin model you do. I would go crazy trying not to forget things without it.

  14. russ says:

    Hey trent, great post. I would love to know how these tips fit into hourly schedule. One of my greatest struggles, is organizing my time and scheduling events while at work 10 hours a day. On your calendar, do you just block of 8-10 hours as “job/work” or do you try to fit other scheduled tasks in there? Thanks for all the great info!

  15. Great post, but it makes me feel bad about my failures at getting organized. :)

    Maybe the pictures will help me get started!

    I’m guessing it took you a long time to get to your point of awesome organization? I still have Getting Things Done in my reading pile so maybe I need to hurry up and get to that.

  16. Dave M says:

    Great article!

    But don’t you find it counterproductive to use so many different tools to keep track of things? I can see using the notebook, but why use three different programs/webapps on the computer? I was doing that for a while, and found that when I had things spread out among so many different tools, that I ended up doing nothing instead.

    Today, I use Outlook 2007 (since my job requires it) for calendar, notes and contacts, and a Miquelrius notebook to keep all my to-do’s in. I find the process of actually writing things down has helped me immensely. It’s a much different process from typing to-do’s into the computer or my blackberry.

    My blackberry has basically become a read-only tool while I’m out and about. If I’m driving and need to remember something, I dial up my Jott.com number and leave a message. :-)

  17. mamamardee says:

    here i am again – i love your well thought out ideas – thank you for shearing them – now my problem – mead is one of the top bad companies when it comes to green living – could you perhaps support a more green friendly company? please check out this site and let others know about it http://www.betterworldshopper.org/

  18. sandspiral says:

    Hi Trent, and thanks for a great post. I’m a new GTD-er in the first phases of implementing it, and you’ve done a very good job of condensing the entire GTD book into one compact, easy-to-follow package. It’s nice to see how someone has customized the system to fit their own needs and is actually **using** it on a day-to-day basis.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  19. 60 in 3 - Fitness and Health says:

    I have a system that is almost identical except I use Google Calendar instead of firebird. I like the ability to share calendars that Google offers me. It’s really allowed my wife and I to resolve our schedules and make appointments with very little hassle.

    Otherwise, I love your system Trent.
    Gal

  20. Great post — I embrace all of the same philosophies in my own quest for organization, but I have yet to perfect all of the practical aspects. You’re a lot closer than I am.

    I have found a solution for my filing though, which you might like. Instead of a drawer full of folders, and a box of papers waiting to be filed, I use a literature sorter like this one:
    http://urltea.com/24qp
    All of my files are out in the open, which is the only way that encourages me to file things.

    I got this idea from an anti-clutter TV show (Mission Organization I think, on HGTV) where the guy admitted he never files things because of the awkwardness of opening a drawer and shoving things into folders that always seem too full.

    Yes this solution takes more space than would a traditional filing cabinet, but when I saw it REALLY WORKING for me, it was easy to find the space for it (thanks also to Ikea shelving!).

  21. Tracey says:

    Thanks for the post! I do like the “real world” usage of GTD principles. There are so many facets of this particular plan that it’s easy to get caught up in the details which then defeats the purpose of GTD. ;)

    But, you’ve pulled from it what works for you and you’ve made it fit into your life which is great and shows how successful you can become when you find the right tools.

    Thanks!

  22. Stephan F- says:

    One thing I’ve recently added is a digital voice recorder. I seem to get a lot of my ideas when driving. Trying to write in a notebook on the interstate is not feasible and on a side street insane. I got a Olympus WS-110 small and light enough to sit in my shirt pocket all day. I can download everything to my Mac via USB, fast and easy.

  23. Rose says:

    Thank you so much for posting this article. I gained a lot of valuable information and the pictures were very helpful too. I spend a lot of my time driving and naturally I think about everything that needs to get done. I use jott.com this great service that is free. You call the number on your cell phone and you leave a note to yourself and that gets transcribed and sent to your email inbox. Well recently they made it so that you can connect Jott.com with your Remember The Milk account so now your notes can be sent directly to any list you choose in your remember the milk account. You should look into it, it’s been very helpful for me.

  24. Julia says:

    I just wanted to thank you for a series of excellent posts, particularly this one. I check this site several times a day, and it seems like each time I checked today, you had posted another long thoughtful post!

  25. Marsha says:

    1. Remember the Milk looks awesome – thanks for sharing that.
    2. Delete all the email inbox? OMG, that practically gives me a seizure thinking about it.
    3. Please, it’s “wherever I am,” not “wherever I’m at.” I wouldn’t say anything except that you want to be a serious writer.

  26. Brad Sayers says:

    I collect scrap paper, good one side 8×11. I have tons of it now (still can’t turn it down). Some of it goes on a clip board, some it it gets cut in half for another clip board I have, some of it gets cut into 4 which I then collect together with a big black clip. I carry a notebook. I’d say I have ubiquitous capture.

    One thing, however, that I tweaked: In the interest of frugality, I used to fill up a quarter sheet with my thoughts and ideas, to do item, ect. I found that when I processed, I was cutting entries with scissors to put into a folder (I keep about 10 working folders on my desk). I was ending up with too many little, unwieldy pieces of paper. So now: one entry per side, then process. Once processed, I draw a line through it and re-enter that other side into the system. This satisfies frugality and minmizes the psychic stress I had of handling little scraps……

    Cheers, Brad

  27. Heather says:

    Thanks. Organized #3 – the notepad to jot thoughts throughout the day – has been the most valuable thing for me. When I get three for four book titles, I’ll take out the notepad and order the books from the library, or search for reviews on Amazon to see if I want to spend money buying the book.

  28. Jason says:

    Excellent post!

    I’ve been looking for a system for a while now. I have a little note pad, but a little voice recorder would be better for me, for remembering ideas.

    Does anyone reading this know of any software that would bring all of this together?

  29. Tom Purl says:

    If you’re interested in Hanna and McKinney at all, then you should read “Assassination Vacation” by Sarah Vowell (one of my favorite writers). There’s a large chapter that covers McKinney’s presidential term. In general, the book is incredibly interesting and funny, and is a much more enjoyable read than a lot of history-focused books.

    Also, for the record, a lot of people think that Rove made the Hanna comment as a joke. Hanna was a corrupt, unscrupulous party boss during the birth of American imperialism. He’s not the type of person that most people would admit to admiring in public, even if that person is Karl Rove.

  30. anonymous says:

    Have you stopped using Keynote?

  31. Hi Trent,
    Really nice post – I’ve linked to it today as a great place to send someone who’s interested in starting a productivity system for themselves.
    Cheers!

  32. Wow, some really interesting visuals there! I have a bunch of notebooks I use where I list stuff. I also make online lists on text pads and so on. But I find that the simple notebook is the easiest to work with. Great post!

  33. Lee says:

    Getting into GTD now. Like the notebook idea. You might find a personal budgeting solution helpful too called The B Word that uses many of the same principles…but from a math perspective. Thx!

  34. Ed Joyner says:

    My stomach turned when I read you dump your emails. I do that with clear conscious with personal email at home. At work I average about 1,600 in-box messages. I dump messages all day long. I believe your purging approach would be an easy way to alienate people and to get fired after a few email dumps. Nevertheless, I am getting very tired of a full email box so I will test dumping some emails older than two months since the priority factor may have played out. How do you handle your voice mails? What missteps have you made? How did you resolve them? I am emailing your article to my boss to see what she thinks. No, that will not get me fired. Thank you for the practical GTD tips.

  35. Marjorie says:

    Good morning!

    Wow, thank you so much for this post! I was already using Thunderbird and Lightning (Mozilla calendar you can integrate with the Thunderbird email client) as well as little notebooks in my purse and in the kitchen (where a lot of ideas seem to pop into my head). I hadn’t thought of using Google Notebook, though, and will definitely look into that. Another friend suggested that I get a digital voice recorder, and I got a simple Sony one for about $50. It’s very small, can be tucked into my jeans pocket or purse pocket, and is very handy when I don’t want to pull out my notebook but need to make notes for something. Dictating into the recorder makes it super easy, especially if I’m driving and don’t want to pull over to jot down something. Also comes in very handy for interviews. I’m a freelance writer and need that functionality and convenience. I have a novel, screenplay and play in progress; several freelance articles; a one-day-a-week office job; a household to run; and 4 blogs to maintain. So yeah, it can be kinda hectic.

    You’ve given me some great ideas for organization, so thank you!!!

    Cheers,
    Marjorie

  36. Jamie says:

    This seems like a great system. I read GTD recently and I’ve been using parts of it with varying degrees of success.

    I’m curious to know more details on how you use your project notebook. How often do you check it and update it? How do you decide what a project is? Anything more than one step? Do you have catch-all types of projects like “around the house”? If so, what are some of these? Could you post some pictures of project pages?

  37. Christene says:

    I think the 3-ring binder is one of the best inventions in the world. By using a binder rather than a notebook, you can remove and replace easily if needed. They come in different sizes, you can buy paper that is punched, or recycle paper and punch the holes yourself.

  38. ontguy says:

    great article!

    how do you organize your documents in the cardboard filing boxes?

    one folder on top of the other? alphabetical? chronologically? is the manual box sorted the same as the finance box?

    do you still use the methods outline in your previous articles (http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/01/19/my-system-for-managing-financial-documents/ & http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/04/15/a-fresh-start-how-to-organize-all-of-your-financial-documents-in-a-filing-cabinet/)?

    I listened through the GTD series at the beginning of the year and love it. As the year went I struggled with maintaining the system and slowing fell back into mild chaos and disorganization. The tips you’ve outline will help me get organization again.

  39. J.C. Carvill says:

    Wow, you really handle details of information in your life! Nowadays good information management is important to keep ourself from drowning and losing focus & effectivity.

    J.C. Carvill
    Email: support@cosmosing.com
    URL: http://www.cosmosing.com/jeanclaudecarvill/index.php

  40. Kelley says:

    Thanks for the tips and your method. My method is very similar so I feel a lot better knowing I am not the only person who does things that way. Very helpful!

  41. mjukr says:

    How about an update now that you’re a Mac user?

  42. Angela says:

    Here’s a frugal idea for creating a little notebook like the one you use. We get these Value-Pak coupons mailed to us every 2 months or so. For some reason they only print the (generally sucky) coupons on one side, so we cut these pages into quarters and staple together. It creates a little notebook like the one shown here – for free.

  43. Angela says:

    Thanks for the great post!

  44. Debbie says:

    This article makes one think and supplies oh such important, need to have, practical information. I come from a long line of the genetically, incapable of organizing and sometimes hoarder, especially of paperwork. It’s like we were born without the hardwiring neccessary to make a decision to throw a piece of paper away, old bill, etc. My doctor put me on a new adhd medicine a while ago. Now my family and friends can’t believe it, I’m an organizing guru overnight but still need a lengthy to do list. Back then the decision to act and throw something away was the source of my best thinking and a life saver and now it just feels natural. I’m getting alot of people and thier pets for my sitting service, acing interviews, friends asking to pay me to write thier resume and organize thier house for them, just for beginners.It’s as if a light went off in my head. I’ve been paying attention and listening better especially to organation 101 stuff. I’m gonna get your book and encourage anyone with this issue to run don’t walk to get it also….

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