Wednesday, November 26, 2008

12 tips to get organized...day 3

Is your life in disarray? Do you have trouble finding things? Do you constantly forget stuff? If so, don’t worry — you’re like most of the human population.

Disorganization is a natural state of order...but you can master it...or at least get a handle on it if you follow some SIMPLE suggestions.

If you have a desire to get organized, here are my favorite organization tips … stuff I’ve learned along the way, from other sources and from experimentation.

9. Google Calendar. It really doesn’t matter what calendar system you use, but I’ve found that Gcal works best for me. It’s so simple and fast, and as an online calendar I can access it from anywhere (as can my wife). We share a Google Calendar, and we put everything on it: work stuff, personal stuff, our kid’s school and extracurricular events, birthdays, family gatherings, reminders to follow up on things, school holidays, and much more. It keeps all our scheduling in one place, and we never have to worry about remembering again. Other good calendar options: 30 Boxes and Outlook are also popular.

10. A simple system for pending items. One reader recently wrote to ask me how she should organize her pending items, such as plane or theater tickets. I suggested she create a “Pending” folder to hold those items, and make a note of each item on her calendar. For those that are attached to a specific date, she could note the item on that date (”Theater tickets for 8 p.m., in Pending folder”). For items that she wants to remember periodically, she could make a note on the first of each month (for example) … so on the first of next month, there is a “Pending items” notation on her calendar, with a list of items in the Pending folder she wants to reminder herself about. If she doesn’t need to remember them yet, she can move that item to the first of the next month.

11. Make your system usable. If you’re having problems with your organization system, take a careful look at what’s tripping you up. Sometimes there’s a difficulty or complication that makes the system too difficult to use. If it’s too difficult, you won’t use it. Keep it simple and usable — if possible, even fun — and you’ll be more likely to stick to the system.

12. Create a landing strip. When I get home, I empty my pockets and put everything onto a tray near my doorway. My wife does the same. Keys, purse, my ID and cash, cell phone, anything. This way it doesn’t get tossed on our counter or table, and we never have to look for it or forget it when we leave. See Unclutterer’s article on The landing strip.

Check out my last 2 blogs for more tips!

For more organizing tips, visit my website: www.andreadekker.com

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