Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Getting organized . . . part 5

Finally, here are analog and digital tools together.

Post-It notes are almost too obvious to suggest. But here are a couple of less obvious ways to use them:

Keep a few on the inside of a notebook cover, on the back pages of a datebook, and so on. You now have an always accessible way to mark pages, leave notes on doors, and so on.

Use them for grocery shopping. Write your list on a Post-It and stick it on your wallet. When you get to the store, stick the Post-It to the handle of your shopping cart. When you're done, throw the Post-It in the trash.

I first thought to manage a shopping list in this way a couple of weeks ago. It seems so obvious! But I've never seen anyone else do it (my wife assures me that, yes, I have invented this way of shopping). It's a great way to keep your hands free and not have to wonder what aisle you left your list in.

Digital notes are also quite handy on your computer screen. There are several programs that create them; I like the free program ATnotes, which comes with a little desktop calendar too. You can use digital notes to keep track of things that are important to everyone in the house ("Return dvds by Thursday") and to make a running grocery list ("Buy salt"--because who remembers to buy salt?).

You can also use digital notes to keep track of chores. Say that four people are taking turns with the dishes. Make a note with the days of the week in a vertical column and, next to it, another note with the dish-doers' names in a column (repeat the names several times). Now, if you move the note with the names up and down, you have a perpetual calendar and no question as to whose night it is to do dishes. As you may suspect, this system is in use en mi casa.

You can also use digital notes to keep useful and inspiring words on your desktop, which isn't a bad thing to do if you're trying to get things done. (I have words from the Tao and from Aristotle on my desktop as I'm typing.)

So there are five simple tools. Except for the Palm, they can be had for relatively little money, and they might help a lot in your efforts to get and stay organized. Find what works best for you, keep your tools available, so that you can really use them, and get things done!

Links » Getting organized with simple tools: Part 1, 2, 3, 4

comments: 0