Two Cent Tuesday – Staying Organized

by on August 26, 2008

We have a huge variety of technological aids at our dispense to help keep us organized. From PDAs to Blackberrys to online calendars, our lives can be organized at the tip of our fingers. I’ve never gotten into those methods. In fact, I don’t even use those small agenda books can you throw in your backpack. I try–I always buy one at the beginning of the year, but give up on it by mid-January. I prefer keeping things organized in my head. That method has only failed me once (if you would like to know that story you can take me out for breakfast sometime and I’ll tell you about it).

Still, I need to have things organized. If there is clutter around the house, I get stressed out (just ask my wife). Things need to be in place, and I operate by keeping a routine. And especially as you get farther in your studies, the balancing act becomes more and more difficult and you need to have a way to keep your life organized. I’m working on getting better with writing things down, but I want to know how you do it. What are some of your methods of keeping everything organized? Do you have an efficient system that you think would help us?

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I mostly keep track of things in my head, but I do still use an offline Palm OS device. The main thing I use the device for is language flashcards, but I also use it to track my to-dos every day. This reminds me that Wednesday is the day when I review my memory verses from a class I took last year, for example. Tuesday is the day I review Greek vocab greater than 60 occurrences, and Wednesday is the day I review 23-60. I wouldn’t remember to do that if it wasn’t for my electronic to-do list. Every day is Hebrew vocab review.

It’s always interesting at the beginning of a semester to figure out how my workflow will go. I have Hebrew on Mondays and New Testament on Tuesdays. When will I work on my Hebrew exercises? When I will get my reading done? I find that it evolves sort of organically as the semester goes on and then I can be a little more decisive with my to-do list.

Jasons last blog post..Back in the Race

Working my way through Getting Things Done, as my responsibilities keep increasing with hands in a bunch of things. The big picture is to develop a simple yet robust system to capture ideas and projects and tasks so that you can be all there where and when you need to be (like home with your son playing, and not just spacing off!). It can lead to creativity and clarity of mind, and not having to always remember everything at once. Also, to think through short- and long-term projects in terms of actual tasks and steps (not just “sell house” or something general like it).

Used to keep track of everything on paper, and still do take copious hand-written notes all the time almost everywhere. But some online tools have made it easier to keep simple lists ordered and prioritized. Such as Remember the Milk. Lean on Google Apps heavily too. Backpack for some work activities. And Jott for transcribing quotes or amounts of transactions (like fuel) to share with my wife for banking.