June 14, 2007

Paper or Plastic?

Everyone needs systems to stay organized. One of the things that differentiates organized people from the rest is that they have a system for collecting appointments, tasks and ideas. Many people are overwhelmed by all the choices of systems: paper or electronic, pocket-size or large-format, daily or weekly, etc. I have found that people seem to think that the more complicated a system is, the better it will work. While I have found the opposite to be true, the trick is just to make a choice and get going with it.

The easiest, cheapest, most portable tool is a pad of paper or notebook, where you can record phone messages, things you need to do, places you need to go, etc. Choose something that’s small enough that you can carry around with you, but not so small that you will misplace it easily. If you are looking for something more elaborate, there are numerous paper-based systems that you can buy, which vary in price and complexity.

If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, you can create a simple list in your word-processing program. When you’ve accomplished tasks, you can delete or strike through them. If you have MS Outlook, utilize the task list, which you can view as part of your daily calendar and synch to a hand-held device. You can create separate sections for phone calls, errands and other tasks.

Whether you collect ideas/information on a pad of paper or an electronic device, you have to schedule them to make them happen. Make appointments with yourself, on your calendar, to complete the tasks you have listed. Don’t wait to find the perfect system, just start with something to keep the details of your life from overwhelming you.

Organized by Marcie: Getting you organized so you have time to do what you love to do!

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