How Do You Stay Organized?

42 replies
I'm having trouble with this one, and I'm sure I'm not the only one >

I'm sure it will save many hours of frustration and colorful vocabulary if I knew how to stay organized. I had trouble with that in high school, I still have trouble with it now. So!

If you're consistently making money, I'm sure you've done so in at least a somewhat organized fashion. Even if you're not making money, you have an advantage >

What's your best tip for getting/staying organized?
#organized #stay
  • Profile picture of the author petra64
    Using dropbox: i'm working on different computers, with dropbox I've all the necessary files in hand reach. These files includes my Onenote notebooks, were I write down all the things I want to remember and all web things I want to use.

    My other stuff is offline: calendar, notebook and plannerpad (I like to write things down).
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  • Profile picture of the author Mili_D
    Well I kind of write out a plane in advance for every week, putting down different task's and even different time when I should take breaks this help my stay focus. I like every day is different. I hate repeating the same thing over again.
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  • Profile picture of the author mktgpro21202
    @Money - I had the same problem in school. Could never stay organized. How did I solve the problem?? I didn't! My office looks like a tornado came through it and it never changes. When it comes to very important things, I have a place for them, but for the most part, I just stay unorganized and deal with it.

    I found that I spent so much time trying to get organized that I wasn't concentrating on actually making money. So I gave up and I do just fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author zoobie
    draw a mind map and analysis what needed to be done in a day in order to get results for that
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  • Profile picture of the author AwesomePossum
    Here's what I do...it might now work for everyone but give it a shot.

    Basically what I do is I build an overall view of my life....kind of like a mind map
    Then I dive in to each part and do the same thing. I start big and work into the details...if you do the opposite, you'll never know why your doing the things you do!! That's very bad trust me....that's why a lot of procrastination and confusion kick in. It does no good paying details in the beginning, no matter how important they are. The key is to build structure...lay the foundations from the bottom up not from the top down. The wall of china wasn't built in a day but it was structured flawlessly......so at this point I map out all of my time. I give certain areas a certain amount of time and ONLY focus on the task at hand. Make sure when you do this, you account for the things most important to you in your life or you'll end up thinking about everything at one time...no good. Then for each area of focus, just build a checklist from the bottom up and I don't take shortcuts!(Accept I ditched out in studying Accelerated Learning : /...I'll catch up eventually lol) And Bingo, organized and ready to rock. All you need do at that point is get to work and occassionaly look at the big picture and how things change. Just adjust your "map" to the way things are developing in life and get back to work.

    So basically, Look at the overall picture, structure it properly and then build off of it(details), get to work....then repeat. It may some time but it's actually a lot of fun and you'll be organized for life.

    Hope this helped,

    Aaryn
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  • Profile picture of the author simonjwarner
    Mines really simple, When I have something to do, I write it on my whiteboard that is above my computer.
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  • Profile picture of the author f4ll3rs
    Always have a notebook with you. If you don't want to mess things up, write them down. Then just arrange them based on priorities and keep that piece of paper with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevefall
    Originally Posted by moneysoapbox View Post

    I'm having trouble with this one, and I'm sure I'm not the only one >

    I'm sure it will save many hours of frustration and colorful vocabulary if I knew how to stay organized. I had trouble with that in high school, I still have trouble with it now. So!

    If you're consistently making money, I'm sure you've done so in at least a somewhat organized fashion. Even if you're not making money, you have an advantage >

    What's your best tip for getting/staying organized?
    Get a PA. At first I didn't know what she was going to do but quickly realized the value in having an assistant. If she/he is good (mine is great!) they will become an extension of you, not a duplicate but an extension.
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  • Profile picture of the author yst
    1) Put things in the same place everything ( trust me it saves time in the long run)
    2) Have as few "things" as possible.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrmoonlight
      Originally Posted by yst View Post

      1) Put things in the same place everything ( trust me it saves time in the long run)
      2) Have as few "things" as possible.
      I absolutely agree with this tip. Get rid of the clutter and its a lot easier to keep the rest organized. This includes not just things but "busy work" type tasks.
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  • Profile picture of the author veeronica
    Manage yr time well by pre planning, set yr self daily goals which are achievable and stick to them.
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    • Profile picture of the author winsonong
      Originally Posted by veeronica View Post

      Manage yr time well by pre planning, set yr self daily goals which are achievable and stick to them.
      time management and pre planning skills play an important role on how to stay organized.

      last time my ex-manager also said: if you don't know how to plan then you plan to fail

      Planning is important to let us stay organized and improve our productive
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  • Profile picture of the author USGTMauthor
    I struggles a lot with this, which is what got me into time management, I use simple systems to stay organized and on track. Many people tinker with their TM systems and it becomes a form of procrastination. My stuff is free and I am always happy to answer questions. Two rules to start with are write in one place, like a notebook and create a simple a-z filing system, either in a cabinet or computer. Hunting around for stuff is one of the biggest time wasters and distractions. Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author sheilab4biz
    My strategy is pretty simple:

    - I set up weekly and daily to-do lists in Microsoft Office One-Note
    - I am able to sync OneNote with my mobile app on my Smartphone. From there I can set reminders for meetings and important events.
    - I also use OneNote to jot down quick notes throughout the day that can easily be added to the next day's to-do list.
    - A whiteboard is used to list my daily list for which I can refer to throughout the day. At the end of each day, I review my list and move the things undone to the next day or scratch off completed items. At the end of the week I am able to review and decide what needs to be done the following week as well as monitor my productivity.

    Organization is definitely a challenge for me but once I got in the habit of incorporating these three tools each day, things became much simpler. I hope this helps

    Sheila
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  • Profile picture of the author tjmiller
    I struggle with this as well. When I think of something I need to do, or want to check out, I write it on the nearest piece of paper to me.

    So I end up with bunches of little lists and notes everywhere!

    I know that I need to get that under control.. BUT the mindmap thing? I just don't get most of them... they don't follow my logical thought processes.

    Teresa
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  • Profile picture of the author IM Boxer
    I'm working over 12h a day, so there is no time to something like that. I owned a lot of web sites and everything witch is connected with sites (mailing lists...).

    Only thing that's helps me, is my LCD army, I have 6 monitors, they are huge and nasty
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  • Profile picture of the author HayleyWriter
    This is a hard one. I have a general to do list with goals I set for each month, then break those down into weekly then daily goals. Each morning, I plan the day, knowing what else I have to do besides work. I allocate some time for just free time, otherwise I'll run out of time. If you try to plan every minute, it just doesn't work. If you can't meet a deadline, make sure you stay in constant communication with your customer, so they know when you will produce the work. Most people will be flexible when needed, if they know why you need extra time. Also, don't try to do too much in one day - we all only have 24 hours and you have to sleep some of that!
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  • Profile picture of the author zackick
    i got no idea with organizad, as i only do what it take like the regular thing i do it everyday only.
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  • Profile picture of the author acms
    I like the old fashioned Diary. I diarise on a detailed level for one to two weeks and on a high level for one month onwards.
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  • Profile picture of the author cynch
    lolzz i have the same problem, i have a disorganized room and disorganized with my online accounts ........ will try some of the suggestions here
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  • Profile picture of the author George Katsoudas
    I write down next day's "to do" tasks in my organizer.

    I have different columns. Work, daily chores, nutrition, mind management (things that keep me productive).
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    • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
      I have a friend who considers herself very organized and writes paper notes to herself all the time. "Wait! Let me write that down.."

      It goes without saying that those notes sometimes get totally lost, get misplaced or get slipped into a "need to check someday" drawer. Her computer screen often looks like a flower what with all the postit notes.

      Not all is well though. The problem seems to be that when she writes something down she also frees her mind from it. She replaces the need to remember the original topic with the need to remember to check the note at a later point. It´s like a Memento thing which doesn´t work. He carried all his memory tags within reach, tatooed to his skin. Her notes are all over the place. I have seen her write memory notes about other notes. No joke.

      Each to their own ways of course but all this just reinforces my own aversion against writing notes and postits

      Anyway, I have a pretty scrambled workspace with loads of mags, research stuff, bills, coffee cups and computer hardware in a cozy and utterly hazardous mix. Computer is the same, but I do "organize" each idea or project with their own folder. Everything pertaining to that project goes in there.

      I do the same for all my domains. Each one has a folder and everything, including keyword lists, reserach, links, articles, images, the works.. go in there and in suitable subfolders.

      On my desktop I have a bunch of bookmarks but also 4 folder shotrcuts at a side.
      One goes to projects (products, client stuff, in general everything that is not domains/IM related)
      nr 2 is domains (contains a folder for each domain with above stuff)
      the third is prospects (idea mashup lab, notes, ongoing research, domain lists, anything that is actively being considered to move up the ladder). the last one is "stuff" (includes purchased IM products, ebooks, software, tools, templates etc etc)

      I was online on day 1 so the "stuff" that isnt being used is on separate harddrives and has been accumulated from uncountable computers through the years - lots of undeveloped ideas and lots of stock photos since that's what I used to do. those harddrives are reassuringly unorganized though so whenever I feel the need to waste hours I dip in there in search of something :confused:

      The good part about that is everytime I emerge, flustered and angry, I swear to become more organized, and that often does lead to some new way to get things straight

      On content project / product organisation I always try to write all the headlines, or chapter titles first then flesh out from there.

      I´m working on a product about these topics so you might be seeing some of that soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author GSX Enterprises
    I have an excel spreadsheet for each project in which I am constantly updating. In this sheet I include what I've recently done, track progress, set goals, to-do list and so on. This helps me keep up with many different projects at once and monitor them accordingly.

    Good Luck!

    -Safe Travels
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  • Profile picture of the author leri
    Time management will help you.
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  • Profile picture of the author VeitSchenk
    like with all "naughty habits" -- if you're at risk of procrastinating, it does not matter what time-management system you use, you'll always fall back into chaos. So, aim to move from "at risk" to "no longer at risk", then worry about what system to use.
    have a look at the 2nd video on the page in my signature (the last link with 'frank' at the end) and see if that resonates with you...

    enjoy

    Veit
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  • Profile picture of the author Hulbert
    Originally Posted by moneysoapbox View Post

    I'm having trouble with this one, and I'm sure I'm not the only one >

    I'm sure it will save many hours of frustration and colorful vocabulary if I knew how to stay organized. I had trouble with that in high school, I still have trouble with it now. So!

    If you're consistently making money, I'm sure you've done so in at least a somewhat organized fashion. Even if you're not making money, you have an advantage >

    What's your best tip for getting/staying organized?
    I think you have to stay organized both externally and internally. By externally, you have clear all the clutter from your room and desk space so you can think of nothing but the task that you're working on. By internally, this means clearing your thoughts of useless mind chatter that doesn't help to make you productive. A notebook works wonders for this.
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  • Profile picture of the author zackick
    IS THAT great to do all by auto ahhh
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex King
    The more i try the less organized i am. Stop thinking about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author tkubik
    By having a file right nextto my desk with a bunch of folders
    in it also by keeping my desk very clear of clutter ..

    Its hard to work in a mess with drinks and paper laying around your desk.
    I Also have a notepad with to do list of task on what i do for the day
    so i can stay focused and not lose focus.
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  • Profile picture of the author fudomyo
    I second the use of Onenote. I use it for almost everything now.
    Also, a key thing for me is to make a list everynight of what I need to do thenext day. Then I go about doing them.

    Thomas Jefferson would create massive lists that he would work on each day.

    Jerry
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    • Profile picture of the author Honest Abe
      A bunch of great programs were mentioned. One I like for day to day stuff that is super light weight is doomi. doominow . com

      Just a simple to do list. You can set it to remind you to do something in X amount of hours. That way when your working on stuff and forget to do something it pops up and tells you to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author HugoG
    Not that I am the most organized human being in the world But I keep myself organized by having an agenda where I make my daily to-do list and scratch the ones that I've already done.

    The scratching part is the best part because you feel like you were productive that day and motivates you to keep doing this every day.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Armstrong
    Buy a great big white-board.

    Write your long term goal in big writing at the top.
    If you have monthly targets or anything then list them on the side.

    Use the rest of the space to write down your daily activites. Each night I write down what I need to do the next day/night.

    I used to try and do this stuff using a word document but it just doesn't have the same impact.
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  • Profile picture of the author fusiongenesis
    Keep things to a minimum. Sure you may need some of your things in someday but keeping them always will somehow add up to the clutter of your desk.
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  • Profile picture of the author Insane1
    I too found myself asking that very question... At the time, I had plenty of money and yet, my gas was getting turned off!!! I often wondered how people did it; I knew many people who had a heck of a lot more stuff going on in their lives and somehow they didn't seem nearly as scattered as I was... friends with multiple homes, multiple businesses, friends with lots of "stuff".

    Well, the answer I received was what I implemented and it worked perfectly.... A full time personal assistant! Once I took the plunge, my life never moved smoother. My assistant was with me for several years and she was absolutely wonderful.

    Of course life has a funny way of messing with you... Through the economic downturn, I found that I had to let my most trusted friend go. It was heartbreaking not to mention stressful and somewhat overwhelming. She did her best to prepare me with how she tracked and organized everything... and it went well for a short time. But as time went on, I found myself getting buried, deeper and deeper. And to make matters worse, I really needed to be focused on my business, not stressing because I didn't book a flight and a hotel in time let alone a car - pack AND prepare for the meeting!!!! Between forgetting to pick up dry-cleaning and missing events, I was on my way to a breakdown!

    Well... all that changed in a day when, solely by chance, I picked up a book by David Allen. "Getting Things Done". That book changed my life tremendously. To this very moment, I can't imagine WHY this isn't taught in high schools all around the country -
    All I can say is: Get the book and read the book; I think you will have found your answer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Flowithit
    Originally Posted by moneysoapbox View Post

    I'm having trouble with this one, and I'm sure I'm not the only one >

    I'm sure it will save many hours of frustration and colorful vocabulary if I knew how to stay organized. I had trouble with that in high school, I still have trouble with it now. So!

    If you're consistently making money, I'm sure you've done so in at least a somewhat organized fashion. Even if you're not making money, you have an advantage >

    What's your best tip for getting/staying organized?
    Everything I own has a designated place. There for it stays in order. I also have a outline of a traditional day on Word that I follow along with a notepad that I write down things to take care of in the week. I use my phone calander to give me reminders for appointments that are more than a week from now. Once you get into your own routine you will be fine
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  • Profile picture of the author TimoK
    - Keeping my desk clean
    - Writing down my to-do list the night before
    - Put everything back to it's designated place after using them
    - Write down notes as you go (for example as you set up your blog), so you have all the steps listed ready whenever you have to do it again
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    • Profile picture of the author WikiWarrior
      I use a few tools to help me stay organised:

      Notebook (paper) - write down things that come up during the day, little reminders to self, notes of telephone calls and people to ring etc. I find this really handy as it doubles as a "To-Do" list for the next day. Once everything is crossed off on a page I can tear it out and throw it which always feels good!

      Salesforce - online software to enter prospective client details and set reminders to call back, meetings etc.

      Lifetick - for goal-setting and future planning. Helps with everything from short-term to medium to long-term planning.

      Google Docs - for fleshing out ideas, creating content, articles, anything creative.

      Mindmeister - mindmapping tool I use as a "brain dump" for new ideas/projects - once I have the ideas I just go back over time and keep adding to them until I have something actionable

      Teamworkpm - project management software for keeping a JV partner up to date with what work I've done, what he's done, and setting out a framework and action items for its development.

      Excel - I create a folder for each client and each one get a unique Excel spreadsheet for any details I must remember.

      I also agree with what Hulbert said above, being organised externally can really help. Keeping a fairly uncluttered desk and having a solid daily routine feels good mentally.
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  • Profile picture of the author rbates
    Yeah, this is tough for a lot of people - myself included. Most of the suggestions
    are pretty good, but you still have to do them. My best suggestion is to make a list
    each morning (or the night before) of the things you need to get done for that day.

    This at least gives you "SOME" focus. Just don't lose your list like I do (not really).
    Just check off what you get done. Also, pay attention to the time you spend on your projects. Ask for help if you find yourself not being as efficient as you think you could be.
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  • Profile picture of the author Markus Mar
    Get a blank paper, write the outline with steps,
    then follow your plan.

    Basically, that's what I do.

    Then you cross out each list when you finish them
    as you go along.
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    "Meeting beautiful women is easy IF you know the right way to do it!"

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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Kerr
    I created my own excel spreadsheet calendar. 1 week is shown. There is a master todo list for the week, and a master "Chore sheet" which is like a second tier todo-list that doesnt have to be done immediately at all, and the things on that list are more of a "if I get to them, it would be nice"

    7 days are shown, divided into twoboxes per day. One is a Day specific todo list, and the other box is schedule appointments.

    With this system, I can keep all my thoughts on paper, prioritize and stay organized.
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