» Confession Time

They say the first step towards change is admitting you have a problem so here goes…

I am not the most organized person. My pride doesn’t want to admit that I suffer from CRS (Can’t remember stuff) but I need help. I’m sure I could benefit from keeping some kind of schedule and a to-do list but that makes me feel as though I must become dependent on something- a date book, computer application… Can’t I just have a personal assistant to tell me what I should be doing and what I need to buy at the store so I don’t forget the bug lights again?

I think it would really help me if you would share your methods for keeping organized – especially if you lean more towards being right-brained like me. Please tell me about your system, and how it works for you.

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Posted on June 16th, 2011 by Stephanie
Filed in: Editorial, Give us Your Feedback
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Flylady.net – I have no idea what I did before her 28 Fling Boogie, decluttering, and zone cleaning.

A pad of paper or notebook – but then it grows to slips of paper, sticky notes, and additional pads of paper. There has to be a better way but I haven’t found it. How do you split out “Buy dog food”; “See Taj Mahal” “Reorganize iTunes”; “Eat better” and “Where would you like to be in five years.

I file everything under ‘L’ or ‘M’

‘L’ for lost
‘M’ for missing

So now I if I can’t find something at least I know it’s either lost or missing.

By catherine on June 16th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Maybe something highly visual and flexible would work for you e.g. a wall calendar with colored sticky notes recording what needs doing when — you can move the post-its notes around if you change your mind about when. You could use e.g. bright pink for things you mustn’t forget to do like a doctor’s appointment. If you’re highly visual, you might tend to remember things by color more than words.

If you wanted something you can take with you, you could use the same system with mini sticky notes and a monthly planning calendar.

@Bruce: a solution proposed by Dave Allen of Getting Things Done fame, is to organize these by “context” — in other words, some of these are “Someday” as in “someday I’ll get around to doing this” (visit Taj Mahal, reorganize iTunes); one is “shopping” (dog food); and one (“eat better”) is in need of clarification as to what it means before you can decide if it’s shopping (buy vegetables) or computer (search to find out what ‘eating right’ involves) or a straightforward task (plan weekly meals). So his key is different lists, because the items on them are different activities to be done in different time frames. It’s the organizing principle of like with like applied to to-do lists.

By TubbyMike on June 16th, 2011 at 8:06 pm


You might want to look at the Action Method by Behance http://www.actionmethod.com/ . It’s slanted towards creative people and has support for both online and good old fashioned paper. This will identify and help you record TTD (Things To Do) that might arise from your creative work. As for scheduling appointments, I use both a paper diary and a smart phone app. As much as I love my diary, I’m so hopeless that I have to have something to squeak at me n minutes before an appointment in order that I can get my sorry butt to the appointment in time.

This mish-mash of phone + paper seems to work for me and if it helps you, all the better. Check out the Behance stuff. As well as being practical, it’s really nicely designed.

Hope this helps.

It is OK not to say yes to everything.
Any task that keeps appearing on to-do lists is a habit not a task, and you can do habits on auto-pilot in same way, same place, same time, every day without angst. You don’t have a problem until you see something as a problem. Finish what you start before starting something new. Have fun.

I use a variant of this;


(Not in a Moleskine, I hate their paper!)

Essentially, I just want task and project management, so it works for me. “Hard” calendar stuff (birthdays, meetings &c) go in the calendar on my smartphone, and/or my Filofax.


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