I sometimes get teased at work for my excessive use of Post-Its. I have even been told that based on my actual job I should be more savvy using apps and other electronic means of managing my day. I cannot. I am a failure. I am deep down an old school soul. Post-its remind me of the quick, need-to-do-right now tasks. The notebook I take with me to all my meetings serves as a tracking of history. I can go back in time and remember items from meetings, I can track to-dos from those meetings. Usually ones that are not urgent go in my notebook, and Post-Its track URGENT tasks.
We all have our own ways to keep our life in order. I am a mixture of old and new. Chris and I track our grocery list, restaurant interests, and movies via an app on our iPhones, yet I still have paper notes for long-term, ongoing to-dos and future planning. Which way works? If there was an app out there that did exactly what I wanted, without crashing, and had no syncing issues I would probably divert all efforts digitally. However, that never happens for me.
Just this past Sunday I was on my way to the grocery, and just before I leave we realize my phone will not sync with our Any.do app, so I was not be able to view all the groceries on the list. Instead, Chris sent me an email with our list. If I cannot trust an app 100% I might as well resort to old school methods — pen and paper. Post-Its are my colorful, insistent reminders that something has to be done. If that Post-It is kept in an app on my iPhone I can easily ignore it. I have to remember to open that app to be reminded.
What is the method to your madness? Do you have a process that keeps your organized? Are you all electronic? All paper? Or a little of both?
I crave being organized. Many years ago I even thought I might become a professional organizer. While that never happened it is still a strong theme in my life. It keeps me balanced. When I have way too many things going on in my head (which is often) then sometimes my wires get crossed and the words that come out of my mouth are blended together. Somehow Chris understands me (well for the most part). So, staying organized keeps me and my life in order.
One of the ways I stay organized is with lists. I make them in my personal life and I make them at work. I have become a bit addicted with that sharp line I use when I cross something off the list. Since I like to stay inspired and creative in the process of being organized, the journal, paper, and pen that I use are very important. My pens of choice are Muji (.38) as I like to write with a fine tip pen, but not one where the point dulls after use, such as ones you might use for art. The Muji pens do not dull, so they fit me perfectly.
Journals are another thing all together. I am not one for lined paper, but if I have to used lined paper, it better be college ruled, because I write small. If I got what I wanted it would be graph paper, or paper with tiny dots, not to thin so the ink can be seen through it. It is the little things that make such a difference in the art of staying organized.
So a week or so ago when I came across this Fast Company article: “This Note-Taking System Turns You Into An Efficiency Expert” I was intrigued. See I forgot to mention that while in meetings or around anyone with a notebook or journal, I get curious to see how they organize their life. Do they do everything in their iOS device? Do they have a page for To-Dos, and a page for notes? Do they track by date? Are they using post-its? Why? I am always hoping I can vicariously learn from another’s organization process.
The Fast Company article mentions Bullet Journal, a process the developer spent 10 years putting together. It seems like a handy way to organize life. I am not sure it will work for my personal life, as I do much of that in the Any.do app, but I think it just might fit for organizing my work life. I tried last week, and decided to purchase a fresh Moleskin, graph paper notebook over the weekend. Sort of like turning over a new leaf. See below for a video about the Bullet Journal.