I am an organization freak; ok that is not exactly true. I am addicted to learning about organizing and organizational tools.
Am I organized? Not exactly! Sitting here in my home office, I am surrounded by piles of papers and random ‘things’ that I have no clue what to do with nor the heart to discard. I am also surrounded by notebooks, binders, Samsung Tablet and other organizational minded items.The truth is, I have so far to go and I don’t have a lot of time to get there.
Are you organized? If so, I admire you. How do you do it? No really, please tell me in the comments below.
What does it mean to be organized? This seems to be the real question of the day. Is it possible that I confuse utilization of good organizational tools with actually being organized?
I decided to do what I love and research the issue further, not that I have a lot of time. My time is being consumed more and more each day and while it is all really wonderful, it is crucial that I get my hands wrapped around the situation. Not only do I want to have a productive day but I also do not want to stress about it. Over and above stressing, I want to feel good about how I used my day. Am I the only one that worries about these things?
GTD = Get Things Done
I have been hearing about the GTD system for a long time but always confused it with the saying “GSD.” Due to this confusion I never really paid much attention to the Get Things Done method.
In my organizational efforts I have wound up using quite a few different tools and that has started to make me a bit nutty. I decided to take a breathe and that is when I read two books on GTD.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by the father of GTD David Allen.
This book by David Allen outlines his concept on getting organized and in concept it is wonderful. However, his system includes paper and physical folders. Considering how often I lose my papers and how I often switch between my ‘official’ office and my home office that does not make sense for me.
I remembered seeing some chatter online about the GTD System and Evernote so I went on the prowl for another book. I found the one listed below and it was a delight to read and it put all of the pieces together for me.
Putting it to Action
The biggest key to this GTD Evernote system is figuring out how to arrange your tags in Evernote. Frankly, before this system I had been using Evernote for years but I had never really thought thru the tagging system. I am finding it extremely helpful.
In the image below you will see all of my tags in Evernote. The first thing that I realized when setting up my tagging system is that my Evernote is a mess. I have been using to for years and I heavily relied upon the search function of Evernote to find anything. This search function is wonderful and helped me generally be organized but not functional.
Not a perfect system
Once I started setting all of my tags up it became easy to identify what goes where but I did run into a problem. I lost track of what folder my notes are in. In Evernote the world is made of folders and notes. As far as I know there is no limit as to how many of either that you can have. On the surface no limit sounds wonderful but considering the mess that I have created over the past two years, it is currently a challenge.
Solutions? My biggest solution at the moment is just to ignore the problem. This probably sounds like a terrible solution but I don’t have time to solve all of my world problems in one day. Remember the goal for me is to be more productive and feel good about it all at the end of the day. This is why I have done what seems like worse case scenario and created another folder. This folder is called Actions and at this time all of my new tasks are being put in that folder.
How am I using it?
The main way that I am using this system is to track my blogging process and more over, create a blogging system for myself. I have the following sets of tags:
.ITB (main tag)
- .Blog Titles
- .ITB Random Ideas
- Blog needs to be written
- Blog Post Needs Touching Up
- Blog Post Old
- Blog Post Ready for review
- Loaded on WP
- Stuff I need to get done today
Frankly, I was managing things just fine without this system until I started my Podcast. Once I started the podcast I was having a difficult time distinguishing between a podcast and a blog post. Once I read the books I realized that my system could be even better so now I am going to town, so to speak.[notification type=”alert”]Important Note: I write almost all of my blog post in Evernote before they ever the see the glory of WordPress. I do this for several important reasons.[/notification]
The first reason that I do this is that I don’t want WordPress to hiccup and for me to lose my content. You may ask, has this ever happened? Well not to me but it has to others that I know and that makes me paranoid.
The second reason that I write all of my blog posts in Evernote first is that it does not feel as final. For some reason when I write in WordPress I tend to feel a lot of pressure. When I write in Evernote I feel more free and therefore more creative.
For now this is how I am getting things done. In the end it does not matter how I store things digitally; it just matters that I get things done. How do you get things done? Are there any special tools or processes that you use? I really want to hear how you do it and what you do, so please share any tips, tactics or ideas below.