Posted on 10 Comments


I’m making a conscious effort to get more organized, both in writing and my personal and business life (because they go hand in hand).  I cleaned up my Evil Day Job workarea this week, recycled all the old scribbles, and put all my current notes into one folder.  I’m also trying a new filing/organization system that I’ve been reading about at The Simple Dollar called Getting Things Done (the book should arrive today).  I don’t know that I’ll be able to devote a huge amount of time to make this massive switch (hello, it’s Father’s Day weekend and I have not one but two family dinners to prepare food for), but I’m hoping to use baby steps to figure out what works.

Why all this sudden interest in organization?  Because May and June have been freaking insane with blog posts, panels, writing, work, kids schedules, etc.  I missed more than one Coyote Con panel because I simply forgot when they were.  I couldn’t keep up with MayNoWriMo blog posts.  For Carina guest posts, I totally forgot poor Carrie Lofty until she reminded me, and then I had nothing prepared to send to her in exchange.

With Victor on the horizon in Oct., a possible holiday novella, and Maya#2 in the folds, it’s never going to get easier.

It’s the same story at work.  I have the last remnants of a massive multi-year project still lingering that Just. Won’t. End.  Plus a new high-priority project with dozens of to-dos that Must. Get. Done this summer.  Add to that other projects that are supposed to be “fillers”….when I have 5 or more meetings a week plus to-dos coming out of them.  I can’t remember who wants what and then I scribble notes on my stack of scrap paper and later I can’t remember what it’s for or when it’s due.

Don’t even ask about when school is in session and Friday morning Princess says, “Mom, I need my xyz paper signed” and I have no idea where it is and she has to have it TODAY.

My brain is STUFFED every day with all these things I have to do, until I feel like I’m going to have a panic attack because I just can’t remember everything. 

So I’ve started corraling all these little notes and to-dos into one folder (actually, I have one for writing, household, and EDJ) so at least I can find them.  Now I simply have to get used to reviewing them and tackling those to-dos to prioritize and move on.

What’s the best organization tip you’ve implemented at home or work?

10 thoughts on “Organization

  1. Oh oh…I can imagine how that can be hard.
    I’m addicted to calendars and lists. I use google calendar excessively. Got one for BLT, my blog, the university and work. I always try to force myself to add everything there so I don’t lose the big picture.
    And I make a to do list for every day- first thing after coffee. That one is glued to my hand each day and I try to get as much done as I can. But I’m probably not the most organized person in the world.

  2. I got nothin. But I suspect you knew that. *sheepish*

    I’m always mega-impressed by everything you do manage to keep straight that I find nothing wrong with the fact that you occasionally (and I mean RARELY) forget something. Sheesh, woman.

  3. I use Microsoft Outlook as my email device but the best option it has is the calendar. I regularly set up pop-up reminders for my to-do list.

    I edit a major newsletter and I have to plan months in advance, so this helps a lot in keeping track of interview guests or articles.

  4. I’m still trying to figure out my personal best way of organizing things… at the moment, a big help seems to be a daily to-do list. Even if half (or more) of the list just gets re-written daily when I don’t finish it, at least it stays at the front of my mind because I’m writing it down by hand…

  5. I use the google calendar — but because I’m not on the computer all day like I used to be when I worked outside the home — I also have a printed copy I tape to my kitchen cabinet. I make notes on the printed copy, update the google one each night, and reprint the darn thing at least twice a week. I’ve got four kids going ten different directions LOL Thank goodness hubby doesn’t travel like he used to!

    As for kiddos and their homework, school papers needing signing, etc. that’s on said kiddo’s head. The school is huge on the kids taking responsibility for their own things and me letting go of that piece has saved my sanity more than once. I do help them by having a cubby for each child…school stuff goes there and we clean it out each weekend, starting each week fresh.

    But I still suck at time management *g*

  6. Susi, you convinced me to try out Google Calendar! I’ve never really messed with it before, but I do have the Google app on my iPhone, and the whole reason I forgot some stuff in May was because I misplaced my paper planner. Thanks, hon!

    Hugs, Sis, I just hate forgetting stuff, especially when it affects OTHER people.

    Thanks for the input, Maria! I’m not using outlook right now, but I’m hoping google cal when do what I need.

    Nicole, I guess the reason I quit making to-do lists was because they were so freaking long I wanted to cry. At least seeing a slip of paper in my folder isn’t quite as bad as this never ending list (but of course I haven’t written every thing down yet either!).

    Sherri, another vote for Google Cal! Okay, I am definitely going to try it. I think Angela James even uses hers for meal planning and sets it up to e-mail the recipe link to herself.

  7. Oh, now that’s an idea! Never thought to use it for meal planning. Thanks!

  8. I’m a big fan of GTD. If you want to spend way too much time reading some great stuff on GTD, check out the 43 Folders site ( If you have a macintosh, it has lots and lots of great tips on how to use GTD in real life. Even if you don’t use a mac, it still has some very useful stuff, and Merlin has a wonderful sense of humor.

    I use Omnifocus myself (it’s meant to be used for GTD, works great on my mac, iphone and ipad (syncs between all 3), and work bought it for me 🙂 and it works very well. One caveat – GTD is great, but can be hard to stick to. It takes real discipline, esp if you are like me and tend to use your mail as your inbox. Needless to say, since discipline and I don’t understand each other, we argue all the time and I frequently stray. But, when I manage to stick with it, good things happen. YMMV.

  9. I rely on my husband’s Outlook calendar for family events. Everything else..I wing it.

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