Thursday, January 03, 2008


Organize your life... but what about mine??

by Larry Geller

I stopped making New Years resolutions some time ago.

The resolution I inevitably chose was always the thing I most needed to do, and of course, the most difficult challenge I had. Too often, the resolution was in vain. Changing myself has always been difficult, I'm both somewhat stubborn and somewhat lazy. Sure, I "could" do this, and I "should" do that, but...

If I were making a resolution this year, it would be to "get organized," because, naturally, I find that I really need to do that right now. All the available technology, programs, and guidebooks (see below) have not yet done the trick for me. Sounds like buying books, scanners and new computers isn't the magic I need (sigh).

At the same time, I'm amazed at the number of new web services designed to help me get organized (at someone else's profit, of course).

After fixing an incompatibility with my T-Mobile cellphone service, Jott now works for me. I can use my phone to remind myself of what I need to do. Jott also links with other strangely named and free services that will help me keep track of my expenses, serve as my personal assistant, organize my calendar, and do everything except eliminate the pile of stuff on my desk.

Thanks to Neat New Stuff I Found This Week by Marylaine Block, an email list I've subscribed to for years, I can let you know about 100+ Ways to Organize Your Life. Looks useful. Where to begin?

My favorite potential way to get organized is Getting Things Done, a book by David Allen that has achieved cult status on the Web. There are programs that implement the concept, and websites devoted to learning the discipline. It's abbreviated GTD on the web, and Google will provide an overwhelming number of links to peruse (how to organize all of that??).

There's 43 folders, with a current headline "Sick of resolutions?" that I can identify with. The "43" refers to the folder system recommended for GTD, 31 days and 12 months. It works, try it, it's really easy. I'm not going to give you the exact link because reading the discussion is important, so I'll leave you to flounder around this site and use Google as a means of discovery.

I don't know if David Allen contributes to his own website any more, but it's here. A better starting place is actually the Wikipedia article here. There's an unfortunately mushrooming list of software that supports GTD or claims to here.

And, of course, the book, a good place to start, though the web has carried the discussion much farther and made it more accessible:

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen

Read more about this title...

Stress-free is what I need and deserve. But how to cope with all this stuff that's supposed to help me get organized??

Anyway, good luck to you. I'll see what I can do, but no resolutions.

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