Implementing Organizational Resolutions

January is almost over, which means if you made a New Year’s resolution that necessitates the implementation of a whole new organization regimen, that all needs to happen before month’s end or you will have officially failed at that resolution. As far as organizing your life, you’ve basically got four choices (see below). Don’t be a slacker. Just pick the one that will actually work for you (not the one you wish you were together enough to pull off).

(1) High-tech gadget-y bits:

Laptop
iPhone
PDA
Time Machine

My guess is if you already have one of these or are lusting after one enough to purchase it, you already have a pretty good idea what it can do for you and whether or not you’ll actually take full advantage of it’s life-perfecting applications. If you’re going with the laptop, I’ve heard good things about “Google’s suite of productivity applications,” which a large percentage of Lifehack readers will back me up on. Plus, Google’s free. The iPhone is not. And the time machine isn’t real.

(2) Find a new religion:

Getting Things Done

The be-all, end-all organizational regime/regimen that some people swear by, and other people don’t have that much effing time for. I’m a cheater and skimmed the good bits off regarding dealing with crap the moment it enters my sphere of influence so I never have to think about it again. Also, I agree with the writing everything down so you don’t spend stupid amounts of energy trying to remember details and info.

(3) Mid-range tech:

The PocketMod
Hipster PDA

The PocketMod does require a computer and the Internet, but in its final form, it’s a strictly (you have to watch the instructional video so you do it right) folded up sheet of paper that you can customize, write stuff on, and keep in your pocket for the day. It’s perfect for the light packer. And for anyone who doesn’t need their organizational tool to last more than a day. If you do need to remember any written bit, you’ll invariably end up with a pocket-roughed stack of booty-shaped PocketMods on your desk, waiting for you to sift through looking for that one word/ phrase/ assignment/ phone number.

(4) Low-tech (tubes of ink required):

Notebooks
Moleskines
Day-Timers
Post-its (bordering on time-suckage)
Random scraps of paper (evil time-suckage)

This is my level—I never claimed to be a high-tech girl. Molskinerie.com proves I’m not the only paper-using, low-tech dork out there. It’s fascinating to see how involved some people are with what is basically some bound-up blank paper. I’m not quite that intense with regards to my paper product usage. However, I do use one bound notebook for all calendars, lists, notes, etc. so I never have annoying pieces of detritus to sift through.

Random scraps of paper are a waste of time and are the way an eight-year-old would organize his life. Grow up and at the very least (read: this is the uncool and frugal option) buy a generic notebook at the grocery store for a dollar, use the first two-thirds as a calendar (one page per day) and the last third of the notebook for lists (grocery store, new phone numbers you’ve acquired, To Do, directions to your date’s house, etc.). If you ever find yourself with an errant scrap of paper with important information written on it, write the info in your notebook and ditch the scrap. Keep your notebook with you always (excepting showering or date moments) and I swear you’ll save time, money, and all kinds of mental energy.

Posted by Alexa Harrington

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