How to Stay Organized

organize operations manual with bindersI have been on struggle street for years when it comes to organization for myself and my workspace.

I usually run into the same problem most of us half-assed, partially organized people do. I start neat and orderly and slowly degrade into a rat's nest within a few weeks. I eventually get fed up and organize myself again only to repeat history time and time again. I have tried almost every method to organize myself one can think of, including PDA’s, a pocket full of post it’s and dozens of online to do lists and organizers.  All of these attempts usually last about a month before I slowly stop using it and revert back to scraps of paper in my pocket.

I have been trying a new method for several months now and this one seems to be working. It is using a combination of tried and true paper and an integration of technology. I keep a small notebook with me everywhere I go.  For this I use a nifty little notepad ( 4×3 inch) pad from Moleskin(Moleskine Square Notebook Pocket), it’s great.  Whenever I’m out and about and get hit by my next million dollar idea (to date I have had a total of none), I just pull out my nifty notepad with mini pen attached and quickly write down my ideas before the thought of lunch pushes it from my memory forever.  Every few days I will log into my own personal Wiki website and log everything I want to keep on my long running idea list.  I currently use Google sites for this as I am an avid user of Google Apps.  The great thing with using this method is when I finally transfer my thoughts and ideas from paper to web, I can include additional resources to each idea in the form of links and file attachments.  Neat!

A recent addition to organizing myself is Evernote.  This is an all-encompassing archive for everything you ever want to remember, sort of like having a second storage bin for your brain.  I have the Evernote app for my IPhone and use it everyday.  The app allows you record your thoughts and ideas through pictures, text and audio.  I won’t go into all of the features here as there are many but you can read more about Evernote Here.  The great thing about Evernote is that it compliments my current organization method instead of replacing it.  I use Evernote when I see something I want to reference later and take a picture of it or when I’m driving in the car and want to record an idea I have.  It’s also great for taking a picture of written text, like business cards for archiving.

Currently I have reached a semi level of harmony when it comes to organizing myself, but I have only been using it for a few months now so I will keep you updated as things may change.  I would love to hear how you keep yourself organized so post your comments below.

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CEO at 3Bug Media
Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.
12 replies
  1. Tara
    Tara says:

    Organizing was never my thing. Everything from workspace got all mixed up with my personal stuff. Then I started to forget things that are so important. These ideas will help me stay organize.

  2. Curt
    Curt says:

    Staying organized is one way to make sure that all your ideas will be put in action. I am using this type of organizing for my business or my daily activities. I am an organized freak that I want everything completely where I want them to be so I can easily get it when I need to.

  3. Milly
    Milly says:

    I got lots of ideas but sometimes I forget about them. Getting a little notepad plus the application for my phone will really help. I never was able to perfect organizing my stuff as I am always busy.

  4. Helen
    Helen says:

    I am using Evernote too on my Blackberry. This is a great application that you can sync online through their website. I enjoy using it.

  5. Brianna
    Brianna says:

    I will try to do the same thing. I got clutters all over me. I got different notepads everywhere. I guess I need to try to use 1 handy little notepads and will use Evernote too.

  6. Gary Shouldis
    Gary Shouldis says:

    You sound like me Briana! I still struggle between paper and computer for organizing myself. I do find that Evernote really helps me cut down on paper clutter though.

  7. Gary Shouldis
    Gary Shouldis says:

    Right on Curt! If you are not organized it is hard to implement your ideas. Check out the Behance Network for ideas about organization, they have lots of great tips

  8. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    Being in the early stages of our business, I find these tools really helpful. The biggest feat now is staying faithful to the goals we have set out for our budding travel company, InstanTravel. So far we are on the fast track, though, and all in one year!

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