How I organize my life
Now that I have had a smartphone (iPhone), and sold it to go back to my old iPod Touch ways, I figured a little post on how I keep myself organized may be useful to others, and for me too! I like hearing suggestions on improving my life.
As a quick background I am pretty much a lazy organizer. Sounds oxymoronic but it’s true.
I don’t like very complex systems with dependencies of tasks to track, and if it’s too complicated for me, I tend to stick to it for a week and then give up because I can’t live like that.
BF is the total opposite.
The more complicated and complex it is, the happier he is. He really likes his life strictly organized down to the most minute of tasks.
His brain functions in a rigid 90 degree angles, arranged an inch apart, all in little white, neatly labelled boxes.
My brain doesn’t function in straight lines. I am more carefree with a flexible structure.
LAZY FLEXIBLE ORGANIZER
This system is for you, if you don’t like missing appointments or deadlines, but you don’t want to have to dig down into 3 levels or more of folders just to make a note to yourself about something.
- Equipment: iPod Touch, Pen/Paper
- Apps: AwesomeNotes, Do it Tomorrow, To Do, Notes (standard Apple App)
Things you have to do on a regular basis, or notes to yourself for future dates so you don’t forget them.
This is what my To Do (Life) looks like as of early October:
Anything I need to get done, I make a note of, and I set it to repeat in any way I choose (AwesomeNotes has a real flexibility in terms of that).
I organize my life in separate areas that make sense to me within the two screens I flip to the most in my daily life.
Otherwise, the other folders are just for recording purposes like when the last time I went to the dentist was.
To Do (Life): Housework, Backing up stuff, Reminders for banking, Things I have to do
To Do (Work): Work-related only. Right now it’s only listing out the holidays.
Tasks: This is for blog-related (recurring) things. I don’t want to write “BLOG-RELATED”.
Appointments: Anywhere I have to be, I log the day, time, location, and directions on how to get there.
Think: Anything I don’t want to keep in my Do it Tomorrow notepad, but don’t want to delete forever.
Books: Books I want to read.
Shopping List: Things I am thinking about purchasing, or research on products I may want to buy
Bank/Logins: I can never remember all my logins. For passwords, I put a cryptic code that will trigger the actual password in my head. I NEVER store ANY passwords here.
Work Account: Anything related to work, but not daily tasks. This includes notes on clients/people.
Travel Points: Enough said. I store all those darn numbers here.
I just take a receipt for anything I buy.
If I can’t get a receipt, I head over to Do it Tomorrow and make a quick note to myself.
Before the end of the day is up, I log the amounts I spent from Do it Tomorrow and cross them off the list.
If I just want to write it down but deal with it later, I use Do it Tomorrow. If I don’t have the iPod Touch on me, I grab any old scrap of paper and write down things on it until I can get it entered into my iPod Touch.
- Great for when you’re on-the-go and don’t have time
- Opens much quicker than AwesomeNotes
- Acts like a digital notepad where I brain dump everything
- Collects all the thoughts onto one easy screen/page
- Is only for short-term notes
At the end of the day, I sift through all the notes, then cross them off, or properly log them into their respective folders with deadlines and organization.
It mostly serves to help me filter everything I think about before committing to it by entering it into AwesomeNotes as something long-term to do/think about.
For longer notes, I use the Apple app Notes.
It’s when you need a longer page than just 3 lines to record an idea in detail, but you don’t necessarily know where or want to keep it in AwesomeNotes.
LONG LISTS AND PROJECTS
For anything that requires a bit more organization and complexity, I turn to the To Do app.
At the moment, I only use it to list out my Packing Lists of what I need to pack and carry when I travel for 2 weeks, a month or 3 months and longer.
I have categories for each travel category, and then within each, tasks and categories for each bag and compartment. I don’t use AwesomeNotes for this because it’s too simple and annoying to organize without multi-level folders within folders.
I don’t actually check anything off or remove things from the list once I’ve packed them, I use it as a way to review and make sure I’ve packed everything I said I would pack.
I also make notes about hotel and flight confirmations on here, which is the old school way to using TripIt (which I prefer, but requires a wifi connection).
If I had to manage a personal project, I’d use this To Do app.
Otherwise, for work projects, I always use MS Project or Excel.
That’s a quick overview of how I organize my life.