Getting sh-t done the analog way

That’s the name of a system I use to organize my life.

Back in the days when I was single and almost constantly in front of the computer, it seems so effortless to use and rely on my MS Outlook and my other computer- and online-based scheduling applications to get me organized. You would think that since I don’t hold a full time job, I have all the time in the world to be in front of my laptop blogging and doing all those IT-savvy stuff. No such luck. I gave up on organizing my life through a computer. Now, it’s a chore to even switch on the computer, while making sure my 7-year-old son is doing his homework, me finishing with the laundry, cooking, stopping my toddler from climbing up the furnitures, etc.

I had to ask myself, though — since my life is more chaotic than ever, shouldn’t organizing and scheduling be more important now? With that, I tried the old-fashioned way of getting myself a filofax/organizer and stuffing all my to-dos and schedules and priorities and my contacts and my business ideas and sketches into it, the way I always did when I was in college. Didn’t work. Just more mess for me to sort away.

So what a relief it was when I read a post from one of my favourite blogs, Success from The Nest, called How I Gained an Hour a Day by Ditching My Productivity Tools. I started following the tips given in the link, and my notebook/organizer now looks something like Bill Westerman’s. I don’t use Post-Its and I don’t keep my receipts (except if it’s tax-deductible), instead I record them almost immediately in my notebook, which is then stuffed into my handy handbag. I love looking at my sketches and ideas for the next big niche site even if I don’t get around to building it, but it feels good to record them and access them whenever and wherever I like. I do use something electronic for one part of my daily scheduling, and that is using my mobile phone (specifically a Nokia N95) for reminders and snapping pictures of important paper-based notices that I don’t have time to note into my organizer.

Here are a few more references if you’re interested:

Posted on 1 March, 2008 under Life in reality Web traversing and tagged with , , ,

2 responses to “Getting sh-t done the analog way”

  1. Yeah I’ve tried all the electronic reminders and schedule organizers too but never have luck with any of them. I think it’s because the reminder will pop up and I’m busy doing something so I just hit dismiss – knowing it will return again soon. Paper and a pen/pencil works best for me. I just make a list and go through it making sure it’s all done before I quit working for the day.

  2. Hey, thanks for the mention! I’m always happy when people find my planner hack idea, especially later in the year, when Moleskine planners are hard to find.