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.

Related post:  To-do list for 2013

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


  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. Mike Rohde says:

    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.

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