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My 5 Best Organizing Tricks

My 5 Best Organizing Tricks
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I’ve been away from Lifehack for a while, first running an unconference, then attending a conference, and I’ll be away a few days more to attend a funeral. Over these past several days, I’ve needed a way to stay organized, a simple, flexible way to get everything that needed doing handled without much effort, and with as much effectiveness as I could muster. This is all very related to David Allen’s Getting Things Done, but just my lightweight spin. Here’s what I did.

  • Carry 3×5 cards and a pen– At all times, I have a stack of 3×5 cards and a pen on my person. I write down thoughts, ideas, follow-up tasks, and contact information from people who don’t have a business card on hand.
  • Transfer this to electronic format quickly– I’ve learned that keeping info on the cards never helps me. Instead, I move all to-do items into Google Calendar, all contacts into Gmail’s contact list, and all ideas into 37Signals’ Backpack. In this way, I can act upon the things written on the cards.
  • Have an idea warehousehere) to store lists and notes about future projects, and also as a checklist of current active projects. By writing down ideas that I have that I can’t execute right away, it keeps my head clear.
  • Do frequent sweeps– Check in with what you’re doing at any given moment, and ask whether it’s applying to your larger goals. I do this often. I say, “What am I doing?” out loud or in my head probably 20 times a day. Now that I’m in the habit of doing it, I find it gives me a way to refocus my efforts, and continue executing on what needs doing.
  • Use Small Boxes I wrote a piece on my Grasshopper Factory site about Small Boxes, a method I’m using to prioritize and execute in my life. The basic premise is that we can THINK on a grand scale, but we need smaller metaphors with which to organize and execute. I like small boxes because it lets me work against small project lists, executing until I’ve cleared the list.

These were how I navigated the last several days, successfully conducted a 2 day unconference (not counting the help of a team of other dedicated people), attended and made good use of a major technology conference, and worked on dozens of projects over the last few days to meet deadlines. You’re welcome to tinker with my list as you wish. Did it make sense? Would you do it differently?

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Chris Brogan keeps a blog at [chrisbrogan.com], and thinks about things at Grasshopper Factory

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Last Updated on July 12, 2021

Lifehack Reviews: 50 Best Life Hacks for Your Life

Lifehack Reviews: 50 Best Life Hacks for Your Life
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Do you want to be as productive as many of us, but missed a lot of actions at lifehack.org during the year? We’ve selected the best 50 life hacks, based on their popularity and contents in different categories. Invest your time – read them. Bookmark this page and mark reading them as one of your new year resolutions.

Communication, Writing, Studying

  1. My Best Presentation Tricks
  2. The Business Card Game
  3. Persuasive Writing for Students, Webmasters, Bloggers, and Everyone Else
  4. 7 tips of handling your Emails without feeling overwhelmed
  5. Writing as a Form of Self Healing
  6. Advice for students: Writing by hand
  7. Yes, But Do People Like You?
  8. Writing – Just do it!
  9. A good place to study
  10. Blog your way through Writer’s Block
  11. 14 Tips for Communicating Ideas

Productivity, Creativity, Motivation

  1. 9 Top Secrets of Naturally Born Organizers
  2. Fight The Flab!
  3. More Fight The Flab!
  4. Limit Creativity, Get Innovation
  5. Precious Moments
  6. 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity in the Office
  7. A Geek’s Best Lifehack
  8. What Kind of Paranoid Are You?
  9. Being A Creative
  10. There’s No Time!
  11. The Mysteries Behind Motivation and How To Manipulate Them
  12. Time Management: Handling Disruptions in Daily Schedules
  13. Productivity Hack: Write Mini Process Flows
  14. Design an Online Workflow

Management, Self-Management, Entrepreneurship

  1. Bare Bones Project Hacks
  2. The 10 Beliefs of Great Managers
  3. The Simplest Path to Success
  4. Letting Things Go
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  7. 5 Important Keys to Bootstrap Your Entrepreneurship
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  10. Meetings, @&!!$*@ Meetings!
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  12. How to Ruin Your Career In Five Easy Steps

Procrastination, Goal Settings, Life

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  2. Pro-Active Steps to Prevent Procrastination
  3. Improve Your Life By Following A Schedule
  4. The Causes of Procrastination And How To Conquer Them
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Are there any lifehacks that you’ve learned over the past year?

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Featured photo credit: Rainier Ridao via unsplash.com

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