I pride myself on being organized. Sure, that term might be a bit broad, and sometimes it is organized chaos, but whether it’s in the physical world – my closet, my jewelry, my class notes – or the digital – my computer’s files, my Gmail, Hypable articles – I firmly believe in “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place.”
Lately, I’ve had a few friends come to me, looking to mimic my insane organization skills. They’ve asked what apps do you use? How do you organize your calendar? Do you know you’re insane? My answers:
- A lot of them. Wunderlist and Evernote Premium being the top two, Gmail’s Task tab, too.
- Meticulously. I use my Mac’s Calendar app, and Google Calendar (and I have a wall calendar), then I have an app on my iPad that combines the two.
- Yeah, I’m not too concerned about it.
The truth is, I just make sure I always have everything written down. I have three sizes of sticky notes on my desk – squares for quick reminders, larger lined squares for short lists, and a large one to make a ‘run-down’ of whatever (groceries, To Do Today, To Do For COMM 424…). The notes app on my iPhone acts as the virtual sticky when I’m thinking about something when I’m out.
Have you ever had a brilliant idea or question or cure to cancer pop into your head right as you’re drifting off? It happens to writers a lot, but then they go to sleep and wake the next more, trying to scratch the itch that the idea left behind. This is why one of the key pieces of advice for writers (novice or expert) is to keep a journal next to your bed and write it down. I do this for everything. If I have a question for a professor, I’ll quickly type it into a note. Or if I realized a great blog post topic, I’ll write it down.
To become organized, the key is stream-of-conscious writing. Don’t overthink it. You have a million tasks buzzing around in your head, so the best way to make sense of them is to sit down and write/type it all out. An example of what a Google Task list would look like:
- Write reflection on Case 1 for COMM 419
- Write and schedule ‘The Mindy Project’ season 3 premiere article
- Blog post: organization
- Email X and Y about Z
- Make sure rooms are scheduled for PRSSA meeting Tuesday
Then, you know to start from the top and just knock ‘em out. You don’t feel like doing Task 1 now? Too bad, probably won’t feel like doing it later, either.