If you are like me, you struggle with planning and organizing. I keep searching for the perfect combination of tools to match my scattered brain. While the following combination may not be perfect, I feel it’s going to be the right mix to make 2011 my best year ever.
My Quartet of Tools
1. Notebook (Yes, I prefer Moleskine) – Here, I can write and review lists and notes anytime, anywhere. A notebook works even during an airplane ascent or descent when all the fantastic electronic tools I utilize must be shut down.
2. A pack of Post-It notes – I use these primarily to write the day’s three most important tasks on and then I stick it to the current page of the notebook. A list of 10, 20 or even 30 items can be daunting. Most of us can trudge through a list of three in a day.
3. Things – This is a great little app for my MacBook. This little gem lets me organize small projects and record long-term to-do items. Most of my personal and side projects are managed here. In addition, some of my ColorMetrix projects start here and then make the leap to Basecamp once collaboration is required. Because Things is an app on my computer, I can utilize it without an internet connection, which is another plus when working at 30,000 feet.
4. Basecamp from 37signals – In the last few weeks, I have moved several projects from paper, Google Docs, and Things to Basecamp. I can’t rave enough about how well this tool can organize a project and allow collaboration. I guess the test will be to see if I am still using it 12 months from today. For $25/month, I can manage as many as 25 concurrent projects with many collaborators and lots of space to store project documents. There is a free version for managing a single project at a time and I worked with that several times over the last few years before making the leap to the paid version. I’m glad I took the plunge for the paid subscription. It’s worth it.
That’s what works for me. How about you? What tools get planning and organization done for you?
Jess Vento says
I have a small notebook I use for work that contains my many to do lists. and I also use Sticky Notes. For home, I have a smaller notebook I use as well as post-its. And I use my iPhone for EVERYTHING, reminders, notes, you name it.
Jim Raffel says
Notebooks just rock. I also use my Android phone for just about everything. I guess it comes down to being hard to work a plan if you have planned the work.