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A few tips to stay organized

by JR Farr

Seems like as the days roll on I keep having to remember more things but my memory is shrinking at the same time.  Add on regular life “stuff” and before you know it things are piling up and you’re making a few people upset.  Including yourself.  I’m sure anyone reading this know’s what I am talking about.

I have tried putting together a few systems of my own to help me get more organized but nothing seems to stick.  Everything from using a plain old notepad to complex management softwares.

I recently I decided to purchase The 4 Hour Work Week and subscribe to Timothy Ferriss’ Blog.  Within a few days I was instantly feeling more organized by an article I found on his blog – How To Never Forget Anything blog post.  This blog post gives tons of examples on tools and systems you can use to get more organized, remember things and make better use of your time.  Check out the post when you can.

My New Setup

After reading that blog post here are the tools & systems I am using to help me be more effiecent.  You’re going to love this.

These tools are simple, easy to use and fun to use.

Evernote

Evernote – This tool can acutally be used for everything to keep you organized.  When you visit the Evernote website you’ll have to watch the video to see what I am talking about.  This is probably one of my favorite tools because of everthing it does.

  • Create new notes using desktop, web, and mobile versions of Evernote
  • Snapshot using your camera phone or webcam. We’ll even recognize the text in the image
  • Clip entire webpages, screenshots, and just about anything else you can copy
  • Drag and drop content into the desktop clients for Mac and Windows
  • Email notes directly into your account using your personalized email address
  • Scan receipts, recipes, tags, brochures, and anything else into Evernote
  • Record audio wherever you are and listen to it whenever you want

Not only can I use it on my mac but it also has an iPhone app that syncs up everyhting.

*Note – this app is compatible with a Mac & PC.

Anxiety App

Anxiety App – “Lightweight” to-do management right on your Mac desktop.  Sorry PC user’s this one is only for Macs :(

Anxiety is a super-lightweight To-do list application for Mac OS X Leopard that synchronizes with iCal and Mail. Its aim is to provide a streamlined, easily accessible interface to add and check off your tasks, while remaining poised to melt into the background at a moments notice.

This is something I use on a daily basis as well.  In literally 2 seconds you can put down a quick note.

iCal

iCal – Again sorry PC users but one this time around I have a comparable app for you. “Gcal – Google Calendar” (This is noted in the 4 hour work week post I mentioned above.)

When using both Evernote and Anxiety App your iCal is automatically synced with all over your notes and to-do’s.  On top of that when I sync up my iPhone everything is all up to date.  That way no matter when I am – whether it be at the office or on the go I have everything I need to accomplish at my fingertips.

One thing mentioned in the article that helped me begin to get organized were 4 steps.

  • Make a note, immediately.
  • Use your lists and tools, consistently.
  • Make it quick and painless.
  • Archive and search, don’t file.

Staying consistent is key when trying to adapt new routines in your daily life.  I think that’s what has helped me the most in staying more organized.  If you feel like you’ve given it a decent shot and it’s not working then move on to a new routine until you find one that works.

Obviously, I am no genious at being “organized” I just wanted to share my new tricks I learned from the 4 hour work week and help everyone make the most out of their time.  Everyone’s time is important so invest the time to make it effiecient :)

6 comments on ‘A few tips to stay organized’

Bridgette Depena — 18 October 2010 22:43
May I use your site as a source in my essay? Thank you!
Evernote Tutorial | JR Farr — 03 December 2008 09:56
[...] for visiting!Today I wanted to share a productivity app called Evernote.  I wrote a post about tips to stay organized awhile back that touched on Evernote.  I have been using Evernote on my Mac and iPhone for that [...]
Troy Malone — 04 November 2008 02:10
Thanks JR. We have a Basecamp import if you are interested in at least seeing what all of your data would look like in Pelotonics. The Evernote integration is great and due dates on Tasks are even better :) Talk to you soon...
JR Farr — 31 October 2008 15:32
@Aaron - Yes Macs are just the way to go ;) Haha. Now that you have one you'll have to try these out. @Troy - Thanks for the kind words and again your site was awesome to check out. One system I have been using for several years now is Basecamp. It does the job well but I did notice you have an integration with Evernote as well as time tracking and a few other goodies. I'll have to go through that tour a little more and see what it's all about. Thanks again for following. Take care.
Troy Malone — 31 October 2008 15:19
Thanks for this post. I love to hear what people'e setups are and how they are working. Unfortunately I am not on a Mac so I can't try out Anxiety, but it sounds very cool. Especially with the tie-ins to your calendar. I have a question: What do you do with the items that you may delegate out to other people? Obviously you can use this system for your personal items, but when it comes to working with others, what do you use to manage those commitments? We here at Pelotonics recently did an integration with Evernote. Now you can access your notes from within Pelotonics and assign them out as tasks or send messages for discussion to other people you may be working with. I like how your current apps are tied together like you describe. I would be interested to hear what you think of what we are doing. Take care and keep up the great posts!
Aaron Dommer — 31 October 2008 09:30
great post. very useful. I think your basically saying people need macs. jk, i have found it is hard to get everything to sync thanks for simplifying it.