View Full Version : Best organazational tool or method


randyNH
01-06-13, 08:33 AM
I am looking for your thoughts on the best tool or method to keep your thoughts and tasks organized. I've tried several different programs and methods and have not come up with the perfect system yet.

I currently write down on my iphone any thought or task that pops into my head that i feel needs further consideration. I keep the notes in folders in the checklist program on the iphone. The problem I am having is finding a system to prioritize ideas or tasks from all the combined lists. I put the idea in a list then tend to forget to look back at the list. Any advice would be great!!

mrzyphl
01-06-13, 10:03 AM
Wow, you're way ahead of me! I don't even have a cellphone.
This is what I would do. If I was going to make a note on a task that had to be done I would also write in a block of time to do it then I would set an alarm to remind me. I guess a calendar app would be better for this than a checklist.

damnthedoodle
01-06-13, 12:19 PM
Lists are a necessary evil for me. I make lists pretty much every day. I'm really bad at keeping them organized though, and at reviewing them later, and at completing everything on them, etc etc.

I need to make them to organize my thoughts and to visualize things that need to be accomplished, otherwise my priorities would be wrong 100% of the time (now they're probably off only 50% haha)

Weekly planners don't work too well for me but I am going to try a monthly one this year, kind of like a calendar. It will let me see my work days and big projects in advanced, at least that's the idea. I just have to put it somewhere I will review it every single morning.

Bezron
01-06-13, 01:05 PM
My wife and I are trying out Cozi family planner. It's a smartphone app that allows changes from a web interface as well. I'm actually fairly good about putting things onto my phone calendar when given to me directly, but I suck when my wife tells me things that need to be done. We're hoping that this will help since I am accustomed to having my phone on me at all times, this will be a good tool.

TortoiseShell
01-06-13, 08:40 PM
Good thread--thanks!
Same need over here--though I think I've got a few methods I can share that help somewhat. Like you, I tend to write things down or put them somewhere "safe" then forget to check back and/or forget where they are.

I recently posted something with this in it:
I finally get everyone on track, everyone's all stressed out, at least one person in our household has a meltdown at least one time/day. Then we all settle down, talk, feel better, move on.
for that very reason, though that is an exaggeration/attempt at humor.

Here's what halfways works for me:
1. Daily/Weekly/Monthly filefolders for things I need to do for those specific days/times.
2. Cross checking those by putting a note on a on a daily index card I've laminated (one for each day) to look at the folders.
3. Used to have a daily planner but like damnthedoodle, this year I've opted for a monthly one so I can look ahead better.
4.I have a big binder with everything I use the most (it's where i keep my planner too)...kept in the same spot with addresses, phone numbers and birthdays information--in a certain slot on our desk.
5. I've also ordered my first smartphone and am putting Evernote on it, along with other things. Going to try that Cozi planner to go with Evernote!
6. Saturday I got all gung ho with organizing the first half of our bedroom/master bath/walk-in closet. I've saved up all of these small plastic lunchmeat containers (washed out) and labeled with things like: floss, razors, itch/pain remedies, etc. etc. We had little bits of this and that in so many places it was ridiculous. Now I am ecstatic that some of our life is under control!
Hope that helps.

fracturedstory
01-06-13, 08:49 PM
First thing in the morning make a list of what you want to accomplish that day. If it's more serious than household chores and remembering to buy milk then maybe plan it the night before. I think what is really important is learning how to prioritise. Keep the most important tasks up the top. These are usually things such as paying bills, making an appointment, etc.

I just have one list for daily tasks and another for grocery, in a little app called To Do List. I had a more sophisticated one on my iPad but I hardly use it anymore. Keep it simple and don't fill it up with too much stuff or that will just be overwhelming.

Hope I helped.

Unmanagable
01-06-13, 09:38 PM
I'm a little more low tech. lol

Manually writing out the information sticks in my brain better.

Dry erase boards that are boldly placed in my daily travels help tremendously.

(You can also use a large picture frame with a light shade of paper in it as a dry erase board)

Handwritten notes that remain clearly visible or placed immediately in my pocket.

Monthly calendar.

dvdnvwls
01-07-13, 03:56 AM
People aren't the same. Different jobs, different families, different brains... everything. What works perfectly for one person can be useless for another.

I think some essential and difficult tricks for people with ADHD are:

(I know, I know, these are obvious...)
1. System must stay in constant use - by the person with ADHD, not someone else.

2. The needed reminders, and no others, must get noticed - at the right time and in the right place. (Examples: no good to be already halfway to somewhere and then get reminded of something I need that's at home; no good to get a reminder of my anniversary two months in advance, nor a day late; no good to get a big list of reminders when I only need one of those and it's number 20 on the list.)

3. Noticed reminders must get acted on.


I know this because what I'm doing is not working out, for those reasons. :(

stef
01-07-13, 05:18 AM
I really have to write everything down. Apps just don't work (for me), I have to SEE everything and it sticks in my mind if I write it by hand. . I have a big legal pad at work.

I keep forgetting to look at the little notebook I have for everything not related to work! it's in my purse, I note things when I think of them, but then I forget to take it out and check it on the weekend. This is incredibly annoying.

randyNH
01-07-13, 01:09 PM
Thanks for all the great advice. I have been researching this and found an app that is also an internet site rememberthemilk.com. I have formed a series of lists i.e. Groceries, Home projects, work, goals, computer etc. Under each list I write things that need to get done. I made a habit of writing the ideas/ tasks down the second I think of them, so I dont get distracted by the recuring thought. I can put a priority level for each task/idea. After I prioritized the tasks, I can look at a master list and the higher priority jobs will be at the top.
Like outlook, I can make the task recuring when i want. I can also set reminders where I want.

dvdnvwls
01-07-13, 01:10 PM
I really have to write everything down. Apps just don't work (for me), I have to SEE everything and it sticks in my mind if I write it by hand. . I have a big legal pad at work.

I keep forgetting to look at the little notebook I have for everything not related to work! it's in my purse, I note things when I think of them, but then I forget to take it out and check it on the weekend. This is incredibly annoying.
Maybe having a separate notebook is the bad idea. Since (as you say) it might only get checked on weekends, you don't develop the habit of looking at it.

Or... another possibility is to find a way of giving yourself a reminder to look at the other notebook. You would need a reminder that ONLY pops up on Saturday morning (or Friday night if you prefer) - if there's a reminder lying around that you have to ignore Monday through Thursday, then you will probably also ignore it on Saturday.

stef
01-07-13, 01:19 PM
Maybe having a separate notebook is the bad idea. Since (as you say) it might only get checked on weekends, you don't develop the habit of looking at it.

Or... another possibility is to find a way of giving yourself a reminder to look at the other notebook. You would need a reminder that ONLY pops up on Saturday morning (or Friday night if you prefer) - if there's a reminder lying around that you have to ignore Monday through Thursday, then you will probably also ignore it on Saturday.

the problem is that I DON'T check it on the weekends...so for example I never wrote to my aunt over the holidays.
If I really have to do something for home, during the day at the office I note it in a different color on the legal pad.
I could actually send myself an email or calendar reminder on friday, reminding to check the list on saturday (because, work geek that I am, I usually look at my blackberry on Saturday morning, just in case...)
that of course sounds strange but I'm sure you would understand!

Seaweed603
01-07-13, 01:21 PM
I keep a to-do list in my pocket and check it regularly

lalapin
01-07-13, 01:38 PM
My wife and I are trying out Cozi family planner. It's a smartphone app that allows changes from a web interface as well. I'm actually fairly good about putting things onto my phone calendar when given to me directly, but I suck when my wife tells me things that need to be done. We're hoping that this will help since I am accustomed to having my phone on me at all times, this will be a good tool.

I have Cozi and it didn't work, it just sits there on my iphone... I guess the best thing would be the equivalent of the Outlook calendar or like the one from Blackberry, because the alarms are snoozable, unlike the caledar app or the remiders app from the iphone where it just pops once. The snoozable things work well because if it's for something that needs to be done at home and you're not there, it will just pop again 10 mins later. This is the only alarm system that worked for me when I was unmedicated (I had a blackberry back then) because I forgot so quickly I was surprised everytime the alarms came back after snoozing them lol, helped me get some things done.

With meds I don't need as many lists or organizational tools, it comes more naturally and I only need minimal tools. What helps me the most is a weekly grid type of planner, you can make one on excel and you print a new one for each week with your schedule in it (learned that in therapy). Along that I use simple checklists in my iphone (I find the Cozi one too complicated) like the reminder app that originally came with the phone works well for checklists.

RicardoBogie
09-10-13, 12:17 PM
I mindmap everything.

There are a lot of resources here on the web and in libraries pertaining to mind mapping. Personally, I prefer hand written ones versus software generated maps.

I "map" my time, life and projects of all kinds.
I have one map which I make photocopies of. It is my general purpose map that includes all the "not urgent but necessary" stuff like doing the laundry, picking up groceries and ordering supplements. I write lists right on this one.
Except for this particular general purpose map I never throw out any of my maps. I archive them.
They are like a personal journal in some ways and could be used to write a biography. In addition to their practical benefits I also consider them an art form: they are a lot of fun and pleasant to create and use.
All of my contacts are in my phone.

Before I recognized how much better writing/drawing maps was (for me) than using software, my favorites were Time and Chaos and Above and Beyond.

All of the best,