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How To: Organize Your Life (on a pc)

Posted 08-19-12 at 08:57 PM by madadder
Updated 08-19-12 at 09:26 PM by madadder
Yesterday I took several hours to organize my life and gear my computer for educational success. I thought I might share with you what I found.

  1. Backup your computer and reformat it. Is it cluttered, slow, and just unorganized? Start over by reformatting. Start by googling your PC's manufacturer and model number along with how to reformat your operating system. For me it was very easy and only took a few clicks.
  2. Clean your desk area. Make it clean and organized.
  3. After you're reformatted, uninstall those unnecessary programs your computer comes with.
  4. Download the following programs that you see fit:
    1. Reinstall your necessary drivers
    2. Evernote - Organizational program
    3. Google Drive - Store your files on a cloud
    4. Antivirus (mine comes with norton)
    5. Supermemo - Spaced repetition memorization program
    6. mnemosyne - Spaced repetition memorization program
    7. Google Talk
    8. google voice and video
    9. Mozilla Firefox
      1. Delicious plugin (bookmarks manager)
      2. Evernote Web Clipper
      3. Zotero
      4. Adblock Plus (never see ads again!)
      5. Download Status Bar (nice feature)
    10. Mozilla Thunderbird (desktop email)
      1. Plugin - Lightning 1.6
      2. Provider for google calender
    11. Flicr Uploadr
    12. Spotify
    13. Google Earth
    14. PDF Maker
    15. geogebra (for math students)
    16. xmind (for mind mappers)
    17. vlc media player
    18. Winrar (file un/zipper)
    19. Gimp (photoshop alternative)
    20. Microsoft's US Money Delux
    21. Open Office (better alternative to Microsoft Word)
    22. Viper ( - check your papers for plagiarism
    23. Keynote - Essay Outlining program
      1. Keynote (updated version, i haven't tried it)
  5. Get a scanner (i'll explain below)
  6. Iphone/android apps
    1. Google Calender
    2. Spotify
    3. Evernote
Some websites you may find resourceful are:
The three I would like to emphasize are Evernote, Thunderbird w/ google calender, and spotify.

You also might want to look into a computer backup service as your computer becomes your lifeline.


With evernote you can organize
everythingin your life, and it's great for college. This is what it looks like. I have my scanner setup so I can simply scan everything straight into evernote, with only 1 button on my scanner. My life will be paperless from here on out. I can make anything available on cross platform, my iphone or ipad so I can access anything anywhere.

Some neat features or uses

  • You can "clip" things straight from the web and send it to your evernote which is great for research papers or anything really.
  • Scan directly into evernote by automatically importing the default scan folder into evernote. (Tools -> import folder)
  • Tag and search anything by tags.
  • Scan your receipts. Everything on those receipts is now searchable. So want to find out if those tomatoes were cheaper at Ralphs or Walmart? Search for "tomatoes" and the receipts will popup.
  • You can share "notebooks" with other users, so it might be a great organizational tool for you and a loved one.
  • It's uses are really limited by you, and if you run a business or are a student then it will probably be of great use for you.
  • There is a community obsessed with organization on Evernote's forums.
Thunderbird w/ google calender
It's really great to have your email always up on your desktop, readily available. It's also nice to have google calender available on your desktop because it's easier to access, faster, and more visible. Evernote gives you an email address, and when you send a text or email it automatically stores whatever is sent to it on your Evernote. I have Thunderbird set to "bc" every email I send to that email. I don't know why it's useful, but whatever!

Spotify -
This is the greatest thing that has happened to music lovers in a loooong time. Thank you so much spotify. I tell everyone I can about this program.

Winrar -
another use for it
One more thing. Writing a journal is really good for you, but when you have a journal and you're concerned that someone might read it you might hold back on what you really want to write. You can't lock folders in windows, but you can lock .rar files. Install this program, and right click a folder and click "add to archive". Then click advanced, set password, check encrypt file names. You can now access, update, and save your word documents in there without worrying that they will be discovered. You might want to back this folder up every once in a while, because it could be deleted still.


Another couple of tips:
-Use KeyNote for your journal, it works good for this.
-Create a folder for each class and autoimport it into Evernote. Whenever you complete an assignment, organize it into it's folder, and it will auto-replicate into Evernote, being available anywhere and forever.

I hope some of you found this useful, if you have any other useful websites, tools, or have any comments on the ones I provided, please feel free to chime.
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