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I can’t escape the fact that having a real centralized project list for the things I’m doing is helping. I want to believe that I have tons of excess capacity in my brain. I want to think that I remember everything I’ve got on the go.
By separating Action Steps from References, you always have a clear sense of the tasks required. Too many systems either exclude a "task" functionality or minimize its importance. We believe that success comes down to identifying what needs to get done and who needs to do it, and then making it happen.
It seems like age-old advice to find a quiet, clean space and stick with it to do real studying. But cognitive scientists are finding that varying your environment while trying to learn helps you retain knowledge. Image by English106 .
Yes, I work (mostly) from my sofa . And after struggling to keep work organized in the living room , I'm ready to buy a big girl desk and set up the home office of my dreams. But with an entire spare bedroom to work with, I've got the entire world of desk shape options in front of me. So which one to choose? Here's a helpful guide to the Pros & Cons of each.
Feel like you're sending the same instructions, procedure checklists , or other basic communications around the office time and again? Save yourself time and trouble by setting up a workplace wiki. This is one of those timesavers that everyone at Team Lifehacker uses nearly every day.
If you can escape your desk every so often, you should. It boosts memory , opens up new ideas, and provides needed escape. But there's more to it than simply lugging your laptop. Here's how to make any workplace your own. Image via Thomas R. Koll .
Whether you work from home, in an office, or just a cubicle down the hall, you spend most of the day at your workspace. Here are some of the best ways to keep it from becoming a productivity nightmare. Photo by Mike . We've shared our favorite home office hacks , as well as some really neat DIY office projects , but the most important thing you can do to your office is optimize it for productivity. Whether your workspace needs a complete overhaul or you just need to make the most with what you have , these are some of the best workplace upgrades to help you organize and streamline your workspace.
An office full of equipment and supplies would seem to be the natural order of things, but it's all too easy for a functional workspace to become a cluttered one as the junk piles up. Re-evaluate to free up space. We've all been there. You clean up your office, put away your loose files, tidy up your desk, and within a matter of days everything is a wreck again. A large part of this cycle is that we fail to evaluate the worth of items and purge them from our environment. It's counterproductive to simply put things back where they belong or into the drawer you found them in if you don't take a moment to ask yourself some simple questions about the objects you're shifting and sifting about.
Whether your filing system has gotten away from you or it was never really under control to begin with, you can use our handy guide to beat it back into shape. Photo by juan23for . Many people have a filing system that is largely accidental. At some point they had more papers than they could store effectively on their desk so they started squirreling them away in cabinets, drawers, and so on. In other cases you inherit a filing system, like with a new job, and an office packed with paperwork. What can you do to tame your file cabinet and make it a useful storage and reference tool instead of a paper orphanage?
Here are twelve quick desk organization tips . These are things that have worked well for me and help me maintain an organized desk (most of the time). Most of them are probably applicable to others as well. If you have any desk organization tip suggestions of items to add please add them to the comments. ( Update : If you are interested in seeing my desk, checkout this post for photos.)
Your increasingly digital lifestyle has left your analog media collecting dust. Save it from obsolescence and digitize your life. This guide covers many different kinds of media, so feel free to skip to the section(s) that interest you the most:
Mind mapping is a great way to add structure to brainstorming sessions and visualize your ideas. Check out the applications your fellow readers use to do their best brainstorming. Earlier this week we asked you to share which mind mapping application helped you brainstorm most effectively. The votes are in and we're back to share the results and arm you with the tools to make your next think tank meeting that much more productive. MindMeister (Web Application, Free) MindMeister is by far the most simplistic mind mapping tool in the top five, but its simplicity is definitely an asset.
In my ongoing search for the ultimate software system for use with the Getting Things Done methodology, I've recently come across a real winner. Tracks is a web application that was built from the ground up for the purposes of implementing a GTD system. Written in Ruby on Rails, Tracks offers the familiar Projects and Contexts organization system made popular by David Allen's Getting Things Done system, coupled with the sparse graphical design and easy functionality made popular by well-known Ruby on Rails applications like Backpack , Basecamp and Ta-Da List . Now I should mention that Tracks is not affiliated in any way with 37 Signals (the maker of the other three web applications I mentioned), but it's clear that the Tracks developers are inspired by what 37 Signals have done.
In an interview with Michael McLaughlin published in The New Writer’s Handbook (2007), Eric Abrahamson, co-author of A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder , says Your mess is perfect when it reaches the point at which, if you spent any more or any less time organizing, you would become inefficient. When we see a perfectly clean, organized office, with it’s sleek glass-topped desk and a white MacBook centered perfectly atop the desk’s vast emptiness, we might find it cold, sterile, oppressive even. It’s not a coincidence that the Death Star’s halls are clean, white — and cold!
A few things came together for me this past weekend, and I thought I’d share a bit. First, was MerlinMann’s discussion of the usefulness (or lack thereof) of e-mail folders . I agree completely with Merlin on this one- and I feel a hint of a running thread here- focus on The Work and not on Organization. After all it is “Getting Things Done” not “Organizing Things Nicely”.