I’m not sure what has happened to me over the last week, but I am on a major organizing kick.
Here are some of the things I’ve done in the last 2 weeks:
- I sorted through my lingering papers and written notes. I had a few binders and a couple folders of paperwork and successfully pared it down to one binder and a folder which I hope to slowly put in digital form.
- I went through all my Google Docs (now Google Drive), deleted a bunch I know I will never use and organized the rest into just a few folders.
- I got about 75% of our planning done for the 2012-2013 school year.
- I went through all of our homeschooling books, set aside a lot of them to give away and started putting the rest in digital form. I bought a few digital copies of ones we use regularly using my Swagbucks gift cards (gotta love free!) and downloaded a bunch of free classic books from Project Gutenberg and Amazon’s Free Collections. My goal is for my kids to keep the majority of their school books on the Kindle.
Everything in its place
I’m certainly not as much of an organizing ninja as some, but I do pretty well. I like things neat and tidy (see our bookshelves above).
I enjoy organizing things and have been known to spend days creating detailed filing systems.
I’ve also learned they often don’t work.
Here are my organization tips. All of these tips can be applied both online and offline.
1. Keep things simple.
Too many nested categories/folders makes any organization system more trouble than it’s worth. If you can’t see something at a glance, it’s easily lost. For example, I’ve pared way back on categories on my blog recently and I think it makes it easier for everyone. Same goes for my files in Gmail, and on my computer.
2. Don’t keep stuff longer than necessary.
I think this is a problem for most of us. Here’s a handy chart that tells you how long you need to keep important documents. Also, check your spam folders, drafted posts and other saved items that you really aren’t ever going to get to. Email bankruptcy anyone?
3. Keep everything in one spot.
I am a sucker for fun online apps and cool tools. The problem is, then I’ve got bookmarks strewn over the entire internet, a gazillion note-taking apps and to-do lists in 5 different places. This doesn’t exactly lend itself to optimum productivity. So, pick one place to store what you need (I choose Evernote for digital stuff) and stick with it! Offline, we have file folders for important hard copy documents, and my day-to-day calendar is a paper/pencil planner.
What about you? What are your tips?