How do you organize what you need to do next?  Do you have an elaborate filing system?  Is your elaborate filing system your brain?

I had this discussion with one my friends the other night.  He talked about how he rarely writes anything down and makes lists.  He keeps track of everything in his head and doesn’t stress out about forgetting things.  I totally understand where he is coming from but that doesn’t work for me.  In my position I can’t afford to forget a few things a few times.  I did that a lot in the past and people get real sick and tired of you forgetting things.  They lose a lot of respect for you when you don’t do what you said you were going to do.

I am always looking at improving systems but this is my approach to keeping track of things at the moment.

  1. 3 Major Goals:  At the end of each day I take a full sheet of paper.  I then grab a red permanent marker and write down my 3 main goals for the next day.  When I get into work I focus on those three goals.  When those are done I move on to the next.
  2. A tickler filing system: For all of the papers and other items that need to be done.  I put them in a folder file system numbered 1-31 for each day of the month and then have 12 monthly folders.  I don’t always get to my folder everyday but at least I know where things are.
  3. Great to keep track of everything I need to and any ideas I need to flush out.  Can easily move due dates of task to different days.  This is one of my many attempts to get away from keeping everything in a planner.  This one has just stuck the longest.
  4. Google Calendar: I use this for all of my events and have a text message sent to me a half an hour before any appointment.  Sometimes even an email the day before will be sent to me as a reminder if I set it that way.
  5. Google Spreadsheets: Keep track of all my ideas I have sorted in different areas of interest.  This way I don’t have hundreds of notes laying everywhere.

One of the biggest struggles in my life is I am always trying to find the perfect organization system out there.  I think I have found a system right now that I am as content with than anything else.

What do you use to get things done and stay organized?  What systems work for you?

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