I've been flirting with organizing for the past few years. I've struggled with organizing my thoughts the way a pack rat struggles to organize their home.
Imagine holding an item in your hand, you walk into a room with the intent of placing the item in it's rightful place. You're faced with an overwhelming sight, of things strewn about and the thought of organizing those items along with the item in your hand makes you fall into a tail spin of dejection. Defeated, you toss the item into a corner, and leave the room. That's been my mind for most of my life.
I say! no more! I've been trying to anyway, 3 years ago I borrowed 15 books on the topic of getting organized from the library. Among which were Marie Kondo's 'Spark Joy' Get things done and David Allen's 'Getting things Done'. I only remember these two because my wife was appreciative of their methods and has used some of them successfully. I on the other hand can only remember two things from the two books.
David's "If it's on your mind, your mind isn't clear" and Marie's "Dump everything out on the middle of the floor". Both of which I took literally and so started my obsession with writing everything on post-its and in bullet journals.
It felt good to get things out of my head. Not much else happened. Since then I've had small incremental wins in my journey to organize.
Firstly, 1password. When my wife told me to get it, I scoffed. I have a system I kept telling her. My system was using the post it notes on my Macbook's widget space. My wall of digital post-it passwords was not only useless, I kept throwing more passwords in there thinking I could figure out what account they were for. They're still there, to remind me how painful it was to store that many passwords in my head.
Next, email. I consolidated my main transactions into two accounts. I then created a multitude of emails as personas. One for news, another for gaming on the mobile phone, a third for social networks, a fourth for applications that require a login and a fifth as a throwaway for white papers and events.
Next, browsing. After installing a vpn, I keep firefox, chrome and safari handy for the separate accounts. Most helpful is a chrome extension called 'Tabs outliner'. Even if I close a tab, this extension creates a graveyard of links I had open at anytime, it works better than history because it's organized by threads. So I don't have closed tab Fomo anymore.
Next, notes. It's mainly thanks to 'Standard Notes' and the 'Listed' extension - the application I use to write which allows me to post this blog directly from the applicationto my domain with some wizardry I don't fully understand - That I've found the motivation to better organize my notes. I was previously using Nvalt, another great application for the Mac, but I didn't fully invest in it because I didn't have to be accountable.
Listed's 100 day writing challenge, was the thing the nudged me just enough to take up writing, which required I be somewhat organized. And I think I've found the missing piece of the puzzle to level up my organizing. My friend Lindsey asked a question that's going to be my organizational earworm.
What am I asking my self to do? What will it take to get there?If you'd like to read about the 'Zettelkasten Method' or 'Personal knowledge management' the article below has a great step by step and summary.
How to create Idea Babies: A Knowledge Processing System for Marketers, Creators, and Knowledge Workers