Monday, October 20, 2008

Getting Organized

I have been working on finding the perfect way to get everything, all of my information and all of the things I need to do, organized. Not just organized, but available and easy to find whenever I need them. It's no small task, but I think I've finally got a handle on it.

The last time I was this on top of things was back when I was in law school, and all I had to deal with was school and a full time job. Actually having my own law practice is ever so much more involved.

I started with some of the free Google apps that are available. Gmail, Google Calendar, iGoogle, and Google Contacts Manager. None of these apps require that I place any confidential information out in the cloud, but they do allow me to keep all of my computers and my smart phone synced, and additionally make it possible for me to access information (if necessary) from any computer with internet access.

The next step was to find the perfect internet based to-do list. I looked into Remember the Milk, which was nice, and I may return to that eventually, but I finally settled on Toodledo, which has a very nice task and subtask set up that allows me to organize and prioritize larger projects easily. Both have free versions to try out (the free version of Toodledo does not allow for subtasks), and the Pro Plus version of Toodledo is only about $30.00 a year.

Step three was the purchase of a ScanSnap document scanner. Every scrap of paper in my office is being converted to PDF and filed where it can be easily found. Easily found, you say?? Oh yes, in a soon to be written review of the ScanSnap and the software which comes bundled with the scanner, I will be writing about this in some detail.

Getting back on top (and staying on top) of everything that needs to be done is partly a matter of sorting out exactly what that "everything" is (because thinking of it as "everthing" is certain to make a person not want to do anything at all), and then sorting out what must be done first, and what items are dependent on earlier steps or input from others.

I also read a great short item by Guy Kawasaki today about procrastination. I highly recommend it as a bit of inspiration to get you started with your own organization project. If you are in law school or headed in that direction, this is absolutely necessary reading, because ... even if you follow my system to the letter ... if you are disorganized in your life and/or your thinking, no system in the world will work for you.

No comments: