Organizational Tools

Today’s Life Well Lived question is this:

What are your favorite resources (Products, Apps, Books, Websites, etc.) to help you get organized?

Join the discussion here, and don’t forget to enter the current sweepstakes!

I’m simple when it comes to resources to get organized. I’ve tried lots of things over the years. I’ve got at least two unused reminder and to-do list apps on my phone. Outlook remains unlaunched. I’ve tried iCal, Google Calendar, all the org tools bundled into any of the half dozen email apps I’ve tried to use over the years. When it comes right down to it, my favorite resources are simple ones that were available 30 years ago.

Folders: Accounts payable goes into a folder. Paid bills, receipts, and other important stuff goes into a folder marked with the month and year. I put tax related stuff into a folder so I can find it in February when I sit down to do taxes. I use bright yellow pocket folders for my clients so they can keep track of all the documents I give them (not only is it an eye catching color, it’s easy to remember the folder is from me because my car is also bright yellow). I keep my presentations in binders.

Calendar: Back when I had a traditional job, I used to write notes for myself on the big desk calendar on the appropriate date: birthday reminders, reports due, notices need to go out, court dates, staff vacations, paydays, etc.. Now I use a weekly view pocket calendar to write down appointments, vacations, school holidays, and the like. I keep track of the correct page with a simple paper clip. Some of my colleagues have the big 8 x 11 calendar books or Day-Timers. I keep it simple.

Sticky Notes: Oh what on earth did I ever do before sticky notes?? I’d like to kiss the guy at 3M that came up with these things. I can use them as bookmarks that never fall out. I can stick an important message to somebody’s desk (or computer screen if I’m in a bad mood). I can point out where to sign an important document. I can write down phone numbers or addresses and stick them where I will next need them. I can remind myself of a goal or a deviation from schedule, or whatever. I can write down the 3-6 Most Important Tasks I have to do that day — and stick it directly to the correct page in my date book! Or my desk. Or my phone…. You get the picture.

So yes. I use tools to stay organized. Really low-tech tools. Even the sticky note thing I could do with a simple pad of paper, but the sticky part is really handy. No apps to buy, no websites that may or may not be sharing information, no batteries required.

In Closing: censorship; we noticed; and VAGINA.


Yesterday, we learned that Ford was planning to create 1200 new jobs in the state of Michigan. GM and Chrysler also announced job plans.

This morning I learned the truth: they planned to create those new jobs if they got certain tax breaks.

Sure is a nice state ya got here, Miz Granholm. Sure would be a shame if somethin should happen to it.”

Seeing as Ford’s profit in just the last three months was $1.7 billion ($1700 million if you prefer), why do they deserve such a tax break at the expense of the everyday people who pay taxes? Don’t you suppose the tax break given to the large and newly profitable again auto manufacturers could do a lot towards fixing Michigan’s abysmal roads and Detroit’s crumbling infrastructure? Perhaps it would be easier to balance Michigan’s budget if they didn’t have to play tax games with their biggest taxpayers.

Of course every state and many municipalities have to play this game, and corporations are more than happy to play us off one another, threatening to pick up their factories and stores and go somewhere else if they don’t get their way. And since Congress is a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Business, we can’t expect them to level the playing field for us. All we can do is sit back and hope our state and local politicians don’t screw us too hard in the name of “economic development” that may never materialize.

In Closing: How will they make enough money without bubbles to inflate??; college degrees by county; growth, accidents, and the poisoning of the Gulf of Mexico; the ACLU finally caught up to me on this one; I agree; how about we stop doing things we aren’t proud of instead?; Paul is Dead; and a novel way to get crime tips.