Getting organized for what lies ahead
I know it’s a little early to be thinking about it. And, what’s more, I nearly never make any sort of New Year’s resolutions. But I’m also a bit of a procrastinator — and if I start thinking about it now, it allows me a month to put it off, should I so choose.
So, here’s the thing. I’ve been thinking about getting more organized. Typically, I’m a little obsessive when it comes to staying organized. I’m a “to-do list” kind of guy. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from checking a task, no matter how mundane, off my list.
And while I rely heavily on technology to stay organized, I really have not been able to find anything that I have come to rely on regularly to satisfy my to-do list needs. That being said, I just started using the “Tasks” feature in Gmail, and I’m going to see if this might be a suitable solution.
At work, my team and I used Trello to track and monitor ongoing projects and workflow. It’s very intuitive, versatile and FREE. While we use the web platform most often, there is also a useful mobile app. We create “cards” for each upcoming project — then each project can be assigned to a team member, checklists help track progress, and documents can be attached for more information. Trello is also useful for tracking the progress of complex video production, or as a database to keep track of contact information in large organizations or industries with lots of moving parts.
I have been using it for about six months, and it has really helped keep some smaller projects from slipping through the cracks.
Again, I’m not what anyone would call disorganized. I just recognize that there are inefficiencies in the systems I use to STAY organized, and I’m hoping to streamline things. This all came to my attention earlier this week when I read an article in Entrepreneur Magazine about how the two most common calendars — Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar — really fail to check all the boxes for most of us.
I started thinking about it, and that’s true. I currently maintain two calendars — one in Google and one in Outlook — in addition to a third large desk calendar at work. Any time a meeting is scheduled, I add it to all three calendars. None of them are perfect. Outlook is tied to my work email and offers timely reminders, which is helpful. Google is integrated with the Echo Show I keep by my bed and use as an alarm clock, so I can see all of the day’s upcoming events when I wake up. And the desk calendar is great to glance over at, if I’m
But let’s be honest — that’s not really efficient. The author, Angela Ruth, recommended a number of alternatives. One is simply called Calendar.com. It’s brand new, and currently being alpha-tested. I’ve signed up for early access, which has not yet been granted, so I can’t really tell you how well it works. But it appears as though it would solve my biggest problem, by integrating all of my digital calendars into one. I’m certainly willing to give it a try.
This week, I also signed up for Woven, another free calendar app which currently integrates with Google Calendar but is more intuitive, saving me a little time. Apparently the company is working on Outlook 365 integration, which could provide me with a suitable solution.
There is certainly no shortage of calendar apps in the world. Looks like I’ve got about a month to find one that can help keep me more organized in the new year.
— Originally Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News, 11/29/18