Staying Organized

I’m currently involved with tons of different projects, and staying organized is a task all unto its own. After years of trial and error, here are my favorite ways for staying organized in different areas:

Favorite method: Sticky Note Chain.
I’ve experimented extensively in this area, and nothing comes close to a sticky note. I’ve tried Palm Pilots and computer calendars to no end….but nothing beats the sticky note.

Instead of setting my day hour-by-hour, I just write down TASKS. This way I can easily compensate for unexpected new tasks. If I don’t finish the list, I don’t sleep.

Alternate Methods: Outlook Calendar, AT Notes.

Favorite Method:
Binder with transparent folders in conjunction with the spending cork board and Excel. When I have a tax write off I need to remember, I put it in the binder at the end of each month. Receipts are extremely important in this area.

Favorite Method: Cork board coupled with month end closeout on Excel.
When I get a receipt or incur an expense, it goes up here. I tabulate at the end of every month the total amount. This also gives you a real time visualization of your spending habits.

Favorite Method:
Outlook. I used to hate Outlook for a while, then was told by a mentor to start using it. I begrudgingly did so, and now I would never leave Outlook. As much as I hated it tying all my accounts into one, I now view it as a godsend.

For example, I used to view House Of Rave emails only when I got a chance or felt like it. Now with Outlook integrating all my email accounts in one place, order problems and customer inquiries get answered almost right away instead of in hours or days. This obviously improves profit and customer satisfaction which tends to = $$$

Outlook also allows me to sort all mail into different folders for future reference. I honestly don’t know how I was running my businesses without this earlier.

Business Cards/Contacts:
If I am handed a business card, I almost always snap a picture of it with my camera. I then upload the picture to the Buinsess Cards folders on my computer. I also enter the persons information into Outlook.

My list of organizational techniques is always changing, but for now these are most efficient ways that work for me in particular!

Blog posted on: February 7, 2006

15 comments on “Staying Organized

  1. Gualberto Diaz

    I was never a big fan of Outlook. You might want to try Gmail, I love it. You can use the Google search engine in your database so it’s really easy to find something you wrote from last year. And it has the folders and mail forwarding that you like from Outlook. And you can access it from anywhere in the world since it’s stored on the Internet

  2. Kiran

    For the business cards, instead of taking a picture and then typing in the info, why dont you buy a card scanner. You can get one for about $50 or so and it comes with software that will import the card and the info automatically into outlook. Saves a LOT of time…and its very accurate.

  3. Anyed Team

    Excellent organization skills.

    Fortunate for Mac users, Apple provides a great “Stickies” application that one can use. I’ve also been real fond of the Mail application which is easily customizable.

    For Business contacts I always upload peoples information using Address Book.

    “Part of running a business successfully is called administration, half of what business majors don’t get.”

    -Edgar Urbina

  4. Cap

    he’s using Outlook because its an email client, as oppose to gmail which is an email service. I think.

    so you can access pop3 email accounts, etc.

    I prefer outlook express because it loads a wee bit faster on my computer. heh.

    thats a neat idea there with the business cards. snapping up pictures and storing them.

  5. Andreas Climent

    I would recommend Mozilla Thunderbird for keeping track of mail accounts.

    For organization, I use Ta-da List and Backpack which both work great. Though I have to admit that I’m not using them as much as I should right now so my planning is a mess. Give them a try though, I’m sure you’ll like them.

  6. Theo

    I have tried software TODO lists, but prefer paper and pen. It may seem archaic, but there’s a lot to be said for having the physical list of tasks right in front of you. Staring at you. As I finish each item, I cross them off the list. When I’m done the list, I throw it away. Simple.

    Neville, the “If I don’t finish the list, I don’t sleep” clause should be added to your “Win Everyday” post. I think forcing yourself to finish the list is essential for the system to work.

    Nice post once again,


  7. Jase

    Yea Nev, what is this new business of yours? I’m still impressed you give away so much information about your House of Rave business, hopefully you do the same with this one!

    Keep up the great work!

  8. Caitlin

    It’s nice to see how you work, Neville. And you have quite a nice business card.

    I think everyone really needs to just keep playing with all sorts of organization ideas until they find what works for them individually…a sticky note chain is not exactly the same as Stickies on a mac etc…despite the name ;)

    I too try using backpack and ta-da lists but there is something so immediate about having a post-it note cluttering up your desk until you cross everything off. shrug. works for me.

  9. Jose Anes

    I like the post it approach. That is the one I use. I keep several post its for work, home, personal things to do during day, shopping list.

    Easy to dispose of them when I am done, and to stick them together in different orders when priority changes.

    Maybe I should combine that with the 43 things approach. Maybe 43 post-its.

    Money And Investing

  10. sandeeparya

    Hi Neville, This is regarding information from you about EmigrantDirect account.

    I would like to have your feedback about this account. Is that worth. Is that secure and RELIABLE. Is that a good bet.

    I would like to have your comments and then I will be going for opening the account.

    So suggest me what do you say.




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