View Full Version : How do you organise yourself?

March 30th, 2010, 12:02 AM
I'm not very good when it comes to organisation and I'm keen to take advantages of any tools that are available. But for some reason, I tend to always go back to pen and paper for the bulk of my work. I did have a look at Tomboy, and I see it's usefulness is being elevated by intergration with Ubuntu One. But I find a pen and paper still the best way to keep track of all the short-term stuff. And when I'm on the phone, having only one free hand makes the pen more suitable.

For example, last week I had to deal with a studio and okay the final master of a recording, so for that week I had a few contact numbers and emails on a post-it note on the side of the monitor.

This week I'm dealing with the printers of the sleeves and promotional materials so I have more post-its of the dimensions that the various publishers need my material in and I have a temporary folder on the desktop with the adverts, posters and business cards I'm making.

Of course, right now I'm supposed to complete the business card design so the printers will have them first thing in the morning - but the specs are on a post-it note on the work computer :)

Anyway, I'd love to hear how you do (or don't) keep yourself organised.

Yours, with odd socks,

Cuddles McKitten
March 30th, 2010, 12:07 AM
How do I organize myself? Very carefully.

On a more serious note, I just have a text file on my desktop with everything I need to do, important dates, etc. Mostly that's just since I remember things better when I write them down. I don't actually look at said file very often.

March 30th, 2010, 12:25 AM
I've dabbled with GTD concepts, software and so on. I'm sure it really does work, if you have loads of stuff to do, and you can cram that into a mental model that fits a particular GTD workflow/application.

Nowadays, i prefer individual flat text files for songs and such i want to download (20+ lines), the built in notes application in apple mail for todo's/short notes (<20 lines / note). I rarely use "real" todos with a "due date" and all of that. Notes is good enough for me.

I have this golden rule though, if it's not computer related, just use a regular "post it". I have a particular spot on my wall for todos and notes, that i just put on the apartment door the day before it's due.

One last thing. I have a special notebook (made of, you know, paper) for all my serials, login names/passwords, ip adresses etc. It's hidden, and i got another copy of it, so if it gets stolen i can hopefully change most of those passwords before it's too late.

March 30th, 2010, 12:26 AM
Tomboy is quite nice actually. There is a lighter clone of it called gnote written using c++. I do also keep notes in text files on my desktop, but I keep track of dates and contacts using evolution. Evolution integrates with the gnome panel clock which is very convenient to see you schedule for the week.

March 30th, 2010, 01:04 AM
currently using getting things gnome, it a pretty useful app

March 30th, 2010, 01:22 AM
What is this "organize" you speak of? :/

March 31st, 2010, 03:06 AM
LOL - okay, some nice ideas there. My new mantra is 'Put in Dropbox!' I can be working from any of three different places so that helps. Anything I need to collaborate on I put in there too. I've also found notepub.com which is a good central place for keeping notes of meetings that everyone can access.

Besides that, I'm doing the scraps of paper thing, but typing them onto the machine at the end of the day if I haven't dealt with them by then.

March 31st, 2010, 03:13 AM
What is this "organize" you speak of? :/

this^ I would also like to know.

March 31st, 2010, 03:18 AM
What does that mean?

March 31st, 2010, 06:01 AM
Remember the Milk is made of win. There's about a million different ways to use the service, so there's bound to be one that suits you.

Crunchy the Headcrab
March 31st, 2010, 07:39 AM
Sticky notes. Right click > Add to Panel > Stick Notes. It reminds me a lot of the Windows7 sticky note program, which I have grown very fond of.

I had to use a little compiz magic to make it so that it didn't minimize when I clicked the desktop though!

March 31st, 2010, 09:33 AM

March 31st, 2010, 09:34 AM
this^ I would also like to know.

Hmm. I have the feeling that it is one of these things I'd just prefer to stay ignorant of.

March 31st, 2010, 09:42 AM
GTG, index cards, a pen, a heavily modified, constantly changing hybrid of the GTD and Autofocus systems, server-side IMAP labels, Tomboy, Hamster (time tracker), and most importantly, a tendency to write everything down. I don't really know what it is that I'm thinking until I've put it down on paper or in a computer in some form.

April 1st, 2010, 12:30 AM
What are GTG, GTD and autofocus? Incidentally, I'm finding a small cheap notepad and pen really good. Then I computerize any issues that survive a few hours of work and dump the pages. It cuts down on 'note clutter' which is an equally bad place to be in.

donato roque
April 1st, 2010, 03:59 AM
I tend to always go back to pen and paper for the bulk of my work. I did have a look at Tomboy, and I see it's usefulness is being elevated by intergration with Ubuntu One. But I find a pen and paper still the best way to keep track of all the short-term stuff. And when I'm on the phone, having only one free hand makes the pen more suitable.

I've always wondered about the integration of Tomboy to Ubuntu one. Why not extend that integration to Tomboy>Ubuntu One>Smart Phone/mobile device?

April 1st, 2010, 04:27 AM
Brainstorm it, if there is enough demand I am sure they might implement it.

April 1st, 2010, 04:56 AM
What are GTG, GTD and autofocus?

GTG (http://gtg.fritalk.com/)
GTD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getting_Things_Done)
Autofocus (http://www.markforster.net/autofocus-system/)

April 1st, 2010, 11:46 AM
+1 for GTG (Top 5 Linux App)

April 1st, 2010, 12:19 PM
I mostly use small yellow pieces of paper(not sticky notes but I sometimes use those too) and I stuff them in my pocket after taking a note.

April 2nd, 2010, 12:40 AM
GTG (http://gtg.fritalk.com/)
GTD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getting_Things_Done)
Autofocus (http://www.markforster.net/autofocus-system/)

Thanks 23meg - that's the most useful post I've read so far this year! Autofocus suits me very well.

April 2nd, 2010, 06:37 PM
Thanks 23meg - that's the most useful post I've read so far this year! Autofocus suits me very well.

Good to know it works for you, but don't stick too tightly to it (or any other system); bend the aspects of it that seem to cause more trouble than they solve to suit yourself.

Doctor Mike
April 2nd, 2010, 07:13 PM
I wake up in the morning and get my self a beer. Then I go down to the road house and have a real good time. So, when I'm done singing to myself in the shower I go to my office, boot the computer and ask, 'so what's on the agenda today'? The computer responds, "Hey man don't ask me I wasn't included in the meeting".

I've used a lot of organizational systems and they all have the same flaw. Not enough time...
If you really must budget your time then add between 10%-20% more time for each task completion. This way you are more likely to be ahead of schedule and will spend less time worrying about what's next. You'll get more good work done.

If your programming forget about time management. Just make sure to eat food on occasion and sleep at least once every three days. Any wonder why I went running and screaming into the night. That good night. Oh, that very good night.

April 2nd, 2010, 07:32 PM
Doctor Mike is correct. Also why I gave up programming.

April 2nd, 2010, 08:48 PM
It`s simple.

Get married.

Then your whole life is organized for you. You don`t have to do a thing. Except ask what`s happening in the morning and take the ear bashing for not having listened sometime 3 weeks ago.

April 2nd, 2010, 09:23 PM
I use a combination of Tracks (http://getontracks.org, http://my.gtdify.com), and google calendar. It has a tasks list that is convenient. There are several plug-ins that are helpful as well.

For general notetaking, I like zim.

sudo apt-get install zim

For creative stuff, there are some interesting collaboration tools at http://37signals.com

April 2nd, 2010, 09:30 PM
I keep regular backups of my evolution settings and contacts with its built in tools. That way if I reinstall or switch programs I have everything available.

April 2nd, 2010, 10:12 PM
two words: google nexus. some coworkers actually joke that I would go nuts of my cell phone went dead one day... but then again, it syncs itself wirelessly w/ my home computer (my employer actually gives us unlimited 3g) so no worries...

April 2nd, 2010, 10:14 PM
I organize myself using neurons. I don't use my PC, pen or paper or in fact anything other than neurons to organize myself.

April 3rd, 2010, 03:20 PM
23meg - I actually did tweak it a little, simply because I didn't get a clear understanding of what page to put things on. I'm just treating it like a linear list and it's quite good. Amazing what things I don't need to do at all or that I'm just doing out of a feeling of obligation and not necessity.

Doctor Mike / NightwishFan, I also prefer when the computer is the last thing powered up. If I don't have some solid intentions in my mind before I hit the power switch, my day won't be as productive. I also quit programming for the same reasons you described.

tgalati4, they look very promising. Ironcially and in all seriousness, it will be April 11th before I'll have time to go through them, but I will.

April 3rd, 2010, 04:14 PM
In real life? I do not.

On my computer? Using Dropbox and the gnome-panel "notes" application :).