I have an organization problem

Most people, like my 2nd grade teacher, would probably chalk up my “issues” to something like ADD.  That’s a cop out.

Really, the problem is that I like to jump from thing to thing because I know my brain. My brain likes to work on things piecemeal, in the background, with a lot of noise. I work best with some music or a coffee shop’s worth of noise surrounding me.

I like to get things done around the house like this:

  • Take something to my office to put it away
  • Since I’m in the office, I’ll empty my trash on the way back downstairs
  • Since I’m in the garage, I’ll organize my toolbox
  • As I walk in the house, I’ll see the basement stairs and go down to clean the litter box

I don’t have a particular order, but I get shit done.  Some might call this frenetic. I am surprised my wife hasn’t just screamed at me wondering what the hell I’m doing, not getting any particular room completed but getting random small stuff done instead.

I work like this too.

I will jump from my email, to reddit to check responses on a post, then I’ll go back to sourcing through a job-board, and eventually I will get back to my todo list and figure out what’s next. I jump, jump, jump around.

I think this is why I like Evernote. It lets me jump around between ideas, lists, notes, etc all very quickly and easily. It also lets me have these notes on every single device I have. I recently got an iPad, this opened a new world of “what can I use this for” for me.  I knew that it had practical applications, like angry birds, I mean uh… like walking into a meeting without having to pull out my MBP.  I can now take notes, pay attention, and not have to worry about whether my MBP’s battery will go dead, having to turn the thing around to show something on the screen, or just simply having the screen between myself and whoever I am talking to.  Also, I was at a conference last week. I was able to live-tweet, take notes, check my email, and look at websites very quickly without losing a beat. This was nice, especially because my hotel was up-hill 2 blocks from the convention center and it rained the whole time. Taking my laptop was less than ideal.

Oh yeah, back to Evernote (see what I mean!).

I currently have put my todo lists, idea notes, notes from my conference into Evernote. Then I hooked it up with ifttt.com to push items from other places to me. This is gold as far as I am concerned.   For example, I am looking for fish for my fish tank. My Koi got too big and deserved to live in a pond so they had room to play, swim, and shit everywhere (they are gross).  Now, I have a 50 gallon tank with 2 scissor tails in it, they are lonely.  I set up ifttt to look at a craigslist search for fish and then it will copy/paste the contents of those posts into a notebook (a thing that holds individual notes) as they pop up. All I have to do is open evernote and see if there’s a note there. This saves me TONS of time and keeps me from jumping over to CL to see what’s up in the middle of my day. Also, it gives me the ability to never miss a deal because I found it like 3 days later.

Ifttt has other options, like posting a link from an RSS feed into a note called “read later”, you can label an email in gmail and have ifttt grab emails from that label and add them to a note as well. This is great for a “follow up” list. Then, when you taken them off the list, you don’t need to follow up anymore!

There are a bunch of other things ifttt can do that I have heard of, like putting all your Instagram photos into dropbox or adding all your foursquare checkins to your calendar so you know where you were. It’s pretty cool, but so far I have only set things up to go to Evernote.

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  • Tekee

    Speaking of Evernote. One of my favorite gems is to add your personal evernote email address to a circle in Google+ called “Bookmarks.” Then, you can share articles and posts that you come across while surfing on G+ to that circle, and bam! It goes straight to evernote.