Your brain is not a good place to store things. The more things you try to remember, the more stress builds up.
- Have a place to record things: planner, index cards, voice recorder, PDA or computer.
- Have a way to get things you’re recorded into your system: use an inbox of some kind.
- Use routines or checklists for regular or repeated tasks.
- Have a daily or weekly routine for gathering up stray papers, getting them into the right inbox, and processing them.
- Keep lists: “To buy”, “To mend”, “waiting for”, and “agendas” for people and meetings.
I’ve read many, many “organizing” books over decades and this is the one which has made the most difference for me. It is eminently practical, detailed and straightforward. It doesn’t require you to buy any specific tools: you can use anything from a paper notebook, planner, or index cards to a PDA or computer. Main strengths are in processes to capture, record, plan and organize tasks and projects. Not so strong on how to actually get yourself to DO all those tasks!