oh boy do i need help!

Hey all! I hung out on here a while ago but went digital and now I'm back. I just got a new job that requires me to organize ~20 projects at once. This last weekend I lost my phone- organization is not my strong-point. I have a few circa notebooks but I don't really know what to do with them. I would like one book to organize my home and work life. I'm considering the uncalendar and punching it for circa but maybe someone has a better suggestion? I do well with lists, and have considered the covey and gtd methods but dont really understand either. Perhaps one is perfect?

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Start simply and develop a routine

Hi Therese,

Organisation is mostly about setting up a system and routine that suits you and helps you to organise everything you have to do.

As you've just started a new job, now may not be the best time to experiment with very detailed systems as you've already got enough to learn with starting a new job. I suggest that you start with something relatively simple that you can improve in future as you get used to it.

You have 20 or more projects to organise at work. So you obviously need a system to deal with that.
The GTD system works on:
- creating a page for a project;
- analysing what it is you have to in steps/actions; and
- tracking the steps as you do them (the steps are called Next Actions).

This you can do without using the whole GTD system by simply having a page in your notebook for each project and a next actions list which combines all the events you need to do on your projects.

If the projects are small with definite deadlines, then I suggest a slight variation.
- Use a project template (you'll find many here to give you ideas) and identify all the things you have to do and when you have to do them if there are specific dates.
- Then put the steps/actions you have to do by a date into a task list for the day/week when you need to do those things

Once you've got a simple system like that working, it's a lot easier to decide what it is that annoys you about it and what works for you. Then you can have a look at making it better.

By the way, I suggest that for any very detailed projects that will take more than a few weeks, just use your notebook to summarise the deadlines and create separate folders for all the documentation.


What Katrina Said

Start simple, figure out the routine, then customize as you become more familiar with the job.

I'd add that it might be useful to keep a "work" notebook or section in your planner to jot down all those details specific to the new job. Telephone numbers and contacts, organization charts, the person to see for xyz, how to's, all those little things taken for granted by folks who've been there awhile. It's handy to have, especially if you need to recall something you only rarely do, and it makes a nice introduction and welcome gift to someone new coming into the department, like a trainee or replacement.

Simple is best!

You're advice makes perfect sense to me with regard to the new job. The things you write down and feel you have to remind yourself about in the first 6-12months will change entirely during and after that time!

As for systems like GTD well it's amazing how many posts say they haven't got completely into the system or that they struggle with it. Tells you something about them I think but bits of them do make sense so pick bits off I say.

I use simple A5 diary, page a day for appointments and tasks I need to do that day and to note down things I need to know I've done. As for the multiple projects I wish I knew the answer. I've tried a page/section for each project but I dont entirely manage to keep track of things that way. The diy planner template for projects should work but maybe I need to adapt for myself. I also tend to end up with one big list of to do items and then plan them into my day.

I think it is about routine and sticking to it. Any routine that suits will do really :-) as long as you do and review

Thanks for your replies! So

Thanks for your replies! So fast! I had looked around the site and thought maybe GTD was the way to go- I will go out and grab the book tomorrow. Thanks for the input. My problem is I am either SUPER organized, or NOT organized. I just need the supplies to get to super. I think that this site is getting me well on my way. I just ordered an uncalendar to get me started as well.

Thanks again!