365 Challenge: Day 181 – Organized

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Organized: arranged in a systematic way

organized

As I poured my first cup of coffee this morning, my first real thought was that I seem to have forgotten in the last year how to stay organized. When I went into an office every day, I had an assistant (who was amazing!) and several tools to help me stay on top of everything. Now it’s just me! While I’m generally very good at remembering things to do and keeping lists, it’s really not the best solution to keep it all in my head, write on a few post-it notes or keep a running list in “Notes” on my iPhone. As I start moving forward with a writing career, it’s going to get even more complicated to properly track everything that I need and want to get done.

I’ve started doing some research to learn what the best tools are these days. I’m not focused just on things like a “to-do list tracker” or a “project schedule” app. I’m thinking more about “life tracking” tools, things like money, photos, videos, contact info, schedules, goals, books, movies, subscriptions, vacation spots, etc. It seems like a bit of overkill to keep track of all those things, but I think I need to get back to my roots at being more on top of this stuff. At least so I don’t feel like I’m wasting a few minutes each day trying to remember or locate everything. So… today’s post is more of a free-for-all. I’m gonna throw out a few ideas that I’m doing today, but I’d love to hear from everyone else about what they are using to keep track of all the stuff in life that tends to get a bit unwieldy. And maybe we can all learn some tips and tricks from one another if you also follow the comments in this particular post.

Here’s the key things I’ve got in place and that I want to change:

Things Working

  1. Goodreads tracks my reading: Read, Currently Reading, To Be Read (TBR), and then I have a “Top 12” Book Bucket List I update each month to keep me focused on the TBR.
  2. Quicken tracks all my financial accounts so I have a good send each morning where things stand, what bills I need to pay and forecasting what is in an account.
  3. My iPhone calendar tracks all my meetings or appointments. I block times whenever I have scheduled calls, dinner with friends, trips, etc. Even include reservations for hotels, flights and activities so it’s in 1 quick place if I need to see it.

 

Things With Possible Change Needed

  1. Photos. I have them in print albums, iPhone, laptop hard drive, back-up drives and the cloud. Where is the best place to keep them, to edit them and to back them up?
  2. Contact Info. I started with Yahoo back in 1997 when I got my first email address. I don’t like it, but that’s what everyone knows me by, so I stayed with it. I created a gmail email account, which I use occasionally. But where does everyone list things like address, birthday, phones, email, etc. about all their friends, acquaintances and family? Do you have reminders? Lately, Facebook tells me when someone’s important days are!
  3. To Do Lists… enough said… paper, task list, project plan or something else? I’m talking for everything, including what movies I want to see, what I need from the grocery store, blog post ideas, what errands I need to run…
  4. Writers – what marketing and tracking tools do you use for things like campaigns, followers, tasks, advertising, status on sales, character traits, plot issues/ideas, fans, key dates, where your book is selling, etc.
  5. Any other cool tools for other purposes?

 

Thanks in advanced for everyone’s shares today!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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59 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 181 – Organized

    BrizzleLass said:
    September 9, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Hehe I’m obsessed with tracking everything…my family despair with me. I have a paper diary. I use notepads for keeping track of birthdays, addresses things like that.
    I have a notepad for to do lists and random notes and things i need to remember, I also have piles of post it notes which I stick in my notepads!
    I use excel…a lot, I have a slight obsession with spreadsheets.
    I have one for my finances with lots of nifty little formula’s which auto populate between sheets.
    I have one for books, there is a list of books I’ve bought, there is a list of books for review, there is a list of books I want to buy (which is out of control), there is a list of books I’ve read and need to review, there is my list of top books for my end of the year post. It’s ridiculous really. Plus I have most of this information on Goodreads as well.
    All marketing stuff I split between excel and Trello. Trello is great for the planning and detail. You can write notes upload documents, include other people if you need to. Excel is great for the project management/financials/numbers. Between the two I’m always 100% organised and I know what anybody else on the project is doing as well. Trello is also the perfect platform for chasing people when they are dragging their feet.
    You could also look at IFTTT.com which manages some auto posting across social media platforms based on your specifications.

    Liked by 3 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 9, 2017 at 1:45 PM

      Get so excited seeing all this good info! Thank you. Then I realize I have to do the work. Oh my. LOL

      Like

        BrizzleLass said:
        September 9, 2017 at 2:08 PM

        Haha! I got a bit carried away with this one! But I am a bit obsessed with all of this! 😂

        Liked by 2 people

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        September 9, 2017 at 2:10 PM

        this should be your business and job!

        Like

        BrizzleLass said:
        September 9, 2017 at 2:34 PM

        Haha!! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    moorezart said:
    September 9, 2017 at 10:23 AM

    Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

    Liked by 2 people

    Megha said:
    September 9, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    I use evernote instead of iphone notes. You can save images, webclips, lists, handwritten notes, etc. Sync it across all your devices, laptop or phone. I use the free version, but a paid version has more features. It takes some time to getting used to. So first start with a free version.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 9, 2017 at 1:44 PM

      that’s one i have heard of, but never tried. thanks for the reminder… i need to look at it again.

      Liked by 1 person

    Sherron0 said:
    September 9, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    Photos are my downfall. I’ve been scanning a lot of old ones into the computer, but that is a LOT of work.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 9, 2017 at 1:44 PM

      it is a lot. I had a friend who was trying to work thru 10k photos. i laughed. but i still felt bad.

      Like

    wakinguponthewrongsideof50 said:
    September 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    This could totally become a “me” centered comment. Also a plug for a blog I have been intending to write, that might actually get published this week. I’m constantly changing my methods of organizing things, because my needs are constantly changing. I make hard copy photos books on a yearly basis, and senate ones for vacations longer than 3 days. I also do it for flower photos when I visit a garden. I use Shutterfly, so my fave pics are backed up in there. I also have an external drive that has all digital photos. I rarely take pics with my phone, but the pics I do and love get put into Shutterfly album as well.

    Liked by 3 people

    AJ said:
    September 9, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    I love Goodreads for my reading. I put important info about people into my iPhone under the phone contacts so it’s all in one place and for photos, I went old school, printed them and put them in albums:)

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 9, 2017 at 1:43 PM

      the albums has me the most concerned, because i can never find pictures when i need them! 🙂

      Like

        AJ said:
        September 9, 2017 at 7:50 PM

        I have an album for each trip and then the others are based on a person and very clearly labelled. I found I had pictures everywhere digitally so at least this way, I go to the album for that person in that year. It’s working for me:)

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        September 9, 2017 at 11:18 PM

        Good approach. Makes it much cleaner and easier. Thx!

        Like

    Mel Gutiér said:
    September 9, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    I’m sorry Jay…

    I use a notebook. It works really well for me. It’s a star wars theme journal. It’s my sidekick.

    Pictures… Electronic files on the cloud.

    My work… Backed up on the cloud.

    You seem pretty well put together to me. I hope you get to a better organized you and that it will make you feel better.

    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 9, 2017 at 1:42 PM

      thanks! paper can still be a good solution!

      Liked by 1 person

        Mel Gutiér said:
        September 9, 2017 at 1:58 PM

        Looking at the calendar hanging over my desk right now. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        Mel Gutiér said:
        September 9, 2017 at 2:18 PM

        You know… It depends. Your life is different than mine. Your needs are different. There’s apps that work across different devices. Not sure what those are but I sincerely hope you find something that works for you.

        Long live notifications! God forbid we miss something!

        😉

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        September 9, 2017 at 11:20 PM

        We’d lose our minds if we missed even the tiniest one!

        Liked by 1 person

        Mel Gutiér said:
        September 9, 2017 at 11:22 PM

        How are you still awake?

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        September 9, 2017 at 11:23 PM

        Lol. In bed. Reading thru messages. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Mel Gutiér said:
        September 9, 2017 at 11:25 PM

        Okay Good. I was starting to worry you wouldn’t get your 7 hours sleep.

        Have a goodnight! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        September 9, 2017 at 11:26 PM

        Too funny. I am a creature of habit. 😉 gnight.

        Liked by 1 person

    Nel said:
    September 9, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    Im Google obsessed. I utilize Google Calendar period. It tells me appointments, reminders, auto scheduled any flight, hotel, car rental, any confirmation that appears in my inbox appears on it. It knows ppls birthdays cause contacts in my Gmail. I get a notification for anything and everything and it’s a widget on my phone screen. I use Google Keep for jotting down lists or notes or thoughts especially when I’m beta reading on the go and don’t want forget but I also use Google docs to edit paperwork and add comments and share to others. I use Google sheets for my book and movie inventory at home so I don’t buy duplicates. I use Google photos because it’s unlimited hi res backup and it’s easy to search through. If I type dog, it’ll show me all the pictures of dogs I have. And lastly I use Hangouts for communication purposes like phone calls and live chats. I know a lot of authors use that too or Skype.
    You might think about getting a separate phone for author related things. That way you can make it specifically hold contacts and their information for that part of your world and it’ll be less chaotic. Just an idea. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 9, 2017 at 1:42 PM

      a good idea… i do think i need to keep it separate. i used to keep work and personal separate, then combined them. couldn’t stand carrying two phones everywhere. but i wouldn’t need to carry this second one with me everywhere like i did for work.

      Liked by 1 person

    scr4pl80 said:
    September 9, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    I’m a paper person. I tried electronic gadgets to stay organized but I didn’t use them. I have 3 planners, one for “home,” one for my transcription work and one for my craft work. That one is a bit of a memory album as well as I keep my vision cards and some of the pictures I take during the year and quotes and things I want to remember. Right now my pictures are all over the place. I use Quicken for Mac for my financials. I don’t have as many things to keep track of as you as a published author do. Hope you find a system that works for you. Happy Saturday.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 9, 2017 at 1:41 PM

      Thanks. I appreciate it. I am sure it will come together, but always good to hear what others do.

      Liked by 1 person

    mistysbookspace said:
    September 9, 2017 at 1:52 PM

    I pretty much keep up with everything in my bullet journal. Everything from my bills and to do lists and important days and all things books. I have a spread for everything in my bullet journal I also use Goodreads to help keep up with books.

    Liked by 2 people

    Books Teacup and Reviews said:
    September 9, 2017 at 3:02 PM

    I keep all pictures in laptop. Events, birthdays, calendar in my phone reminds me, Facebook also does a good in reminding friends’ birthdays. Books I have calendar -at-glance, you have seen it in my post that helps. I like that white board on the wall for to-do list/calendar to mark events. I don’t have it, but I think it’s good one to organize things.Nice post! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    misifusa said:
    September 9, 2017 at 4:31 PM

    Jay, this is a shameless plug because I’m a distributor for SendOutCards, but here it is since you asked for cool tools to keep you organized!

    http://www.sendoutcards.com/Deanery

    Keep all your addresses, special dates, photos online all together. Never miss a birthday, send presents and cards all from your computer or the app on your phone. Personalize cards with photos and videos you upload, but your recipient gets a real card in the mail! Who doesn’t want something in the mailbox besides bills? ME! That’s why I enjoy using it and sharing it.

    Here’s your invitation – no pressure – but enjoy yourself. Click on the website above and send a card! It’s free – my treat to you. If you like it, then you can join for free and buy points to make cards. If not, then at least you’ve tried something new, sent a card to someone special and made someone smile! Win – Win!
    Reach out if you have any questions! Happy Organizing and Sending! ♥

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 9, 2017 at 11:19 PM

      No worries on the plug. I understand d. Will take a look tomorrow. Thanks!

      Like

    Cal's Constant Raving Reviews said:
    September 9, 2017 at 7:30 PM

    It’s so soothing to know somebody else can sometimes struggle with organising stuff. I really like the idea of a Top 12 book bucket on GR!

    I am going to refer back to this post a lot in the next week.

    What’s your opinion on Bullet Journals? Do you think they work, or just more time consuming? I’m thinking of starting one, and I have more than enough time to waste making one super pretty and organised.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 12, 2017 at 8:10 AM

      Hi. You are the second person to mention bullet journals, and I’m not sure I know what it is. I probably do, but by a different name. I have to go look that up.

      I’m glad the post can help. I was hoping it might give a bunch of ideas to everyone. I plan to go back to it a lot, to decide what will work best for me, too.

      And the Top 12 book bucket list has been a life savior sometimes!

      Like

        Cal's Constant Raving Reviews said:
        September 12, 2017 at 5:18 PM

        That’s okay- sorry I assumed you’d know.

        Check out the video by the guy who created the niche!

        And maybe look up some of the aesthetics on Pinterest/studyblrs. You’ll get the gist. It’s very similar to your outline in this post 😀

        Like

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        September 13, 2017 at 9:19 AM

        Thanks. Sorry for the delay. Your comments have been going into spam for some reason, so I don’t find them for a few days. I will take a look at the video later. I appreciate it.

        Like

    […] Source: 365 Challenge: Day 181 – Organized […]

    Liked by 1 person

    anne leueen said:
    September 10, 2017 at 5:29 AM

    I use a lot of photos in my blog posts which I take myself and I edit them in Lightroom and store on an external hard drive and also on Google +. And I use a lot of post it notes….yup….not very hi tech but it does catch my attention. I only will have two up at any one time. Otherwise I become post it note blind.

    Liked by 2 people

    vikramhereblog said:
    September 10, 2017 at 6:51 AM

    Nice post.
    Please do checkout my blog.
    Feel free to like,comment and follow.
    Namaste

    Liked by 2 people

    shalini said:
    September 10, 2017 at 7:59 AM

    I am disorganized but I am organized because at any given point I do not have many things to do. And I do know how my mess is arranged. 😉😉

    Liked by 2 people

    Valerie @ Valerie's Musings said:
    September 11, 2017 at 4:13 PM

    Certain things I’m organized and certain things I’m not.

    I use Google for just about everything. It’s my more “professional” email address (my yahoo is my online nickname – not precisely professional), I use Google calendar for scheduling blog posts, birthdays, anniversaries, and events I have going on whether they’re dr. appts, work appts, or something for fun that I need to remember. If it’s not on my Google Calendar, I won’t remember it, so I make sure I add everything I need to. I use Google Music Player to keep my music library in a cloud. I tend to use a different player on my phone, but at least my music library is backed up in case of an emergency.

    I use Google docs to keep track of Book Tags I want to do for my blog, author interviews/guest posts for my blog, my book box inventory which inventories every book I own (tho’ it does need an update), etc. That way it’s all on the cloud and I can access it all from work or home or even on the go on my phone. I use Google mail for a lot of the contact information for friends and family, but I also have a paper address book. I find that’s easier to use when addressing things like holiday cards and stuff.

    Goodreads helps me keep track of what I’ve read, what I need/want to read, etc. Since I’ve been breaking down my “to-read” list into genres, that is starting to help me prioritize things other than the blog tour posts I know I have. Shutterfly houses my photos at the moment as they don’t have a limit on how many you can upload. I also store them on an external hard drive.

    I use a app called “Color Note” which is basically post-its for my phone. I use that for to-do lists, which I usually have two going – an acute to-do list for day to day stuff and a long-term to do list where the bigger projects I want to tackle reside. Groceries, I tend to use a paper list.

    Liked by 2 people

    Rae Longest said:
    September 16, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    Like you, I’m super-organized, to the point of it being a fault. BUT, it’s absolutely necessary to keep my crazy life in order and prevent being driven crazy myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    September 18, 2017 at 8:17 AM

    Wow, so many suggestions. I still use paper and pencil. I have to be able to see it to remember. Calendar on the wall, to do list on the chalkboard, pieces of paper etc. I use Goodreads for my books of course. I am of an older generation where I use technology but not as much as others. I put things on my calendar on my phone, but do not hear the notification sounds to see what it is reminding me of because it is either a) in another room, or b) not charged. Good luck with your new apps you are going to try. I think you are already pretty organized.

    Liked by 1 person

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