Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Guest Post - Leveraging Technology to Get Organized: 4 Clever Tips

Alexis Bonari was kind enough to offer to do a guest post for us. I hope you enjoy her article. I'm going to try out some of her suggestions....

Whether you’re a college student, businessperson, or a stay-at-home parent, we all somehow find ways to lose our trains of thought and—as tasks are forgotten, appointments are dropped, and hairs are torn out—become disorganized.  Organizers and notebooks are great ways to maintain order, but for those of us more in tune with the digital age, there are many free online tools that we’ll be more inclined to use and keep up with.  Organizing should make life easier, not add a burden to our preexisting clutter.

Google Notebook
A university student will especially appreciate this tool’s ability to organize all of your web-based research.

I can’t remember now nor could I count then, in the midst of writing my senior Honors thesis, all the websites I kept under so many unorganized categories and groupings on my browser that going back to that folder today is like falling into Alice’s rabbit hole.  I could never shut my computer down because I would lose the twenty Internet tabs I had open, not to mention my train of thought.  Bookmarking these sites wouldn’t do much good since my Favorites list was a jungle, anyway.  I wish I’d known about Google Notebook.

With it, you can save sections of Web pages and annotate and comment upon them to your heart’s desire.  You can have multiple notebooks that you can break down into sections.  If you want to change something, it’s easily done, and you can rearrange notes by dragging and dropping them to the desired destination.  With the extension (available for Firefox and Internet Explorer), Google Notebook can also clip pages with a single click. 

For business people preparing for a conference or really, anyone who has any task worth writing down on a sticky note somewhere, Backpack is a treasure.  For personal use, you can make (and edit) lists, notes, and dividers for easy viewing on a page so it’s as if you’ve hired a graphic designer to plan an event or your day out for you in a matter of seconds.  It’s really hard to explain, so try watching the video.

For those wishing for a more interactive experience, with Backpack, you can collaborate with coworkers and together manage notes and research as long as they’re on Backpack.  And what about those spontaneous inspirations that come to you on the commute to work or school?  Each Backpack page has an e-mail address, so you can text that Pulitzer-Prize-winning idea to that e-mail via your phone (but be sure to park the car first).

Remember the Milk
This tool is for people from all walks of life, even if they’re not neck-deep in business appointments and important meetings and yadda-yadda.  If you just need to remember to go get the dog more food, to go to your friend’s book-signing, to, well, pick up a jar of milk from the store, Remember the Milk’s opening screen is there to remind you all that, plus everything else you’ve got planned for the day.

Tasks on Remember the Milk can also be shared between you and your spouse, your co-workers, or friends; you can all send task requests directly to individual Remember the Milk inboxes.

Hate balancing your checkbook?  Wesabe will do it for you if you upload your bank account and transactions either by hand (or rather, by key) or through its Firefox extension.  Don’t worry, its Privacy Policy insists that your transaction data, passwords, and the like are secure.  Wesabe makes even beginner money-makers feel at home with its user-friendly interface and handy tools that allow you to keep an eye on your money—a much better alternative than what I had before Wesabe, which was willful ignorance spurred by fear that the next time I ran my debit card through the reader, the machines around me would all start beeping angrily.  If you’ve got any questions, Wesabe is also a global community in which other users can help you if you ask and share advice.

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident education blogger and performs research surrounding College Scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

More on technology:

National Association of Professional Organizers' Best Product in Technology

Get Organized Month 2009 - Decluttering Your Electronics

Replace Your Computers every Four Years

Three Steps to Organizing Your Office