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Getting Organised: Don’t Fall into the Geek Trap

I’ve never been so disorganized since I switched computing platform. Pre-Mac I used Microsoft Outlook for pretty much all my organizational needs. Sure it was slow, bloated, buggy, crashed a lot, soaked up pretty much the computers entire memory, but it kept my desk tidy.

Now I am lost for what to do. I have made do with post-its, spreadsheets, emails to myself and any number of workarounds. Eventually I need to sort out a solution but this post from BizNicheMedia reminds me to not get caught in the geek-trap

Recently I’ve started using Get Harvest and I’ve setup a personal and company account up over at Campfire. These apps aren’t revolutionary, but they have helped me get a lot more productive and stay on task, and I would bet that your biz could use some help on that front as well.

What is the geek trap?

Don’t go looking for technological solutions as your first step. Software and gadgets can be the answer but they are not always the answer. You have heard “When you get used to using a hammer every problem looks like a nail”? Isn’t it funny how webmasters and bloggers automatically turn to the web for solutions.

Take filing for example. Geeks will jump in and say “document management!”, “data archiving”, “ooh-ooh, knowledge base”. When really if you just filed stuff in some order there wouldn’t be a problem.

Another example, “where does my day go?”. You probably know the answer already. When you are spending time on something non-critical you are already aware you are wasting your time 9 times out of 10, sometimes a time-sheet will tell you something new but you can get the benefits of the exercise using a sheet of paper and a pencil.

One of the most organised people I ever met, a hospital consultant, had a simple system

  • He trained himself to have a great memory
  • He used a notebook

Why would he use a notebook if he had such a great memory? Well for a start even the best memory is not perfect. Also this was often information he had to record exactly (he worked with peoples health after all). But mainly because it was more efficient for certain information to be stored on paper and other facts to be memorised.

Very often software solutions have you working in a certain way, rather than the way that would work best for you. You need time to learn the system. A pen and notepad is probably the most intuitive system you are going to ever need.

The moral of this story is to get organised first, then find technological solutions that fit into your way of working. Don’t use technology as a crutch.

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Comments

  1. A friend and I were saying the same thing quite recently. We both had various computer based organisers, reminder thingys, notelets and so on, but were completely disorganised. Now we both have a notebook and a diary – the traditional variety one buys from a stationers. It sounds quaint, but they do the job far more efficiently.

  2. A friend and I were saying the same thing quite recently. We both had various computer based organisers, reminder thingys, notelets and so on, but were completely disorganised. Now we both have a notebook and a diary – the traditional variety one buys from a stationers. It sounds quaint, but they do the job far more efficiently.

  3. Yup I think so. I was going to get one of those Moleskine ones but it seems there isn’t a pen loop for some bizarre reason.

  4. Yup I think so. I was going to get one of those Moleskine ones but it seems there isn’t a pen loop for some bizarre reason.