Get Organized with Your Computer.

It’s 2011, and you are still writing all of your appointments on a wall calendar?  Well, you can get rid of the calendar.  Doesn’t go with the décor anyway.   Ever since the invention of the computer, we have all been talking about the paperless office, and maybe, finally, it is here. New ways of organizing, tracking and communicating mean that we may really be able to run our lives electronically.

The introduction of email meant that paper correspondence was no longer necessary, but, as we all will admit, we still kept copies of anything important we sent out. It had to go into “the file”.  Newer computers, with greater memory capacities mean that we can file any important information right on the computer.  If you still need more space, you can even file it in the “Cloud”.  Calendar programs, contact databases, and many other innovations have eliminated the need for physical files.  What about all those reminders you tape to your monitor?  Also gone, if you use one of the many note programs.

It is time to do a complete audit of your organizational tools.  I spoke to a friend recently who was having back problems and her doctor suggested she stop carrying the big tote bag she always has on her shoulder.  “I can’t live without my organizer!” one of the heaviest items in the bag.   Your contacts are already on your phone, and you can use your phone for your appointments, too, I replied. Time to lighten up.

The most important thing in most people’s lives is their contact list.  But what usually happens is that you add contacts as you meet and/or need them. So your phone has telephone numbers, but not email addresses, even though you now have a smart phone.  Here are some simple steps that you should take immediately to make life easier.

  • Take the time to gather all of your contacts, from home telephone books, to computer email addresses to the lists of tradesmen you keep in the kitchen drawer, to the info on Outlook, etc.  Put everything on your cell phone.  Imagine the time you would save if you could call the plumber while you were rushing home to the stopped up toilet emergency.

  • Put all of your passwords on a secure password program.  Countless cumulative hours are lost looking for, or retrieving from the site, passwords that are seldom used.  You should be able to retrieve any password with a click.  

  • Organize your e-files.  This is not as daunting a task as it may seem.  Using a spreadsheet, or a just lined paper to do an outline, divide your life into its natural divisions and subdivisions.  For instance, personal may be a division, with subdivisions that include home (divided into landscaping, decorating ideas, etc), insurance (divided into various types of insurance, etc.)  There are no hard or fast rules. You may prefer to be organized Home: decorating/landscaping/insurance, and I may prefer Insurance: home/auto/boat.  As long as you and anyone who needs to retrieve the files knows the system.  Once you have your headings, today’s systems make it a breeze to copy and paste whatever files you have into their appropriate headings.  Hours saved trying to find anything.  Photos may be organized under a photo heading, with subdivisions, or you may have a Vacation category, that includes information on itineraries, etc. and then the relevant photos. It’s up to you.

  • Start a calendar program.  Bulky agendas are so two thousand and eight.  From this moment on, every appointment you make, every concert you would like to attend, every birthday you want to remember should be on your electronic calendar.  The great thing about these programs is the reminder feature.  If it is a doctor’s appointment and you need to get ready an hour before, set the alarm for an hour.  If it is a phone call you want to make, set the alarm for 15 minutes.  You can even make appointments to make appointments.  I wanted to see a foreign movie, but wasn’t sure my spouse would enjoy going.  Set the alarm for a week before to ask him, set the alarm for that evening to go without him!

  • Get a note program.  I love Evernote, which acts just like the old post it system I used to use.  I keep Evernote open on my desktop, and whenever something occurs to me, I just open up a note and jot it down.  I can keep to do lists on here as well and, when I run out to do errands, print them to take with me.  I still love crossing off items on a to do list.

Now, link all of that information together.  You may need some expert advice getting this programmed, since it involve synchronizing your phone and computer, but the idea is that anytime you change or add information to the contacts or appointments on your phone, it can be set up so that the information is automatically updated on your computer, and vice-versa.  Now you’re really organized!


Steve Auntise said...

Amazing article dear and awesome information that you shared with others....:)

Alex Deph said...

Very nice post you have shared to main points of the computer that everyone should know... I think it's an amazing post I have ever seen.

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