"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Getting your shit together.

Over the past month, I have been stuck on the couch quite a lot due to the tonsilectomy and recovery. I decided to spend the time reading organizing books. As a Virgo, few things are more relaxing to me than researching new ways to file. Sad but true. I used to give guests a tour of my filing cabinet when I first got a label maker. Sad, but true.

So... it was with a great deal of joy that I undertook my little reading project. Two of the books started out as library loaners and then, partway through, I realized that I didn't want to give them back. I had to own them. So, I placed orders and now they live with me. Here they are and why I love them:

  • David Allen: Getting Things Done. This classic productivity manual is a classic for good reason. It's method works, and as I said to Charles, our general manager, the other day, "This book is saving my life." His ideas are simple and clear: don't keep everything you need to do stored up in your head. You will forget things and the effort to try and remember will make you less effective. Dump it all out and keep it on lists outside your head. His system anticipates every kind of meltdown and does its darndest to prevent it. Check it out!! He also has a new book out, which I snatched up as well, Making it all Work. This new book expands the system out to organize your whole life. Bliss!
  • Regina Leeds: One Year to an Organized Life. This book is a gift for those who feel easily overwhelmed. It breaks your home down into discrete areas by month, and then gives a list of tasks per week. By the end of the year, your will be living in paradise. Provided you do what she tells you...brilliant. There is one for work as well.... I can barely restrain myself from diving into that one next. LA readers: pick this up to support a local author!
The other fantastic discovery was Julie Morgenstern. Her book, Organizing from the Inside Out, is wonderful for anyone who has organization wounding. If you feel like you are a lifer slob and that there is nothing that can be done about it, this book is for you. Her gentle approach and comforting suggestions and tips help you see what will help you use your own tendencies to make a system that keeps everything together.

Viva organization!

image: evelynshire


Molly said...

I'm not a virgo, but I certainly love organization as well.

I absolutely LOVED Julie Morgenstern's book; in fact I should probably re-read it soon. Sounds like I also need to check out David Allen's book.

Hope you are recovering well from your tonsillectomy.

Sofie said...

no one cares, cow

Anonymous said...

GTD is a great concept. i'm starting to download software now like Outlook Track-It. Incredible productivity increase. This particular is a small toolbar for outlook that lets you flag emails for followup reminders!

Caroline said...

So glad you enjoyed Julie's book, too! I think these are good candidates for rereading.

chadmany2k- Thank you for the software recommendation. Two I really like are Things from cultured code: culturedcode.com/things and
remember the milk : rememberthemilk.com Things is just for mac but RTM works for everything. I'll have to check yours out as well!

Bane said...

great blog, thanks!

Molly, we can all love organization! Chad -- Great tip with Outlook Track-It. I use it for my clothing business. It's the best plugin that Outlook 2007 has. a GTD must.