Being organised isn’t a destination; it’s a journey, and everyone’s road is different. That said, the right tools and tips definitely smooth the path. Here are Gizmodo’s favourite organisational gadgets and software, and Lifehacker’s best tips for improving your personal organisation.
Sorting picture from Shutterstock
Evernote is an amazing online notebook that saves everything from that recipe you saw on some random blog, right through to your shopping list or meeting notes. It lets you organise stuff by notebook, and there are a bunch of gadgets and apps out there that can help you capture stuff to Evernote, too so you never forget.
Your wallet is on the point of exploding from all the old cab, restaurant and dry cleaning receipts you have in there. Why not free your pocket and your leathery companion from the burden and just scan those babies in? You can digitise them and even store them in Evernote so you always know where they are.
Scanner picture from Shutterstock
Of course, once you have scanned and stored important documents, you don’t want them falling into the wrong hands. Pick one of these bad boys up for a pittance at a local office supplies store.
Shredder picture from Shutterstock
4. Whatever Phone You Love
We’re not about to start a stupid “the iPhone 5 is a better organisational tool than the Galaxy SIII” argument here. Any modern smartphone is a valuable addition to your organisational repertoire. You can capture ideas when you think of them and mark off tasks when they’re done.
5. The Cloud
Dropbox, SkyDrive, iCloud. Whatever. No matter where you want your data stored, there’s a cheap, secure and hassle-free option for you.
Tips & Tricks
1. No One Method Works For Everyone
Your best friend swears by Getting Things Done. Does that make it the right approach for you? Not necessarily. You might be better off with the Pomodoro Technique The reason there’s a proliferation of productivity porn is that many people haven’t found a system that works for them. By all means try new systems, but if they don’t gel with you, move on.
2. Clear Yourself Some SPACE
While we don’t advocate a single method for ongoing organisation, when it comes to clearing clutter we’re unabashed fans of the SPACE method promoted by organisational guru SPACE stands for Sort-Purge-Assign-Containerise-Equalise, and it’s a brilliant technique for eliminating unwanted clutter from your life. Find out more in our detailed Lifehacker 101 guide.
3. Set Organising Time In Your Calendar
Staying organised isn’t something that just happens; you have to work at it, and that means assigning time. Put time in your calendar on a weekly basis for sorting your email and clearing your desk, and respect those appointments. As well, set aside time for broader room-based organisation; yep, we’re talking about spring cleaning. You don’t have to do it in spring, but you do have to do it to stay on top of your domestic life. If you need some guidance, check out our Spring Cleaning: Room By Room series. Picture: Ashley
4. Keep Lists
Lists help. Whether it’s a quickly-pencilled outline of the stuff you need from the supermarket or an elaborately categorised system, making a note of what you need to do is generally more reliable than assuming you’ll just remember. If you want to bring this process to your phone and computer, check out our list of the five best to-do list managers. That said, if pen and paper works for you, go for it. Picture: Juhan Sohin
5. Perfection Is A Delusion
No-one is perfectly organised all of the time. Don’t beat yourself up because you haven’t ticked off every single item on your to-do list or met all of your one-year goals. Ambitions and circumstances change in ways we can never predict. Do your best, and accept that it’s more than most people ever manage.
It’s Improve Your Life Week! Throughout this week, Gizmodo and Lifehacker are joining forces to guide you through the gadgets and strategies you need to improve your life across the board.