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June 16, 2009

Stop Majoring in Minor Things

Picture 16 My big week is all about reassessing priorities and making sure I'm not spinning my wheels on the trivial details of this thing we call life.To me the secret to success is organization. I am definitely a list girl. Write a fresh list. Cross things out as you knock them out. And keep going. In fact...I keep a physical notebook for those action items and create a fresh "to-do" list almost daily. Without the list I tend to flail about like a fish without a current. I enjoy the physical act of writing the list (in blue ink, no less) and crossing things off one by one. And since I have a penchant for neatness, once the list becomes too cluttered (with all that crossing off) it looks messy and I begin anew. And again we begin the process.

But I find that lately I'm using my iPhone more and more for life organization. I don't get the tactile thrill of crossing things off my list, but it does a lovely job of allowing me to sync my digital world with my "real" one. And let's face it, I refuse to ever place an ink pen in a handbag again.

There are no shortage of apps out there for keeping track of your life, but a cult favorite with the designerati seems to be Things from Cultured Code. I've been getting along just fine without it, but I'm starting to see how this little investment might be an elegant way to integrate the on and offline worlds.

{Although I am very, very, very emotionally attached to my pretty notebooks and special blue ink pens. So I will probably use Things for business tasks and shopping lists...not my personal priorities and lists. I'd miss seeing my handwriting and crossing those items off the list so very much!}

If you're playing along this week and are knocking trivial or unpleasant things off of your to-do list, realize that once those are completed you can start LIVING that life of yours. You'll no longer be held back by the minor tasks in life. You can focus on what's really important. Start writing that novel, building that online boutique, starting that master's degree program, opening that bakery.

My commitment to myself is to stop majoring in minor things. And if it takes a cool app from the Apple store to do it or just a simple pen and paper solution, then let's get on with it. The big things in your life are waiting.

What the beautiful people are saying...

I solved the ink problem by getting a little sterling silver pencil from Tiffanys....

Oh! Me too. Though I use mindmaps. Everyday at work I draw a cicle with the date inside and 'cloud' around my to-do actions. I have a mindmapping app on the iphone as well and to do lists for home sync-ed with calendar about home things like picking dry-cleaning, family visits, even the menu of the week etc. Also, an ap for food shopping.
My Husband calls me 'yellow stickie' for my fondness of writing lists (way before PCs/mac/iphones/etc became commodity) on yellow Post-it notes. Well, it was more than 10 years ago.
But I think it's VITAL to do so, if we want to keep on top of a super-demanding jobs, toddlers, work travel, home with or without garden, hobbies and minimum domestic help.
I'd hate to be one of those mothers that are sloppy, disorganised with a messy home and wardrobe. You might not have it all but you find ways to do things more efficiently.

Now that's my kind of solution!

So I'm not the only one having trouble keeping up with the important things! I agree, the mind map is a life saver!

Designers especially are bad at organizing themselves. Which can be troublesome considering their profession.


I was SUCH a list girl, until I got my Palm a few years ago. Then I started making my lists on there. And while I don't get as much satisfaction with deleting the items on the list from the phone as I would crossing them out on a piece of paper...I do feel better about saving trees! :)

I have an itouch, so I'll look to see if they have that app for it as well.

I agree with all of the above. I too am a list girl. BB's only ladies, no iPhone here. Although, I do like the iPhones very much.

I Google Sync to sync my Outlook with my Google Calendar and such. I use SplashShopper for shopping lists and grocery lists.

As far as hand written lists go, I too have my sassy little notebook. I use it to list my wants, needs, desires. Everyone should have one. Franki is right, there is nothing like accomplishing your goals and seeing it "marked-off" on paper.

Something to say, gorgeous?

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