Sticky Notes – Really?

Our friend Josh Collier kicks off our first segment on time management:

I had this friend who organized his life with sticky notes. I thought he was so disorganized – he literally carried his laptop and a manilla folder filled with printer paper. Each page of paper was covered in sticky notes. What drove me – a borderline organization obsessor – most crazy was that he used different colors of sticky notes with no rhyme or reason! I was sure my methods would always be better.

It’s easy to get all gung-ho on technology these days. Want a project management app in the cloud? Have you tried Basecamp, Teamwork, Asana, or Nozbe? Need some way to organize and manage all your contacts? Have you tried Pipedrive, Highrise, Salesforce? Google docs, Box.com, Dropbox, Evernote… at what point do we spend more time ‘getting organized’ than actually doing? For all the time spent figuring out a new way to get organized, how much time could we have spent thanking and investing in the stakeholders of our causes?  Another friend called this ‘spending more time managing our management than getting things done.’

When it comes down to it, my friend’s sticky notes worked. He knew where each one belonged and could quickly prioritize and re-organize his tasks. Did he sometimes miss things? Absolutely. But the lesson is this: you don’t need bells and whistles to use your time effectively.

I’ll admit, I’m the first to be dazzled by a bright shiny new app.

But what I’m learning is an obvious and seemingly trite maxim: Go with what works. I’m making a life pledge to give up the endless quest to re-organize my tasks and projects better. I’m going with what works – it could even end up being a page of sticky notes (color coded, of course).

Stay tuned for next week as we talk more about what does actually work.  In the meantime – what’s working for you?  Join the conversation at @infosmallchange #ascblog

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