All posts tagged: Organization

Ditching Multitasking to Be More Mindful

I’m sitting at my desk with my phone on speaker mode. This allows me to participate in this conference call but leaves my hands free to type away on my keyboard. That, in turn, enables me to take care of all manner of business from booking Christmas flights to Miami to checking stats on my football pool to ordering a new coffeemaker. I am a master multitasker! Or, not so much. Turns out I missed half of what each person had to say on the call and added no comments of my own since I was only partially listening. I ordered the wrong carafe for the coffeemaker because I wasn’t paying full attention to that chore either. As for the tickets? Hopefully, I’ll end up in Miami, not Minsk. What’s behind this drive to tackle multiple tasks simultaneously? The obvious answer is that it feels good to get stuff done. But it turns out that a sense of accomplishment isn’t the true driver of this borderline manic behavior. The culprit is actually the rush we …

The Beauty of a Bullet Journal — and How it Keeps Me Organized

A glimpse of a bullet journal. (Photo courtesy Rachel Grob) I have always struggled with organization. I would make to-do lists on Post-its, update calendars and planners but nothing really stuck…until I tried a Bullet Journal. I first heard about the journals through a Facebook post and was intrigued by the beautiful handwriting and colorful drawings that covered the pages. I love to doodle, paint and scrapbook, and so I knew that the creative aspect of a Bullet Journal would keep me interested. It’s not monotonous like a planner, so each page is something completely different and new. Unlike a traditional planner, a Bullet Journal doesn’t require you to stick to a pre-designed layout or theme – in fact, it thrives on creativity and sporadic inspiration, allowing you to organize your thoughts in a way that works best for you. While you could use virtually any notebook to create a Bullet Journal, there are a few rules you need to follow. Every Bullet Journal starts with a Key, an Index and a Future Log. The …

My System: The Four-Pocket Office

(Photo: Margit Detweiler/ TueNight) Who: Mary Pat Boian, editor of the Lovely County Citizen, Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Originally from Denver, Mary Pat visited Eureka in the ’70s, fell in love with the town’s beauty… and the sound of bugs: “The first thing I noticed were the sound of beetles, cicadas, mosquitoes… It’s rich here. There was nothing like this in Denver.” So, she stayed. (I met Mary Pat while I was at a writer’s colony, in Eureka Springs. We chatted about her system over cocktails at Rogue’s Manor.) System: Mary Pat uses her carpenter jeans as her purse or as Mary Pat says, “my office.” Each pocket has a purpose. “I have to buy jeans with decent pockets. I can’t buy girls jeans. These were $12 at Freds.” Her 4-pocket office: 1. Left Front: “I keep my pocket knife there, and my iPhone.” She shows me her slim pocket knife. “I gave this pocket knife to my dad for Christmas and he gave it back to me.” She looks at me dead in the eye, “Never give …

My System: One Blackboard to Rule Them All

(Photo: Adrianna Dufay/ TueNight) Who: Adrianna Dufay, founding member of TueNight  System: My family uses a huge (4′ x 6′) blackboard on our kitchen wall that holds our weekly family calendar, nightly dinner reminders, grocery list, general to-do list and notes passed back and forth. Inspiration: My husband and I both work full time, have lots of evening events and have two kids in two different schools. We’ve experimented with different calendars for years now — online or not, separate or together, paper or write-erase, monthly or weekly— and this is the system that has inspired the most calm. How it works: On Saturday morning, we turn on cartoons in the other room and banish the children. Then we pour ourselves some coffee and dump everything from our shared electronic calendar (and anything else we forgot) onto the board. As we talk through the next week, we’re writing our to-do list on one side of the board and groceries on the other. How long it takes: It takes about an hour, but when we’re done with that, we’re ready …

System: Pin Your Inspiration

Above my desk is a messy cork board crammed with photos, doodles, postcards, reminders and general bon mots. Looking up at this smattering of inspiration every day warms me and grounds me. It reminds me where I’ve been and where I want to go. A rainbow drawn by my niece; the band of 14-year-old girls I coached; a postcard of author Eudora Welty; a scrawled love note from my husband; Stefan Sagmeister’s manifesto which includes “Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.” (The April date on the calendar proves that some of this stuff goes up and I never really look at it again.) I’ve had a wall of inspiration since I could apply scotch tape to ripped-out pages from Tiger Beat. Here’s the highschool version behind the 16-year-old me, almost exclusively music-related (and yes, that’s a cassette tape in my hand). That my parents let me affix radio bumperstickers to my wall…wow. And like everything good these days, there’s now an online version. In the last few months I’ve spent/ wasted/ enjoyed about two hours making lists and …

My System: The Perfect Pantry

Who: Don Gaile, an award-winning filmmaker, food lover and entrepreneur. He says he’s been a stickler for uniformity “ever since I wore my first clip-on-tie to kindergarten photo day.” System: To create the perfect pantry, visual uniformity was key. Don says he first had to amass the exact same containers. He found the perfect container in the ClickClack brand. “I ordered them straight from New Zealand when it appeared I bought out [all NYC stores].” says Don. How many do you now have?“83.” Wow. Ok, this system must really work for you! “It solves two problems. 1. Aesthetics: Just because it’s behind a door doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be beautiful and clean. 2. Organizational clarity: I know what I’m out of and know when to buy more rather than attempt to open a box only to find a scant of an ingredient. Also, I can fit a lot more in my pantry by eliminating oversized boxes.” Any system to your labeling? I’m assuming it’s alphabetized. Can you share your funniest label? “Of course they’re all labeled with a P-touch. Lower case lettering. …