On The Go
Photo by Matt Seppings
One of the key ways I stay productive is to make use of little bits of time. I may pay bills or write letters during lunch, or work on website design while waiting for a piano lesson to finish. In order to do that, though, I have to have the items with me so I can work on them.
Like most people, I have many things going on at one time. Right now, for instance, I have projects to
- Plan the spring garden
- Redesign my blogs
- Revise my NaNoWriMo ’07 Novel
- Write a course on using technology to simplify the holidays
- Scrapbook our last vacation
- Catch up on correspondence
Each one of these projects can be worked on anywhere…as long as I have the supporting papers with me. But the total amount of paper is heavy, and I may not have the energy to work on every one of the items. If I have programmed all day, I won’t be as effective at website/blog design, for example. So the key lies in a flexible system where I can carry the papers for several projects, but yet not everything.
When I first started doing this, I carried plain ol’ manilla folders with me. These quickly disintegrated, and papers fell out. I found a zippered binder cover I liked that could hold my office supplies, but it wasn’t big enough to hold all my project files.
I spent some time browsing in an office supply store, and I came up with the following solution:
My Portable System
All of my supporting material is stored in a plastic folder. It is three hole punched, so it goes into my binder, and is made of plastic so it doesn’t disintegrate. Each project gets its own folder, and I label each one with the project name.
My Binder Cover
My binder cover stores supplies, as I have said, including things like pens, stamps, and a small selection of blank paper. In the binder I have divisions for Inbox, Family/Home, Work and Other. All project folders go in the appropriate area.
My Project List
One problem I recently ran across was not remembering I had support material at all! To remedy this, I put a “*” after the project name in my list. With one glance, I can tell there are support materials somewhere, and if I want to work on this project, I need to grab the folder.