Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
A few weeks I started thinking about how every “system” says that you don’t need special tools to implement their system…but also has the tools available. I came to the conclusion that the reason so many people buy, and discard, these specialized tools is that it is easier to buy a pre-made one and bend our styles to the tool than to make a productivity system without guidance. The aim of this series is going to be to help us define our toolset to make us productive.
How You Use Information
Knowing how you use information can shed some light on how you need to process it. For example, if you collect recipes and use them in the kitchen, they do no good stored on a computer unless that computer is available to you in the kitchen. If you use an electronic calendar, the appointment cards most doctors hand out would have to be transcribed into the computer.
Figuring Out Where You Use It
The secret to figuring out where you use your incoming information will drive where you put it. For each area of your life you want to track, separate out how information comes in in relation to where it ends up. You will need to have some system in place if the information needs to be transcribed from one medium to another.
Case Study: My System
For my work system, all things arrive via email. At the point the email arrives I have to decide: do I need to update the status of something? Do I need to act on it? Do I need to pass it on? Do I need to store it?
If I need to act on it, or delegate it, I need to track it somehow. If I need to file it, there has to be a way to retrieve it quickly.
At home, things are a different matter. We have a family calendar that contains information about all three of us. It is a paper calendar, and I take all information and update it weekly. My husband does the same, upon prompting. When we need to know what is going on, we look at the calendar. If it isn’t on there, it doesn’t happen. So part of my system has to be a way to get the information from my personal appointments to the family spot.
Photo by jessica jeanne