What Kind of Organizer Are You?

What Kind of Organizer Are You?

Mike Tyson
Oct 5, 2011

Apple's media event yesterday reminded us of their new Reminders app which is their own version of the to-do list, integrated with iCal. We got to thinking how lovely that would be to use but quickly remembered we already had our to-do list app of choice: Things. And then we tried reasoning to ourselves how it would be possible to use both. Do we need both?

We remembered not too long ago when we used nothing... and kept it all in our heads. It seems as though the offerings for organizational methods in both digital and analog form are only going to get broader and more diverse. So we ask you, what kind of organizer are you? And do you feel like it's time to adapt to newer technologies as they're introduced?

*Disclaimer: none of these methods are purported to be any better or worse than the other. If it works for you then that is all that matters.

The brainiac
This used to be our method of organizing everything. From dates to locations, times, to-dos, homework, we did it all in our head. Granted this was in our early college days which didn't prove to be too fruitful. The brainiac either actively refuses to use other methods of writing down notes and information because it is time consuming or they simply don't think it is as efficient as their own human mind.

The revivalist
As people begin to adopt contemporary ways of organization (see Apple's Siri), you happily tote around a Moleskine notebook wherever you go, jotting down the pertinent information. This method is efficient due to its speed and directness. It's very easy to write (and more so sketch) in a notebook than it is in a digital interface. People also tend to gravitate towards this method because they like the feel of paging through a physical book and it might give them more organizational control to quickly tare pages out, rearrange them, tape things in, etc...

The bridge
People who oscillate between both analog and digital interfaces for their organizational methods can be seen as the bridge. During most of school we would operate this way. We could take notes in a notebook during the lecture then transcribe/clarify the notes later in the computer. Homework could be written down in a notebook but tasks and to-dos were reserved for Things and iCal. This method of operation was neither extremely efficient nor inefficient. But we did feel like there were gaps in our process that could be better solved.

The loyal techie
The tech world can easily become fickle and brand loyalty is hard to come by (unless you're Apple, it seems). The loyalist, however, has found a single program that serves them well and sticks with it, no matter what. We've found that with Things -- the application/mobile app which has worked out perfectly for our needs and has integrated nicely with our daily routine. The benefit with the loyal techie is that you're very familiar with the program and you know it works well with your data. The downside, however, is always having that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that MAYBE something better is out there... but how would you know?

The pioneer
This person again sticks totally to tech-based organizing systems yet is much more open to new applications or technology which might come along, whether or not it has been a tried and true method. An example of this could be the new Siri technology by Apple which is introducing a personal assistant that recognizes your speech. It can write emails for you, schedule appointments, create reminders, and it even knows when things are conflicting and can act on that information. The potential for this is huge yet is largely untested. Do you see yourself throwing caution to the wind and adopting such a new technology to handle your daily life? If so you could be the pioneer techie. We wish you the best into a place no man has gone before. Another challenge to this, however, is that whenever you adopt a new method of organizing, you often need to migrate your data form the former app. And quite frankly, this can be plain annoying.

(Images: Flickr member knitwick and Mike Rohde licensed for use under Creative Commons.)

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