Feb 22, 2012

Ask Amy: Organization

By: Amy Atlas, in Ask Amy


Amy, HELP! How do you stay organized with multiple projects going on at the same time? Do you have a certain tool you use to keep it together? I have tried so many different things: calendars, daily/weekly/monthly planners, lists, etc. I can’t find the one thing that keeps things organized and easily accessible/visible that works for me. I’m starting to go a little batty! ANY help would be greatly appreciated!!


Raychel – I have the same issue so I welcome anyone who reads this to chip in!  For a calendar, I use google calendar. It helps keep my staff organized and I also use it separately for my “home” life like my kid’s schedules, weekend activities with my husband, and general house matters. Besides the calendar, I am all about lists!  I make a list every day of things that have to get done. It is usually never-ending and I have to update it throughout the day, but lists keep me focused. Without them, I would definitely forget a thing or two! Often, I separate items on my list by priority or big picture vs. small picture. I’m sure there are other great tools out there so I welcome everyone to join in on this!

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  • Cris B

    Try Basecamphq.com they have a 30 day trial

  • Amy

    Thank you, Cris! Liene from Think Splendid just suggested basecamp as well. I appreciate your feedback. -Amy

  • i use wunderlist on my phone — i keep up with multiple lists at the same time, can enter due dates that show up on my phone’s homepage, and checking things off feels so good!

    it is my most favorite tool, it’s easy and it’s free.

  • Basecamp is great but can be very frustrating… and depending on your needs it can be very intuitive or lacking in basic management for syncing todo lists…

    what exactly do you need from it? to store images and content, contracts, delegating to other team members, storing financial info, team management, or solely a client interface to keep everything in one place?

    We have used over 8 crms in the last 2 years, so we’ve had our fair share of love hate relationships 🙂

  • I use my outlook calendar along with my calendar book. I tried using my phone, but it is just too small and more of a pain. Aside from those, I am also all about lists and a very organized method of filing for the different projects I have going on {weddings, invitations, rentals…}. Good luck Amy!

  • I run a web agency plus website directories in South Africa. I manage most of the sites we run and it can be chaotic especially with staff needing input.

    I suggest FreshDesk or ZenDesk – if you run your emails on Google apps, you can link it with your emails and then your calendar as well. Just a thought 🙂

  • I use a planner from http://www.planner.com It isn’t the most flash website but the planner is ace. It works on a funnel system – at the top you write down your to do’s by project (in columns), then below that you allocate your tasks to specific days then below that you have your daily schedule. You can use it for just work, just home, or both. I love it (although I’ve neglected it these past few weeks, and I’ve paid for that!)

  • Alexa

    Hi Amy, I’m new to this and can really use your help. How do you get all your ideas to come to life? I have so many ideas in my head that when the day comes I panic and can’t seem to bring them to life “display” the way I’d like to 🙁 What should I do? Paper and pencil isn’t cutting it for me.

  • I use Google calendar (color coded by child – I have 3 boys) and the MomAgenda paper calendar/planner. I’ve been burned a few times by dying/crashing computers, so I need a paper back-up. I love the MomAgenda because it has a large section for me and smaller sections for each of my 3 kids and a small section for menu planning. I color code my kids for almost everything – the wall calendar that shows them their activities in their ink color, their backpacks, lunchboxes and binders are all in a different color. With each kid has their own color, it makes it easy for them to find their things and even easier for me to blame the right kid when they leave their things out for me to trip over:)

  • I am like you Amy and have to make lots of lists although I realized they need to be in journals loose lists are disaster for me as they get lost 🙂 I have one journal for projects, then I have docs on my computer that are sometimes more detail oriented lists or that is usually where all of my number crunching is done. I use my ipad for to-do’s that I can check off…such as my lists to get at stores so I don’t forget things. I use my momagenda for overall life schedule that way I can see my work commitments with the kids’ schedules etc. I tried to use google calendar but it was too hard on the computer I really like writing. I also have a to-do section in my planner, so basically LOTS of list 🙂

  • Tina

    Hi everyone,

    I use things, which is a great app and computer application. It synchronizes very well. Unfortunately you cannot share with other people. You are only able to forward tasks.
    But that is just fine with my workflow.

    Greetings Tina

  • I use Simple Soiree iphone app, cozi calendar and SuperPlanner app. Another app I like, but is not for organization is InspireLite for party theme ideas.

  • When I worked in a graphic design studio, we used todolist (www.abstractspoon.com/tdl_resources.html) to delegate tasks between team members, set priorities and keep track of time spent on each project.

    On my everyday life, I use the old paper lists and I always carry a planner and a small notebook in my purse. Works for me 🙂

  • Liz

    Hi everyone,
    I also use Google calendar for my appointments etc and then use Google spreadsheets & documents to house all my lists etc. I like it as I can access them all in one place and set up folders by name of event and file all the lists and documents under that folder 🙂

  • Try http://www.binfire.com , a free version fro two project or a basic plan ($10)for 10 projects and 6 users gives you all you need to run multiple project. It is easy to use and at the same time includes all tools you need to manage a project, like tasks and sub-tasks, interactive Gantt and interactive whiteboard.