Sunday, January 4, 2009

Reader Shout Out

I have to give a personal shout-out to two readers of this blog.

Laurie, who recently commented about being inspired to simplify her life. I'm so glad you found something helpful Laurie.

Kamala, my cousin. After putting up my year-end update, I found out Kamala spent a couple of hours reading. I realized, she must have read the whole blog! Now that's determination. Thanks Kam.

My Documents

First, let me apologize the person I'm stealing this from. I found it somewhere during an internet search. I have no idea where I found, otherwise I would give them credit.

I've been looking for a better way to organize "My Documents" (on my laptop). I had one "My Documents" folder, which is organized, like one filing cabinet. But inside that, way too much disorganization. Nothing made much sense.

Here's the new system, a five folder system.

Folder Zero: Inbox
This is the place for all new files. The key is, everything is cleared out of the inbox at the end of the day. The reason it is folder zero? It's not a real folder, not a place to store anything.

Folder One: Action
This folder is used for anything that needs something done to it: quick edit, rename, send to a friend, etc.

Folder Two: Incubate
I use this one for anything that requires more thought, or something that needs action, but I'm not going to work on it anytime soon. I have some presentations I am working on (although I don't work on them daily), some ideas for papers, projects, etc.

Folder Three: Current Projects
Self-explanatory folder. Right now, there are only 12 things in this folder. When I finish them, they'll move to Action, or folder 4.

Folder Four: Archive
Everything that doesn't fit in one of the other folders, goes here. Obviously, I still want to be able to find things in this folder. The organization of this folder is dynamic, changing often.

Now I actually have more than just five folders in "My Documents." I also have a folder named "Wendell School District." I keep all my work related documents there. I has the same folders and organization under it: Inbox, Action, Incubate, Current Projects, and Archive.

Is this the perfect system? Probably not, but it'll do for now.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

What's In Store for 2009?

As the year changes, I like to look back on the previous year, and forward to the next.
What happened last year that was productive? How can I continue that?

What happened last year that was a waste of time and energy? How can I replace that?

Where do I want to be a year from today?
Who do I want to be a year from today?

My 500 Things
Although I've reached that goal, I can see that the process is not complete. I don't have a number in mind anymore. To set one at this point would be ... ... ... pointless? irrelevant? meaningless? arbitrary? futile? I don't know what word I want there.

It seems that the number has become less important than the process and the meaning. 500 was a good starting point. It forced some "sacrifice" and some sincere examination of importance, use and meaning of the things I own. Now, that process has become habit. I often look at the things sitting on my desk, or in my bookshelf, and think, "Now why do I have that? Oh yes, I remember."

It also forces me to look at purchases. Before I buy something I scrutinize the purpose of the purchase.

In 7th grade English at Wendell Middle School, Heather Annis (the teacher) had the kids write biographies of their grandparents. Some kids either didn't have grandparents, or didn't have access to them. Other adults were brought in as surrogate grandparents. I got to be the surrogate grandfather for two kids. It was very fun.

One of the kids quoted me as saying, "When I die, I hope the clothes I'm wearing are my only possessions."

I think that pretty much sums up the goal from here.