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organizing thoughts, timelines, goals and projects

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

a true right brained, ADHD person, i have SO MANY irons in the fire all at once. i am working on like a million projects and i need some sort of visual way to get everything out on paper so i can look at it an organize my thoughts, time and "next action." 


it needs to be something visual... can be on the computer or paper... whatever works best. 


i LOVE pinterest. but it's just like a brainstorming thing and never goes past the gathering of ideas. 


anyone have any help or suggestions? 

post #2 of 7

Hmm...so like a collage type thing, only more organized?


So maybe printing out Pinterest boards and then cutting them up, pasting them into a notebook where you can make notes?


I would probably start with some sort of scrap book type thing - either virtual or hardcopy.  See if that works, and what you would want to do from there.  There are several digital scrapbooking sites, then you just have to save the pictures you want to your computer and can drop them onto the "pages", you can even print them out in the end and then bind them.

post #3 of 7
Hmmm... I am thinking maybe a magnetic board with tasks/projects on index cards. I would put the title on one side and the steps on the lined side and hang the title only side until I was currently working on that project. Then I would divide it into sections like Need to Do, Want to Do, Must do TODAY or something like that.

You could also print out photos

Or maybe a simple list. I like graph paper for some reason, and I have no idea why it helps me, but it does. I have a list per room and them from those lists, I pull items and put them on my prioritized list, which is constantly changing... or getting buried and forgotten lately... I need to get back to this system because it really worked well for me.
post #4 of 7
I also remembered that Maddy123 posted a thread about using a kanban that you might want to check out.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

mkksmom, great idea, but probably too left brain literal & linear for me to actually follow through with. i will search kanban. 

post #6 of 7

I also have a hard time with this, and I have ADD too. I love love love planning projects and being creative, thinking up new ideas, but the action - well - not so much. My therapist asked me to read a book and find my Enneagram type. I am a seven, The Enthusiast. I think I feel satisfied just by having a thought of something to do, rather than actually doing it.


I love the book: Getting Things Done, The Art of Productivity. It taught me an essential fact: You have to think of the exact next step in a project before you can move it forwards. You can write the project down (Post It note), and have categories :At home, at phone, at computer, on errands, waiting for info from somebody. Move the Post It around as needed.


The Post-it method didn't work so well for me, but I am having a lot of luck using a gmail star approach. As an email comes in, I assign it a colored star to put it in the correct inbox (you can have multiple inboxes with gmail, all shown above a main inbox. My inboxes are: At home, At Work, Ask someone, Waiting for info, Errand. Once an item is completed, I un-star it, and move it to Reference/Actioned. I have a horrible memory, so it helps if I am demotivated (and before I meet weekly with my boss) to review my Actioned emails, to remind myself of what I have accomplished. 


I first had to move 2000 emails out of my inbox, and just created a reference label for them. Now, if I am at home, I know I can only action the green items on my email list. When I am at work, I try to just do the orange items, since I have a limited time in the office, and I try not to go in too much.


I need to be disciplined with the stars, but it really forces me to really think about what my next step is. It helps me stay focused too, since I have smaller groups of emails to manage, and I typically get overwhelmed and anxious very easily. I now send emails to myself, since gmail has become my one and only to-do list. It helps that I can access this on my phone. 


For paper, I carry around manila folders, with specific project headings on them. I have a handbag/laptop bag that zips all the way down so it's easier for me to stay organized and find things (very forgetful and lose things all the time). I have corresponding hanging file folders at home, so as projects are finished, they are supposed to be filed (still working on that, my bag is really heavy right now.)


I hope I have helped somewhat. Good Luck!

post #7 of 7

I LOVE to dream up projects!!! Project planning is actually FUN for me! My mother cringes. LOL


So, yes, I always have a million projects I want to do and I am typically in the midst of half a dozen at any given time. ;)


In order to actually COMPLETE a project, I employ a few methods:


1) Just do it. I know. Old saying, but it really works. I went through a period in my life (when DD was very young) where I literally set aside certain nights as "project night" several times a week. I'd try to gather the items slowly and put them in one place (related to where I would be working on the project) in advance. If it was an intense "prep" list, then gathering and prep-work would be done as "part one" of the project (one night) and then I'd be ready for the next project night to actually complete the project. I have more flexibility now and I often just get up and do the project right then and there. Last night, for example, DD wanted to make a hair detangler and lemonade. The three of us (DH, DD, and I) camped out in the kitchen together after dinner and just did it.


2) When I need to do a lot of research for a project or I WANT to do a lot of research first (I love researching!!!), then I use a notebook or pad of paper. I like handwriting sometimes! I use books and the internet for research (and other sources), so it is nice to have my laptop open and books in a pile next to me and a notebook and pencil. I'll move the whole pile around with me as I move from room to room sometimes. When the research is done and I have narrowed done the actual project, then the tabs get closed on the computer and the books get put away. I only have the notebook or pages from the pad of paper to tote around. I tend to use a piece of paper for short-range, need to (want to) do it soon projects and notebooks for long-range, maybe I'll do it and maybe not. The piece of paper gets folded up and placed in my [very small] purse for easy reference wherever I am and the project ends up getting done. The notebooks work in the sense that I get to research until my heart's content and it is all contained in one item. If I deem the project worthy, then I can certainly take the notebook wherever I need to in order to prepare (stores, library, friends, wherever). I have a smallish notebook (5x8) that I use for all my homemade toiletries recipes. I'd like to say the notebook is neat and organized into sections of some sort, but honestly it is simply all in there randomly. I started in the back of the book for some things; the front for others; middle spots here and there; seriously very little rhyme or reason. LOL The point, however, is any time I want to make something, I grab that notebook. Either a recipe is already in there waiting OR I want to record what I end up making to keep everything in one place. Everyone in the family knows what book I am referring to and can find it.


3) Something I started a number of years ago and has been amazingly effective is I took the time to type up a list of all the unfinished projects I wanted/needed to do in our house. I used Excel because I like it and I used three columns: empty square (for checkmarks), name of project with only the next action step needed, and the room (or person for the misc category) where the finished project belongs. These are all the unfinished projects for which I have SOMETHING already in-house and are mostly craft-related or home improvement related. The idea was to get them all on one list, so I could put the actual items away and not forget about them. I took the time to pack each project into a single (existing) bag or wrap it unto itself and place them all into a large basket. Ha! Well, they didn't quite all fit. Understatement of the year. LOL I had partial projects stuffed all over the place! Anyway, through the prominent placement of this list into a clear page protector (ahem, it was 3 sheets of paper when I started) in our family "tray", where all papers go until handled, I saw it every single week and I started really wanting to check some of those items off!!! I also joined a challenge to that end. Over a period of time, I am happy to say the list has shrunk to one side of one page and now it stands in a prominent spot on my desk (it was getting too easy to pass it over weekly since it had been there so long).


4) Any printed project ideas go into the aforementioned "family tray" and are seen weekly when I sit down to do our family finances and paperwork. When the tray gets too full of papers, I get tired of shuffling the non-financial paperwork around and I either do the darn project already (lol) or I pass it along.


Hope all this rambling helps someone...LOL

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