Tuesday, March 14, 2006

When I used to run my own business, I had a giant pinboard next to my desk. This was thanks to a rather wonderful book byAnne McGee Cooper, with Duanne Trammell, called Time Management for Unmanageble People.

Every time a new job came in, or there was something else to do, I created a little note for it, much like a Post-It®, but not sticky. I had hours of fun drawing little picture squares as backgrounds for these notes (you can see why I needed to read that book.)

I had headings pinned up on the board, such as TODAY, FORTHCOMING ATTRACTIONS, INVOICE, etc, and I would move the little note around until it was done and finished.

So if a client said, I want to brief you on a new brochure next week, I would do a not that said X Brochure for example and stick it up under Forthcoming Attractions. That would remind me to phone the client about it if I hadn't heard any more. It would eventually move to Today, when I would work on it, and Invoice, when I would send out the bill.

The was a wonderful system and worked very well for me.

Of course, since closing my business and moving to Europe, the whole system is shot. I don't have a business, for a start, and I'm not likely to start one given the anti-entrepreneurial system here. So lots of things just don't get done. And I got tired of it. I tried the Flylady system for a while, but there were too many irrelevant emails and the time zones were too different for it to keep on working. I made my own schedule off that, but of course I wasn't set up to send myself emails automatically.

So I did a search to see if I could find some software that would serve a similar purpose. What I found was CuteReminder.

And it really is cute. And simple. There's a central control panel where you can set up daily, weekly, monthly or annual reminders. You know, like "Make the bed." (Don't laugh, I do need to be reminded.)

Then you have permanent sticky note that hangs around your screen. And a thing for "ideas" that pops up every couple of days, for things you don't want to think about now, but don't want to to forget about.

It's working brilliantly! I have a little tune snippet (We have all the time in the World) which plays when the regular reminders come up, and another which plays when I click Done! (Another one bites the dust.) The button doesn't really say Done, but that's what it means.

It just reminded me to write a new blog. (Weekly.) So I thought I would return the favour. It really is helping me get re-organised again, and while I can't catch up on everything at once, every long journey starts with the initial few steps.