Chaos of organizational systems

07 May 2015, by Olga Douglas in Developer

My life is a mess. After working on a worksheets from Darren Hardy’s The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster book, I identified my enemy #1 is messiness. Many rooms in my house have storage boxes or places where junk piles up. I carry a folder with paper to-dos in my computer case, and an additional tote with more papers or things in transit. The tote and a folder are rarely opened; they are just carried from home to office and back. Let me tell you about my to do systems:

  1. Office 365 inbox
  2. Outlook calendar
  3. Kanbanery board
  4. Tote with papers
  5. Paper folder in my computer case, aka the black hole
  6. Home fridge
  7. Physical Kanban board at home
  8. Physical Kanban board at office
  9. Sticky notes around my desk


After a really bad night sleep, twice interrupted by sick youngsters, I am ready for a change! My goal is to have:

  • – To Do system in a calendar. These are my MUST do.
  • – Ideas system in Kanbanery. These are things I COULD do if I finished my calendar responsibilities and looking for some random tasks.
  • – Shared office responsibilities system on a physical Kanban board at the office. This is an information radiator of all projects at BDC Software so that I know what’s going on around me.

Here’s my plan of attack:

  • – Record my journey in this blog.
  • – Restructure My Ideas system from existing Kanbanery tasks into 3 columns: Hard to decide, Easy decision, Done.Kanbanery
  • – Make Inbox go to zero either by scheduling on Outlook calendar OR adding as a Kanbanery task into the Hard to decide or Easy decision columns.
  • – Eliminate my tote.
  • – Eliminate the black hole folder.
  • – Remove fridge tasks into digital Kanbanery board for household.
  • – Repurpose physical kanban board at home into inspiration board filled with pretty pictures.
  • – Designate sticky notes around my desk as an immediate to do, if not, then it goes either to calendar or Kanbanery.
  • – Create a BDC Software projects information radiator. If a project is in an active Scrum sprint, I indicate team and time frame. All others are on a simplified Kanban task board.WP_20150506_001

I have been using this system for two weeks.  My head is much clearer because I know what to do first, what to do when I’m done with must-do tasks, and what’s going on around me.  My email’s inbox is consistently around 30, which is much better that 70. I have come to a greater peace, and of course I have much room for continuous improvement.