The Yearly Organization Spiral

Every year, just as the academic spring semester ends, I go into what I call an Organizational Spiral. Basically, it's a spiral where I try to organize my life and, when all is said and done, am happy if I made any progress at all. My wife makes fun of me because she says I spend more time figuring out ways to get organized than I do actually getting organized. Inevitably she's right, but each year I do the same thing. The worst part about it is I often realize I'm in the middle fo the Organizational Spiral and just can't shake the desired to continue trying to overhaul my organizational life. Allow me to provide some examples.

Example 1: Workflows

I love the idea of workflows. Linking 2+ applications or process steps together with the goal of being more productive and saving time. For example, I want to be able to take meeting notes and when I establish something as a to-do it is automatically added to my to do manager OmniFocus. I've found a way to do this with Evernote and OmniFocus (TaskClone, but it costs too much money and I like to try to figure out how to do these things on a budget (aka... free).

So far, I haven't found a solution other than to manually enter each of my to-dos using the OmniFocus keyboard shortcut. I use DEVONthink Pro, so I could take notes in DEVONthink and use the reminder script, but that links to the whole note in DEVONthink and I just want the individual action items from within the note. This is just one example, but over the years I've explored a lot of other things like optical character recognition (OCR) using Tesseract, using Skim and DevonThink to auto-extract my reading notes from PDF files, etc... etc...

So here's my point. I often spend a lot of time (possiblity more time) trying to figure these things out, when I could just manually do the organization.

Example 2: Note Taking

I am the worst for taking notes in random places. I currently have notes in the Apple Notes app, Evernote, DEVONthink, Notability, NValt, handwritten notebooks (if not on single sheets of the closest crumpled-up paper), and probably other places. Here's the problem with all of this. For some reason, scattering my notes around like this drives my brain crazy. It's like my brain knows there is information out there, but it focuses on the fact that it doesn't know where it is or have an organization mechanism for it.

Make a Choice and Be Consistent

So here's my plan for getting out of the Organizational Spiral this year. I'm going to just make a choice and consistently do the activities needed to be organizated. I'm going to take all of my notes in DEVONthink and manally enter the to-dos after each meeting. I'm going to forget about workflows, Evernote, Notability, and all that other stuff for the summer.

Not sure if it will work, but it's better than where I currently find myself.