I’m often criticized for being too organized. I’ll blame it on my PMP! Since I get so much grief about it in the office – I thought that I’d share why I feel that organization is important. Most people get it. And, most people appreciate having at least one team member that is organized. Ok – wait a second! My closet doesn’t look like this…so don’t run away yet! Although, wouldn’t it be nice if my closet looked like this!
This post is not just about being Type A. It’s about the productivity that can be gained by being organized – and maybe a few tools that will help you. These tools can help if you are organized (like me) or trying to become more organized.
As a starting point, here are some quick thoughts about the benefits of organization in every day business:
- Meeting time is well spent and productive
- Timeline expectations can be realistically set and negotiated with C-Level executives
- Team members are held accountable for their responsibilities
- Communication is improved
- Metrics can be defined to determine if a project is on track as compared to its original baseline
- Scope creep can be identified, mitigated, and managed
In this brief post, I found myself wanting to add more to this list. There are many more benefits to being organized, but the above list is a starting point.
I use a few tools which I thought may be helpful to highlight for others too. If you haven’t run into Levenger already – I find them an incredibly helpful resource for these types of things.
- Levenger Circa Notebook – Neat notebook from Levenger that allows you to add, move, and subtract pages which utilize their circa system. As your notebook grows, you can buy larger discs so that it holds additional pages. They even have nifty dividers if you’d like to separate out different projects.
- Action Method Sheets – These sheets have changed the way that I take notes in meetings. They are great for capturing next steps.
- Project Planner Sheets – These sheets are great for when you are initiating a project and brainstorming about the potential project activities and next steps. As you work with the team, you can jot down your prelim project plan in these sheets before you spend more time on transposing it electronically later.
- Microsoft OneNote – If you prefer to work on your computer, Microsoft OneNote is a great tool to capture meeting notes, organize your thoughts, and document action items. You can setup different pages for different projects or different meetings. It also integrates with Microsoft Office and has a built-in screen capture tool. If you are an Outlook user, Microsoft OneNote integrates with Outlook meeting requests. This can be handy if you want to quickly insert the name of the meeting and the meeting attendees into your notes. If you are the meeting organizer, this can also help you to quickly take attendance as individuals come into the meeting room.
Of course, these are just a few of many tools that could jump-start your organizational efforts. What do you use? Please share!