Organize Your Home Office Day


Today is Organize Your Home Office Day. I’m probably the last person to provide information on home office organization since I’m organizationally challenged. But having worked at home for many years, I can tell you that organization is a factor in achieving work-at-home success.

While you’ll find a ton of organizational books, tools, totes and more, I believe that organization is a personal thing. I have tried so many different systems and most never worked for me. My mind just doesn’t work the way the systems require one to think and act. In the end I’ve adapted existing or developed my own systems. Here are some tips and tools I like.

iGoogle Start Page

iGoogle – When I turn on my computer and go online, the first page I see is my iGoogle page. It has my whole day at a glance including my calender, to-do’s, Facebook, Gmail, weather, feed reader and more. It my whole life on one page!

Gmail – If you end up having more than one email account, Gmail is a great way to organize and manage them. I send ALL my email except my business mail to a single Gmail account. From there I can respond, label, delete or do whatever needs to be done. I can change my email from profile depending on who I’m writing. The labels make sorting and organizing emails easier than files.

Google Calendar – I used to use Agendus for my desktop and phone. But now that I have a Smart phone, I don’t want to have sync when I can just go online. I can SMS text an appointment to my calendar as well as view it from any computer. It works with iGoogle so I can have it on my start page when I view my day-at-a-glance.

Binder – While I use a lot of online apps, I’m not completely paperless. I haven’t yet found the perfect daily/weekly organizer online (or offline for that matter). So I created my own. I have a fancy full size planner binder in which I keep my schedule as well as sections for my projects. For example I’ll have a section for each blog or my writing work. The actual planner is one page with my weekly view and an opposite page where I keep my weekly writing tasks. The challenge for me was that so many planners were business or personal, but didn’t integrate both. Since I move from one to the other during the day, I needed everyone on one page. So I have my everyday tasks listed at the top along side with my project goals for the week and my home cleaning zone (I try to be like Flylady although I’m not so good at it). Below that I have a section for each day of the week Monday through Friday and the tasks that need to be done that day. For example Monday is grocery day and post all job on the blog for the week. There are blank lines for me to fill in other activities or appointments as well. I use a highlighter to highlight appointments and tasks that have to be done.

Organization is really about being able to access your information and materials when you need them and knowing what you need to be doing and at what time you need to do it. However you’re able to set up your home office to achieve that goal is going to be the best organizational system for you.

You might want to check out my blog Better Living on the Web where I post all sorts of great web-based organizational and make-life-easier tools.

  1. LTruex says

    I use Google Reader too. It has a gadget for my iGoogle page!

  2. Andrew Peel says

    An interesting approach. I use Gmail as my command centre with various Google Lab apps. I find the biggest time savers are as you have done have all my email adresses sent to my main gmail account. I then make use of the Multiple Inboxes feature and star emails red, orange or green. Regular emails that I need to look at and respond to that day I use the filter option and send to the relevant subkect.

    I like your offline approach and it has definitely given me a few good ideas.

  3. Johnathan Livingston says

    Getting organized is such a drag but when you work from home online, you’ve got to focus on being organized as well.
    .-= Johnathan Livingston´s last blog ..Have You Been looking For An Affordable Home Based Business Opportunity? =-.

  4. Leslie says

    Google apps is a great way to get organized. All the productivity tools you need at your fingertips, and online, so you can access them from everywhere.
    Great tips.

    1. LTruex says

      I agree, Leslie. I use tons of Google apps on my computer and phone. iGoogle is my start page with all my email, calender, to-dos and more. Thanks for posting!

  5. john says

    I have always used Gmail and hooked it up to my blog so that emails have a professional looking domain asssociated with them.

    Works well for me!

    1. LTruex says

      I use Google tools a lot… iGoogle, Google Calendar, Gmail, etc. They’re free and effective. You can’t get too much better than that. Thanks for posting John.

  6. Kent Ryan says

    Do you mean you can connect other e-mail accounts to only one gmail account?
    I’m a little bit confused..

    Great post,.. Thanks for the tips.. take care

    1. LTruex says

      Hi Kent, Yes, you can have Google Gmail get your mail from other accounts so you can check it all on Gmail. Under settings you can set it up. Thanks for posting.

  7. Jay M. says

    I work from home most of the time myself. I am finding it hard to get organized. I know it’s a must, but it seems more difficult. I do use outlook instead of Gmail. It helps me manage all my email accounts.

    1. LTruex says

      Hi Jay. I’m organizationally challenged too. The trick is to find the tools and systems that work best for you. In some cases, I’m still looking! Thanks for posting.

  8. Jay says

    Yeah organizing can be tough but it pays ion the long run, thanks for sharing

    1. LTruex says

      I know organizing can be easier for some than others. For me it’s a challenge. Thanks for posting, Jay.

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