Info Management Ideas

brainbookmarks.gifRecently I took one of those online surveys that is purported to help you figure yourself out. You would think I would know pretty much about myself by now at midlife, but I figure since I’m going to be traveling with me, myself and I for many more moons, I might as well acquaint each of these trinity pieces with each other and help them all manage. Reassuringly (and I am quite sure, falsely) I like smack in the middle between left and right-brained dominance. I already know I’m hugely right-brained, but the left brain leaning would impose some welcome order in my regular chaos.

“Me” in particular is fond of collecting, while “I” desire to organize this stuff, and “Myself” tries to chip in with some tools for doing so. (No dear reader, I’m not TRULY schizophrenic!) I’ve discovered I could use my Gmail contact list as a virtual filing system. I’ve got “contacts” which serve as individual file folder of sorts, set up with info that I want to have at my fingertips any time I log onto a computer. I keep each recurring bill as a contact, with the confirmation codes for recent payments and payment dates for online payments. I keep running lists under a separate contact name, like “Movies” for flicks I want to queue up on Netflicks when I re-enlist.  Currently I have over 300 entries in contacts between these file entities and real people, but the list is alphabetical, and can be sorted by key word, so it’s navigable so far.

I’ve tried some freebie online file storage sites, but so far though I haven’t used any with great frequency, I plan to. I also find keeping a running to-do list as a draft email helps me keep some ideas to follow up with on the radar. I add to items I want take care of to the draft email, and I can even include hyperlinks of sites I want to go back to with notes on what I want to do at the site. This list is good for computer-related “to-do’s” or noting when I’m one computer, like my office computer, things I need to take care of at home. I’m a big fan of bookmarking the sites I like (that greedy “Me” trying to gobble up the universe in bite-sized gulps!) and try to organize things in logical (?) and manageable folders…I use Mozilla Firefox as my browser, and these are some of my folders:

  • Email (Caveat, okay, so I throw into that folder some non-email sites that I want to call up daily, like Facebook, Pandora radio)
  • Dance (I’m currently a dance fiend, and have at least 4 studios I visit regularly for ballroom and tango lessons)
  • Clips and Images (I have things like free greeting card sites such as,, and others for when my friends’ birthdays pop up from life- and face-saving entries on, some great free clip art sites, and some other image sites like Yahoo.images.
  • Blogs (for blogs I like to revisit), with a sub head “for Blog” for things I might want to opine on in future self therapy sessions
  • Friends sites
  • Reference (a catch all, with subcategories including Financial (all my bill-paying sites), Computer how-to’s (fixes, short-cuts, etc. on programs I use, like PageMaker, Photoshop, Excel, etc.), as well as things like Mapquest, weather sites, Wikipedia,, white pages links, USPS’s page, etc.)
  • Marketing
  • Calendaring Events (I do freelance PR for a few places, like one of my dance studios, and send events and class listings to local calendars, and also like to check out other cultural events in my ‘hood, in case I get bored–as if!).

I’ve yet to use Stumble Upon! for site investigation or also learn more about “digging” into other buried treasure yet, because at the moment I’m pretty maxed out/info-overloaded with self-punishment from my favorite opt-in emails, which include, Microsoft Inside Office newsletter, The BNET Report, MarketingProfs Today, CNET Membership, Monster Career News, Knowledge at Wharton, and some local email lists and the fun “forwards” that a few of my dependable jokester-junkie friends send me. Whew, now I know where my time’s been trickling off to!

Published in: on March 26, 2008 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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