Need To Improve My Organizational Skills

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

My Messy Desk

My desk isn’t usually quite this messy, but with tests and project deadlines swirling around my head, the weaknesses in my organizational skills are being revealed. I actually have a whole other corner of my desk devoted to school stuff – scary, huh?

I’ve heard some good things about the Getting Things Done system by David Allen. I’ve flipped through it at the bookstore and it really appealed to me – talking about getting rid of all the excess noise in our lives and to organize the things that are important so that you can focus on them properly.

If anyone has any experience with GTD or any other good organizational or time management tips, I’m all ears.

p.s. My wife has requested that it be noted for the record that the rest of the house is not this messy, and that I am a slob.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

User Generated Content Disclosure: Comments and/or responses are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser. Comments and/or responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Jonathan,

    It looks no worse than my desk. Maybe I need help too!

  2. Anonymous says

    Ah ha ha ha hah ha ha ha!

  3. Yikes. Your desk looks like mine used to look.

    I implemented GTD a few months ago at work and home. I can’t say enough good things about it.

    I used to let stuff pile up and put ambiguous things on my To-Do list that I hadn’t really thought through. Not anymore.

    For me, it was a completely different way of staying on top of my work and projects, yet it’s natural now.

    If you’re like me, you’ll read the first 30 pages of GTD and want to get started.

    Good luck,

  4. I am a GTD/David Allen devotee. I HIGHLY recommend it. But it won’t work unless you totally commit to it. My wife did it half-way, and it never worked for her.

  5. Improving my organizational skills has been a constant challenge for me. I have never read the David Allen text that was mentioned but one book that I recommend is Brian Tracy’s “Time Power”. It really focuses on prioritizing what things you want to get done so that you can focus on the more important activities. This includes strategies on how to be more efficient in the workplace.

    But just like all books or strategies, you have to make the time and effort to practice these strategies before you can improve your “messy” lifestyle. If you don’t have the mentality to really work at ‘managing yourself’ over a consistent amount of time, it doesn’t matter how many books you read.

  6. Just want to let you know that ED increased their rate and introduced new CD.

  7. Somewhat off post-topic, but on blog-topic… Does anyone have a good resource for past returns and standard deviation for a large variety of general asset classes?


  8. I think you’re probably SOL. When it comes to organization, I think some individuals are genetically predisposed to clutter. I, on the other hand, am on the other side of the spectrum. My desk is immaculate and my to-do list is updated at least twice daily. Now for the BS…

    I don’t beilieve being organized is necessarily more productive. Often my daily desk cleanup is in lieu of getting real work done… it’s called structered procrastination. I can however, tell you the stuff I do on a daily basis so you can immitate on your journey towards diagnosable ADD.

    I put together a week-long list of stuff that needs to be done categorized by class, home, finance, and misc. I then modify the list on a daily basis. In addition, the stuff on my desk is categorized and piled accordingly. I use Quicken so I never have unpaid bills lying around and I have a drawer dedicated to receipts and one dedicated to statements and tax documents.

    You sound like you might be like my wife… she’s terrible at organization, but often states that she needs to get better. To be honest, it’s like fat people on a diet… anything she tries never lasts more than a couple weeks. I wish you the best of luck, but my intuition is that you are doomed.

  9. A constant struggle but I have gotten great tips from Laura Stack at Productivity Pro and Barbara Hemphill has a great system but it takes some effort to get it in place

    Good Luck!

  10. would love to read your review on those two books

  11. It’s like blogger’s plague to have a cluttered desk… the more successful you are, the clutter the desk gets… HA! Might just be a good sign…

  12. do you want me to send you some bookmarks?

    so you know, you can mark your pages.

    dont feel bad, my room is no better.

  13. book…marks? what are those? let me look that up…

    Brilliant!! (Guinness commercial voice)


  14. Just checked out Getting Things Done from my corporate library. It seemed quite in-depth for a book on organization, but I’m willing to give it a shot!

  15. I bought GTD a year ago…and haven’t read it yet! Oh the irony. So yeah…my desk looks like that sometimes too. But I do use those mini post-it flags as book…marks 😉 helps with the stacking LOL

    Maybe I will read GTD on vacation…but my fear is that in order to start it you have to be near all your stuff.

  16. Hi I need to do an 4 week action plan for improving my organizational skills, how would you go about this?

  17. Ok so im trying to write a paper on how to improve my Organizational skills does anyone have any tips that i could use besides having someone help me with orgainizing my things?


Leave a Reply to Steve Mertz Cancel reply