Wish me well ... I'm coming to the point of knowing that learning in this area is essential to being able to successfully move forward. My brain doesn't naturally figure all this stuff out--maybe yours does. For now I'm thankful for some specific directions for organizing my thinking, my house, and maybe I'll then be able to help my co-workers learn to better organize our work together.
I am trying to learn from David Allen a comprehensive method for managing and organizing my life. Yeah, I know, it looks like another one of those promise-the-world-change-your-life-fluff types of books. "Stress-free Productivity" --wow, doesn't that sound good? I saw it recommended on a few blogs and checked it out a bit before buying. As I read it makes sense. I've only done the first step in the first initial stage--collecting all the "stuff" (including ideas, projects, plans, etc), but that is amazing. Most everything has been coralled into a small space. Now for the next part, processing everything. That is the scary part, and where I'm most prone to fall. He does, however, give lots of specific directions and ideas about the filing system you need to have, traps to avoid, and processes that increase the chance that you will actually follow through on keeping up the system to make it work. Another plus with this book is that he makes no difference between how to handle your "personal" and "professional" life. What is needed is a system that works for both.