I have, and always will be, a list-maker. It’s a necessity. My brain flips channels like a bored fifteen year-old on winter break at grandma’s cabin up north.
It took me years to perfect a system that could reign in my unruly mind. It required a self-constructed 7”x 8.5” spiral-bound day-planner with covers made from my favorite plastic pocket folders for storing unpaid bills and documents that need attention, sticky notes and flags, at least 10 paperclips one alligator clip and a built in perforated notebook. This book would almost always be paired with my set of Staedtler, multi-colored, triplus fineliners for color coding notes and events in my planner.
One thing that really stinks about this system is that if you forget it at home or loose it, your life falls apart. Or, with my luck, it ends up covered in cream from an exploded bottle of hand lotion or soaked with water from a leaky bottle of water. It can get messy. It also takes a fair amount of time to make sure the system stays in place and doesn’t get out of hand. At the end of every week, it would be bulging with unopened mail, deposit slips, receipts and your occasional candy wrapper.
within the last six months I graduated from school, moved four times, landed a new job, and have been living with 72.5% of my belongings in storage, and my system of color-coordinated list-making has really fallen apart. But like Rome, this personal empire of organization was destined to collapse under its own weight.
Until recently, I thought no technology or invention could ever replace my tried and true pencil and planner. Then I went to an AIGA event where Tina Roth Eisenberg was the speaker and she changed my life. My new, much simpler, electronic system, is working pretty well. Hooray!
If you haven’t tried Teux Deux, designed by Tina Roth Eisenberg’s (also known as Swiss designer and blogger gone NYC, Swiss Miss) I recommend it. It is a really simple way for anyone in any field to take charge of a complicated world one task at a time. Like all of Eisenberg’s user interfaces, the design is really clean and minimal, solves an important problem while remaining intuitive and user-friendly. She was born and raised in Switzerland surrounded by contemporary, clean design and her aesthetic and method of solving visual problems really reflects this.
Eisenberg is a design genius who lets the whole world reap the benefits of her brilliance in really intuitive and usable ways that cost little to no money. We’re not worthy! Stop by VisualThesaurus.com for a free test drive—it’s pretty amazing. Check out her inspirational blog as well. Eisenberg currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She owns a very cool little studio in Brooklyn, where other creatives, like the amazing Jessica Hische, can rent a chair and work by her side.
In her online list-making application, Teux Deux, the days of the week spread out across the page, starting with Monday and there is a list for each day. The user can simply enter a task into the text field and it will be added to the list. The user also has the ability to grab list items and prioritize them no matter what order he or she originally entered them in. When a user is done with a task, they can click on it to cross it off! If he or she decides it’s not actually completed yet, no problem, they can just reclick it and the task gets uncrossed and the program puts it back onto the current day’s list. Just like the good old notepad, or pile of scrap paper you love so well, only better. If tasks are left unfinished, the program will automatically move them to the next day. There is even a section for all of those “someday” projects people often don’t write down like “stop biting nails, write ‘you changed my life’ letter to Tina, read War and Peace.” They just stay at the bottom of the page all the time. Crossing those out makes you feel like a real worth-while person, let me tell you.
This new system, paired with my beloved Google Calendar, is paperless and accessible from anywhere with internet access. I’m predicting my next life-changing event will inevitably have something to do with a new iPhone.