Tickler File

I'm one of those Getting Things Done-heads, but until a week ago I hadn't made a tickler file. I already use it all the time:

A tickler file is a place for items you need to keep track of but don't need right at the moment, but which you know you'll need a few days or a week from now. You need 43 folders to create a tickler file, 31 for the days of the month, and 12 for the months of the year. Each day you look in that day's folder, empty it out, decide what to do with the items in the folder, and then move that day's folder to the back. Commonly suggested items for the tickler file include concert or plane tickets, reminder notes, etc. I put that stuff in there, plus bills I want to mail but not until I get paid, articles I want to read, scribbled notes I want to type up, etc. It's great. Usually people use manila folders, but I made mine out of old 2-pocket folders around my apartment and some from the office that were going to be thrown away. I made the tabs out of index cards. The file case I'm keeping the tickler file in was going to be thrown away too.

Also, some life hacks* I've found useful:

Media-related distraction? Hit the panic button! When I get the sneaking suspicion that I’m wasting valuable time on the internet, I hit the monitor’s power switch and wait until I get my focus back. This also works for TV, and even the phone.

[. . .]

Address Labels that charities send you are great for labelling things you tend to lose. Someone once returned an umbrella to my house. At work people return my pens and my stapler and tape dispenser stay on my desk

Finally, the Not Insane To-Do List, via (where else?) 43 folders.

* When I first heard the term "life hacks" several months ago, I thought, well great, there's finally an expression for what my mom has been doing avidly for decades. Next time I go home maybe I'll photograph some of her genius hacks.


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Re the tickler file

When working in the private field, I always used a tickler file but that was because I had papers and files that needed daily attention. I also set up a tickler file in Outlook using the task system.



I am so going to set one of these up when I get home from teaching today. Can I borrow the book at some point?

Journey to Ithaca

I don't own it

I checked the book out of the university library (Wilson, I think). It's usually checked out and in the recall cycle. :-)

Great idea

Except, I still need a place for things like auto insurance, tax forms, etc. I think I'll add a few more folders for specialty items that I won't need until some random time.

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