A common New Years resolution is getting better organized, and I’ve been looking for many ways to keep my act together as a teacher and in private. But, in spite of all the calendars on my mobile, on my Macs and my physical organizers like my Teacher’s organizer, I still find it hard to stay on top of things. The biggest problem is accessibility and usability.

In a perfect world I would come across an environment where all my jotting-downs of appointments, details, to-do-lists and deadlines could be easy to access and easy to alter if there are changes. It wouldn’t matter if I was online/offline or home or at work. Previously, and particularly when traveling and living abroad I’ve had diaries and a numerous amount of notebooks and scrapbooks for notetaking on the run. Nowadays I try to use my mobile, but it still doesn’t excel the notebook and it definitely does not work to its full potential like synching to my Macs, one laptop and a Mac Mini stationary.


So how to go about this? I tend to use iCal on my Macs with varied luck. It’s neat and tidy, but it does not sync with my Sony Ericsson K810i (No, I do not have an iPhone…) and neither my Teacher’s organizer book. I do use Google Calendar though, and I do import my iCal calendars into Google Calendar for easier access from work. I do sync my iCal calendars with my .Mac-account, but for convenience sake it’s easier to use Google’s alternative since I prefer using Gmail, Google Docs and Google-owned and compatible Blogger to my Mac-mail.

I crave simplicity. I started playing around with Tumblr, a simple utility to collect feeds from different social networks. In my case I collect Flickr- and Blogger-postings as well as my own videos form You Tube. They call it a lifestream and I like the idea. I like the idea to collect my online activities in one place in a simple way. Could this be done for my organizing needs as well?

I use Netvibes as well, and that’s a tremendously simple starting page for online surfing. I know I could embed my calendar there, but it still has proved rather troublesome to have access and be able to change it quickly on the spot. I guess the key to this is mobility, and I got mobility in my hands – my mobile phone (be it an iPhone or a Sony Ericsson…). I came across GooSync – an app to sync my Google Calendar with my mobile, but I haven’t made it work satisfactory yet, but it’s a start.

Lars is doing his master on human interaction with machines and computers, and he had a project last semester where he had to find the best system for a family to use a planning utility on iPhones (the omnipresent…). Again, Lars argued for simplicity, usability, safety and omnipresent accessibility. A planning system for a family has to be simple or else it wouldn’t be used by its members. But perhaps, we as humans would continue being disorganized and messy regardless of the means to help us to improve the clutter of loose papers and half-finished entries into our online and offline calendars. I’m still searching for a better way.

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