Keeping track of all the chaos

Sooo - I’m starting to realise that I have too many loose ends ATM. Projects, improvements, request, inspirations - etc etc.

What do you all do to keep track of the chaos? I have used Google Keep, but that tool is simply too messy to give a clean and simple overlook. I’ve looked at some simple project management tools, but there’s just too much fuzz about them.

How do you organize all your digital stuff? Any good tips out there?

EDIT: Not to mention all the different chat platforms that have hundreds of pages with stuff, links and mentions, that I constantly search up…

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Write stuff down before you forget it!.. ok …so I’m an old duffer…but my filing box has never suffered from a HDD failure…


I would be interested in this as well. Have too many places I save good idea fairies to, but no central place to log it or bring it back to for collation and sorting. Particularly bad when it comes to amazon purchases, aliexpress, banggood, etc as they show up and I question why I purchased a given item.

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I suppose suggesting leaving a thousand files on your desk top till you get around to them would not be the solution you are looking for?

When it gets too bad I stick them in a folder called “desktop cleanup” and leave that on the desktop. If you do it often enough, you get a dozen layers of “desktop cleanup” and every year you can ditch the inner most one - saving you all the worry about how to sort them.

It’s funny how important it seems when you save it, yet how after a year you don’t even know why you did.


I have worked my entire career as a creative which is as good en excuse as any for being disorganized. David Allans “Getting Stuff Done” has been very practical help to me.


I’d love to have a tool that makes everything organized in a faaancy tree branch structure, where I could pin stuff where it fits (just like those CSI-boards). But in the end it would gather dust in a corner…

Let’s be thankful for all the great search tools that are out there!!!

Here is an interesting (to me anyway) article where it talks about Allan’s approach and his own dissatisfaction with the personal productivity frenzy in general.

IMHO, At the end of it, you have to decide a direction you want to move towards and understand the very small influence you have in arriving where you first started off to and be ok with what is out of your control.


My son got me an Apple Pencil for Christmas. I thought it was a dumb expensive waste of money. That is until I started using it. Now I can’t live without it and think it’s worth every penny

I use the Note option on my iPad and keep track of things in a few files. Basically a to do list, a list for each store I frequent (we live out in the country so I only go to “town” once or twice a week and when I do I hit the stores on my lists)

For projects I make files and associate them with one of the pinned list files!

It isn’t the fanciest solution but I can include photos and I can freehand my drawings and notes.


I’m ooogling a remarkable 2 for this very reason!

I usually don’t worry about my piling up list of projects, and just do whatever rises to the top in the moment. That is a bad habit when it comes to running my business of course. Keep used to be the app I used at work. Since switching from droid to iphone I’ve been trying to get used to the iphone notes app. Both options are awesome for making todo lists.

I especially liked using keep for my shopping lists. I had all my usual items organized by section in the store, which took some of the headache out of shopping (especially sams club etc). The cool part is once you have it organized like that, you check items off and they get hidden… but when you make another list later you can uncheck those items, and they go right back into the list the way they were originally organized. That is super key to it being useful.

Life’s been generally super crazy/chaotic the past few months for me. So I haven’t even had to time to get cozy with my new iphone to figure out if the Notes app will fill Keep’s shoes. Those are pretty big shoes to fill, but I have also heard lots of folks love evernote and think it is even better. I’m just too cheap for that lol. works pretty well, but I don’t keep it updated enough. I honestly need more organization myself.

I do know I work better with lists. Something I can put down things so my brain can clear up. Otherwise, I just keep going through the next steps in my mind, and I never do anything.

I also keep a text file on my computer and I have a (very nerdy) app that can add or remove them easily from any application. But it doesn’t work when I’m on my phone.


The other thing I want to do is limit the number of projects I have at once. I collect this stuff, and I intend to do a specific project with it, so it just sits around. I have been talking for a long time about making space for like 6 boxes. And each box contains the stuff for one project. If I want to start a new project, I have to clean out a box (by either finishing, or trashing a previous project). The problem is, I have like 100 projects, and some of them are never actually finished. :man_shrugging:

A life long struggle, if there ever was one.


I use Keep for quick notes to self.
I use Google Sheets to keep a database of settings used for a particular project. (CNC)
For all projects I started organizing them using CherryTree. It is a simple organizing tool that can be used for lots of different things. I use it for Dungeons and Dragons, project organization, story writing, etc.
It can have internal and external linking, pictures, sorting, etc.
As I come across paper notes, notebooks etc I am taking pics/scanning and placing stuff into CherryTree.
Like you tried many solutions and right now this trio of Keep, GSheets and CherryTree is working better than expected.

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I use Google keep for quick lists or notes.

I use spreadsheets in Google docs for parts lists or project designs.

Jeffe got me hooked on Trello for managing individual projects. Most projects go on a shared board. If a project gets too complicated to fit on one task, then it gets its own Trello board.

For software, I use github and will create issues as I think of things I need to do in the code. I reopened a project last week that I had stepped away from 6 months ago. A quick read through the open issues reminded me where I was going with the code.

All of this is not to say I don’t occasionally work projects that aren’t in Trello. The mill I’m working on getting running is not being tracked in any of these.

Oh… Quick edit to add… I also use Amazon shopping lists to track parts for projects.


This is a bad system so don’t use it! But I just write sticky notes and put them places related to the project they are for… it is a horrible system but it works for me :slight_smile:


Lol awesome!


I tried something similar to what you’re talking about. It worked for a little while. I don’t remember if it didn’t work well, or if I just stopped doing it (I think I ran out of boxes). I know a lot of my projects don’t fit in buckets.

I need to get back to this. I recently picked up some more buckets to try to get more organized in the shop.

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I’ve started a Bullet Journal a few times. It’s a very visual and customizable way to track stuff however you have to maintain it on a regular basis. I got out of the habit during an extended business trip and then again with the quarantine so that’s why I had to restart multiple times. It’s probably time to restart again because work tasks are piling up.

I also use OneNote and Sticky Notes but I have found that I am not able to retain the information as well in a digital form compared to when I use paper and pencil.

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Okay - now I’ve gathered my mind a little. I’ve looked into several of the suggested tools, and they all seem nice for their different intents and purposes.

What I picture in my head that I want is a visual tool, where I can “pile” stuff. So that I can make a bunch of piles, that are zoomable. This would very much look like a messy - BUT - organized desk, where everything has each own pile/corner/shelf. I know by myself that any note-tool, or complicated project organizer would quickly fall behind. If I had a simple, yet intuitive tool, where I can gather all sorts of stuff, links, notes, files etc in their designated pile, I think it would be it! Anyone come across something resembling?

Edit: my wife’s asking if I’m looking for the love child from Prezi and Onenote, and that’s a quite precise definition!

Bullet Journaling is a nice tool, I tried it a few times as well. I think I have to go back to doing that, low tech sometimes is the best tech.

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