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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Organization

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👕 Today’s tip: Use this system to streamline your closet.

On Simple, Michael Thompson shares a trick he learned from his mother about how to make cleaning out your closer feel a little more, well, simple:

Go into your closet. Take all of your shirts and hang them so they’re all facing the same direction. When you’re done wearing one, hang it up so it’s facing the other direction so you have a ‘worn’ camp and an ‘unworn’ camp. After 90 days, grab all of your unworn shirts, and give them to someone who will wear them.

Instead of working…


😷 Today’s tip: Devote a hook to each mask-wearer in the household.

We’ve gotten good at making sure our masks fit properly and that we wear them when necessary, but what happens once we’re back home again?

Elemental executive editor Anna Maltby shared her family’s brilliant hack for keeping masks organized and sanitary: For their three-mask-wearers, she attached five hooks to the wall near their door. One hook holds their supply of currently clean masks. One hook has her mask for the day, the next has her husband’s, the next has her son’s. And the last hook corrals all the…


What having Covid taught me about prioritization

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

It’s already halfway through February, but on my desk, it may as well be January 1. I’m getting back into my normal rhythms after coming
down with Covid alongside several members of my family a couple months
ago. Thankfully, everyone is on their way back to health, but, wow, did it knock me out for a while. And leave me with a mountain of work to be done.

It’s not as bad as it could have been, though. I work for myself, which means that, for me, having some sort of maintenance mode in place was the least stressful way…


💰 Today’s tip: Make a “do not buy” list

Sometimes what you really need isn’t a to-do list, but a list of things not to do. For example, if you’ve ever brought home a jar of paprika only to discover you already have six of them sitting in your cupboard, you need a “do not buy” list. This list, as Laura Vanderkam writes, lets you and your fellow household members know what not to buy on your next shopping trip. It saves you from the tyranny of “just in case” thinking. …


Photo: martin-dm / Getty Images

You know what’s less sustainable than survival mode? Pretending to live in survival mode, telling yourself that everything non-essential can wait until less stressful times, and then fretting over those non-essential things anyway.

Recently, I woke up in the middle of night worried about some old classics: Is it time to renew my car’s registration? When is that doctor’s appointment I pushed back 72 times already? Did I ever respond to that email about a collaboration I’m actually really excited about?

Individually, none of these unresolved issues is that big of a deal. And none is urgent enough to go…


Today’s tip: Track your professional setbacks in a spreadsheet.

Learning from the past is a lot easier if you have it all laid out in front of you. That’s why the writer Julia Pugachevsky keeps a spreadsheet of all her rejected story ideas: “Understanding where my energy goes (and when it pays off) is invaluable knowledge,” she writes, and “having a log of all my old ideas is actually incredibly useful information. I see the rookie mistakes I used to make, like not doing my research on an outlet and pitching too hastily.”

Keeping a reminder of your failures…


The stuff on your desk affects the ideas you come up with, now more than ever

Messy desk with old-school desktop computer with post-its on it.
Messy desk with old-school desktop computer with post-its on it.
Photo: Image Source/Getty Images

Every time I interview someone for a story, I spend half the interview not looking at their face. Instead, I look around them, surreptitiously collecting data from the objects in their workspace. I did this before Zoom, in real life, and now I do it through our little internet windows into each other’s homes. The office of a scientist has awards all over the floor, or a teddy bear on a shelf. A teenager works on a tablet with a purple detachable keyboard. A police administrator, for some reason, has a nametag written on notebook paper.

Inevitably, these items reveal…


Earlier this week, Forge dropped How Google Drive Can Make Every Corner of Your Life Easier, a new project all about the many (many, many) ways to use it as the ultimate self-improvement tool. Through this weekend, we’re using this space to highlight a few of our favorite Drive tips.

Illustration: Simo Liu

✍️ Today’s tip is a tool to get your creative juices flowing: the writing plan spreadsheet.

How it works:
Whenever you need to tackle an ambitious writing project — a speech, a screenplay, even a lengthy email — begin by mapping out the structure in a spreadsheet. Use one column to…


Earlier this week, Forge dropped How Google Drive Can Make Every Corner of Your Life Easier, a new project all about the many (many, many) ways to use it as the ultimate self-improvement tool. Through this weekend, we’re using this space to highlight a few of our favorite Drive tips.

Illustration: Simo Liu

🎁 Today’s tip is a tool to help you nail the right present for every occasion: the gift planner spreadsheet.

How it works:
Set up a spreadsheet with the names and birthdays (and graduations, and anniversaries) of the most important people in your life. When you spot something that you think…


Earlier this week, Forge dropped How Google Drive Can Make Every Corner of Your Life Easier, a new project all about the many (many, many) ways to use it as the ultimate self-improvement tool. Over the next few days, we’ll be using this space to highlight a few of our favorite Drive tips.

Illustration: Simo Liu

🎲 Today’s tip is a tool to make your quarantine weekends more fun: the game inventory.

How it works:
Use Google Sheets to make an inventory of all the games on your shelves, and then treat it as a to-do list, so that Trivial Pursuit Classic Edition you…

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