I have discovered several new tools that are making my life so much easier, as I figure out new ways to organize myself for sustained period of heavy workload and more simultaneous projects than ever. Recommend them to anyone looking to recover sanity (sorry, Mac only):

  • Notational Velocity/Simplenote : Great for short notes, little snippets of info that don’t belong anywhere else. License numbers, facts, reminders that you have to go back to. All the sorts of stuff that you might keep on scraps of paper or in margins of notebooks. Simplenote is actually web-based, so I am sure there are non-Mac ways to access it. There are also apps for iOS and for Android, so you achieve ubiquitous capture. It seems simpler and more straightforward that either Evernote (great for higher-fidelity saves like web pages and annotations, or meeting notes, less so for short formats) or Springpad. Free
  • TrackTime: Shows you which applications you are using, which web pages you have been on and for how long, and which music you have been listening to, all displayed on a timeline. You can also define projects and time your work on them, and run stats on your time usage. Great way to see things about how you spend your time that you may actually not realize. License required
  • Time Out: Interrupts you at specified intervals to take a short break by fading out your screen. You define the interval and length of time. It also reminds you to take longer breaks. I have mine set to 15 second breaks to stretch and look away from the screen, and then a 10 minute break to think, process, etc. every hour. Still adjusting the timings to get it right. Free (donation-ware).