Organization, Man!

The business world is out of control. Your schedule and contacts can't be.

My friend Bob remembers every phone number and never misses an appointment. Not me. Here I am, riding an elevator to the 40th floor, half an hour late for an important meeting. I can't call my next appointment to reschedule — I've lost my contact's phone number. Fidgeting like a Type A full of amphetamines, I reach into my jacket pocket and pull out the bill for last week's dinner. Oops. I forgot to expense it.

As email addresses, cell-phone numbers, and pager PINs proliferate, I'm having an even tougher time tracking all those appointments that I've scrawled onto stray bits But I've found a way to fight back — using the right digital power tools and software. A dependable electronic organizer is worth a dozen little black books; a good personal information manager (PIM) is better than a hundred paper Rolodex files. Throw in some handy accessories to keep your computer disks in order and some tricks for rearranging your files, and you're back in control. Hey, after researching this article, even I'm organized.

John R. Quain (jquain@mcimail.com) is a contributing editor at Fast Company. He appears regularly on the CBS News Program "Up to the Minute."

"Quain's Top 10"

"PDAs"

"Clean Up Your PC!"

"Top Drawers"

"What's the Best PIM?"

"Log On, Tune Up"

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