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Disembarking The Organization Struggle Bus

Struggle Bus – Of or Pertaining to a Difficult Situation

Rear of yellow school bus with the words Struggle Bus above the emergency door.The major theme for my goals this year is one word—simple! This year is the first year I’ve created a mood board in addition to my goals to help me remain focused.

One would think that operating from a standpoint of ‘simple’ would be easy, but for me it’s a constant battle. So when I veer off course, glancing at my mood board redirects me to the correct path.

Although tools like Google Apps for Work (a suite of Google products), Google Keep, Canva (graphic design platform), and a content calendar work together seamlessly to keep me pretty well-organized, among other things I struggle with online networking through social media. Since I require intense focus when working, minor things like a bathroom break can become a major inconvenience.

Though it’s not an answer to a bathroom break, enter GQueues, a simple project management tool to input and track projects and associated tasks. For months now I’ve been looking for an easy to use, intuitive application with the number one requirement of integrating with Google products.

Yellow post-it note

In a nutshell for each project I’m working on I create a queue. Within each queue are sub-projects. The sub-projects contain tasks and sub-tasks where I can set up due dates, reminders, notes, add files (from Google Drive or upload from my computer) and/or assign to others.

To give you an idea of how this works I created a queue for my blog. Inside of this queue is a project for the Women on the Move series. Since I’ve pre-scheduled each featured guest months in advance, I added tasks with reminders so that I can follow-up with them two weeks before their article is due.

Being able to see all of my projects in one place, organized to suit my workflow, clears my brain so that I can focus on what needs to be done. A nice feature called Smart Queues which are four automated lists generated from created tasks, lets me see to-dos due today, due in a week, overdue or all tasks.

Other features I like include:

  • Customizable queues
  • Color coded projects
  • Multiple viewing options i.e. sorting ascending/descending by date, name, tag, date created; show or hide sub-tasks, notes, assignments, tags, attachments
  • When I make a change to a scheduled task on my Google calendar it automatically updates the task within the project.
  • With the installation of GQueues Chrome extensions I can schedule tasks from web pages and/or email.
  • Mobile apps sync to my laptop, tablet and phone
  • Multiple options for receiving reminders
  • Oh, and it’s EASY

Though I know the struggle bus will occasionally swing by my way when unexpected life changes happen, at least for today I’ve got it under control. 🙂

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26 thoughts on “Disembarking The Organization Struggle Bus

  1. This sounds great – like something I could use for my blog (as opposed to the current system, which is no system).

    1. Yes, I have to keep myself sorted out lest I lose what little mind I have left 😉

  2. You are so organised. I’m not even close to being that ha.

    1. Believe me, it’s a blessing and a curse 😉

  3. Being organized like that will save you a ton of time. I’m really going to have to try to take a leaf out of your book, I think.

    1. I love exploring or developing new organizational systems. My problem is after a while I’ll come across the little bugs that become so annoying I then have to seek an alternative. Years ago, every year I would re-assess the planners I used-it was totally ridiculous but I couldn’t help myself.

      1. I guess you could plan your strategy for finding new planners. Hmm… maybe that would be taking things too far. 🙂

      2. Hahaha yeah, don’t give me any ideas Bun. 😉

  4. So good to be organized, but I wonder if these Google apps work with screen readers? I’m using Outlook’s calendar, but the result doesn’t seem to be as seamless as what you are describing. I use Google & Google alerts, but I have a lot of problems with Google +, and wonder about the others using Jaws.Enter your comment here…

    1. Hi Donna, how is your wrist? I used to love Outlook and honestly if it wasn’t for my private Microsoft war I’d probably still be using it. I just hate paying to use what I can get for free with Google. Since I don’t use Jaws and haven’t had the newest version of ZoomText since I got my new laptop I’m not sure how accessible Google apps are with screen readers although I think they are improving as I found some tutorials on how to use the built in Google accessibility features for Google Chromebooks. The tutorials I saw are run by a gentleman who is totally blind and the comments were positive. I don’t use Google+ anymore because everything I need is in the Google Apps for Work and it only costs $5 a month and I get a custom web and email address.

      1. Hi Steph, The wrist is coming along nicely, just a little sore, thanks. I’m still using Outlook 2003, which the good people of Pennsylvania bought me when I learned to use a computer & Jaws over ten years ago. I have my own Microsoft war, but I’m not ready to jump ship yet. Sooner or later, though, I will have to get a cellphone, so I’ll have to do something different.

        _____

      2. I’m glad you feeling better. It took me a while to jump ship b/c the company I used to work for had a program with Microsoft where we could purchase the suite of products for $10. After I retired and j saw how much it was that was the determining factor for me to flee Microsoft.

  5. Ah, joys of organisation. You’re so good at it Steph, I admire that. 🙂

  6. Wow I should take some inspiration from you! 🙂 I love to be organized but then somewhere down the line, things start becoming messy 😀
    xoxo
    Shamira

    1. Thank you 🙂 I think it’s a matter of striking that perfect balance which I haven’t been able to do yet. I’m thinking another word I should add to my mood board is flexible 😉

  7. Well done Steph. I take my hat off to you, you are super organised 🙂

    1. Thank you Lynne 🙂 Being a little OCD helps out a lot in this area, except for when I can’t decide which application to use.

  8. Hi, Steph, I’m still trying to master “Calendar!” My calendar seems to be okay. When I troubleshoot, it appears that I lack using it in a consistent and frequent manner.

    1. Hi Oneta, I’ve used so many organizational tools over the years I really should write a book as I’m a bit obsessed with different methods and I’m always looking for one that will do almost everything in one place. Since I switched to Gmail and Google Drive years ago I’ve been using everything Google. Years ago I wouldn’t have thought I could make it without Microsoft Outlook but I love having the ability to access all of work via the web which doesn’t tie me to my desktop.

  9. You are so well organized Steph!

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