I am on the verge of buying a Palm Pilot.
It's super shiny. Comes with only a $399 price tag. And I didn't ask for one for Christmas, so I won't be finding it under the tree. And I could probably live without it.
But I've recently picked up Getting Things Done by David Allen, and I'm feeling quite inspired. You've been there before. Someone asked you for their vacation request slip they handed you two months ago and you admittedly can't find it in "the pile." You have to scoop everything into one giant pile every couple of weeks and just "start over." Your Outlook Express is now sorting your Inbox by month received rather than day received.
One of the main premises of Getting Things Done is turning your lists of things into "action items" as opposed to conclusions or goals. By identifying the next step needed to move a project along, we are more likely to perform these tasks when the opportunity arises vs. acting on a listed item such as "2007 Budget" or "Plan Christmas Party." And with the seamless overlap of life and work nowadays, we are encouraged to maintain all organization in the same place, both personal and professional. You never know when you'll have a spare moment.
Action items is a hot topic, and other organizational professionals are adopted both the strategy and the terminology. Advance Magazine for Post-Acute providers recently ran this article on some basic organization strategies, most of which focus on throwing things away and the deletion/sorting of emails. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff, but we have to start somewhere.
I'll start with my brand new Palm Pilot - as soon as my wife lets me buy it.