One of my favorite things in this world is organization. I find having a place for everything and leaving everything in its place more satisfying than anything. However, many of we organizational fetishists fall into a cycle of obsessively collecting organizational tools. I am currently in mid-relapse. Think of it like obsessive shoppers who horde lots of things which they will never use because the discovery of new treasures is enjoyable, so it goes for me. I have been on a “productivity app” bender. I have added to my life in the last two weeks: 1Password, Evernote, Skitch, Fantastical, Things, Free Time, buffer app, Twitter for Mac client, Pulp, WorkFlowy and OmmWriter. This bout of acquisition has been a digital one, all of these are applications for Mac or iOS (in some cases both). Oscillation between digital and analog methods for keeping track of my life and my many projects (which are fluid, perhaps getting lost in my organizational shuffle) means sometimes painful migrations. I have bitten off a lot this time but I think there is a discernible system here. The tricky part is that when you add this many tools once it can be very hard to first of all to remember to use them at the appropriate time (I have already forgotten to use Free Time on several occasions). Secondly and perhaps more importantly each application will have it’s own learning curve, challenges, and surprise features. What I hope I have is a very complete system where the occasional overlap of tools means opportunity to streamline.
What does this have to do with my search for bohemia, you ask? Isn’t this “bohemia” supposed to be a place of excitement, discovery and reckless creativity? Aren’t bohemians unwashed, shirtless, smelly people whose “acts” are really just distractions from their vest-wearing-pocketpicking-monkey-pets?
I was with you up to the last one. The truth is that I do from time to time find all this organizational stuff paralyzing. When everything is in its place, who wants to take it down and get your hands dirty working? But that feeling of paralysis comes from the pressure to DO. Pressure which is evident in statements like; “I don’t know where to start,” or “I need to organize my thoughts.” But once they are organized they begin to weigh much more heavily on me. My personal alternative to manic organization is impassive apathy. So long as my plans and goals are unorganized I find them defensibly simple to ignore. But with the new year looming I like so many others feel its time to take a long view. Since graduating from school where the long view is taken for you (and no one imparts to you its importance) I have been essentially waiting for some great inspiration to fall in my lap. And it finally has… sort of. That is to say, I was reminded of my own artistic passion. And suddenly the value and vital importance of creating an actionable plan was driven home to me. Turns out that my actionable plan is much more daunting than my impassive apathy. But moments like great skies in the parking lot pictured above are beautiful and calming no matter how organized I get.