Always writing your to-dos on loose paper or don't even do it at all? You create drafts of thoughts on loose paper and suddenly can't find it anymore?
I want to show you how you can sort the chaos with loose paper and start having one dedicated place for all your thoughts.
I did all of the things above and even wrote passwords on papers which were then destined to get lost (an article about that follows soon). It was frustrating having thoughts, writing them down, and not finding them again.
Maybe you personally haven't even started doing that at all.
The benefit of writing down your thoughts like your to-dos or something about your projects is quite good for clarity of mind. You can always go back and recapture what you thought for certain projects, work, your birthday party, etc.
Before going to sleep it really helps you to to get to sleep, as the thoughts circling in your mind now are written down and won't be forgotten for the next day when you have time to work on them.
I personally did this, once I was fed up with the chaos:
I took a DIN-A4 book and started writing down everything in my mind what would be of a certain importance. I would write down my daily to-dos, my irregular to-dos, my notes for a certain topic of university, etc. All in all this resulted in a "book of thoughts", a book for everything, which had quite different things as content. It helped me organize my life way better, especially as a student, as the day of a student can be quite weirdly structured. I could write down the date and start writing down everything that I encountered that day.
Of course you can use a book or similar of your own style, I just used A4 because I often had to write big drafts of schematics or mathematical equations, and I liked to have much space for it.
I can only advocate for the use of such a book of thoughts, since you tend to forget many things which are actually important and start to see your thoughts visually, giving you an anchor point from which you can tackle your tasks and notes.
For me, it resulted in a great increase of productivity and time spent for actually meaningful things, rather than forgetting about everything again and never tackling some things which were on my to-do list for a long time.
The downside of this is of course, that you have quite a personal document with maybe even passwords in it. You should not loose it. But the same goes for your phone or other notebooks, so the question is which is less problematic to lose.
In the picture you can see a typical entry for two days. On the left side I wrote stuff about a program I was working on and on the right I had other things to do that day. It really helps to just scribble everything down which crosses your mind.
Also, note how I have some sort of "bar" for every day with little quickly drawable icons for my daily tasks.
I hope you liked this article and would be interested in your ways of dealing with productivity increasing organizing materials.