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GTD Tip: Clean Up Physical Clutter Using Ziploc Bags

If you are like me, you carry in your backpack, bag or briefcase all sorts of physical stuff, other than documents, papers or magazines. You know the type: phone chargers, USB cables, power adapters, network cables, USB sticks and other small gadgets or accessories. Over time these things accumulate and it becomes harder and harder to find them and to keep them organized.

I have been using a low-tech tool for organizing these things: ziploc bags. I now carry two large ziploc bags in my backpack, labeled “frequent use” and “infrequent use”. The first one has the things that I would most likely need to use every time I sit down to work: my iPhone USB cable, my laptop power adapter, etc. The other one includes all other things that I need every once in a while so I want to have them handy, but I don’t need them every day. This includes a USB cable for my camera, a two-to-three prong adapter for when I find myself in old buildings that don’t have grounded outlets, a couple of USB sticks, etc.

I find that this simple tip helps me keep the physical clutter under control, and makes it easy to review things periodically to check if I still need everything I’m carrying around.