Running a startup: How I Stay Organized, Vol. 1

Running a startup can be overwhelming: The path ahead is uncertain and there are endless new shiny objects competing for your attention and scarce resources. Here is a rundown of the tools I'm using right now to stay organized. 1. General Organization: Getting Things Done. David Allen's system is the best I've found to stay on-top of overload and focus on the things that matter. It's a constant struggle to keep my inbox at zero, and I have to admit I haven't done a weekly review in a while, but nevertheless this is one of my most treasured technologies to stay organized.

2. Balancing Ideation and Execution: a 90-Day Plan. This is something we started at Kindara last spring and it's been really useful in aligning everyone behind our short-term priorities. Before we start a 90-Day Plan, we look at where we are as a company and our long-term vision, and then identify the most important things for us to focus on now to move us in a straight line towards our long-term goals. Then we plan this stuff out into a 90-Day Plan and start executing the plan. As we go through the plan we track our results and adjust as necessary, but the focus is on execution and getting shit done. The 90-Day-Plan helps everyone know what is important right now. Currently our 90-day plan focuses on three outcomes: launch our Android app, close a second round of funding, and continue to significantly increase user engagement. The plan ends at the end of November.

3. Project management: Asana. I love Asana. It's a web and mobile app that we use to keep our company organized. I've tried many other project management apps over the years and like Asana the best due to its ultra clean interface and simplicity. I use it both for Kindara and to keep on top of my personal life.

4. My personal reference library: Workflowy. Workflowy is a web and mobile app that I use to keep track of everything that isn't a project. It's where I manage my lists (shopping list, gifts ideas for Kati list, movies to see, etc), as well as ideas I have in the middle of the night, quotes, experiences I don't want to forget, health information, and on and on. I use it as my Reference section of GTD, since Asana isn't built for this task and think it's excellent.

5. Establishing daily habits: Kindara and Lift. I've been experimenting with both to establish daily habits. I use the custom data section in Kindara to track things I want to accomplish every day or nearly every day (even though I don't have a uterus I think it's important for me to use my own product). Lift serves a similar function and it's fun to watch our two products evolve side by side.

6. Managing email: Gmail. I've set up Gmail with Next Actions and reference labels so I can implement GTD with my email, and get to inbox zero nearly every day.

7. Managing my fitness and health: Lose It. I lost ten pounds the first few months I started using Lose It. Now I use it occasionally for a few months at a time whenever I notice myself eating unconsciously and gaining weight.

And those are my current tools that help me stay organized and on top of my life. I'd love to hear about yours.