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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on December 4, 2005
As the reviews say the book consists of looking at how we organize our life using 4 brains types. There is the Prioritizing type, the Maintaining type, the Innovating type, and Harmonizing type. Overall I found the book well written and enjoyed how the author looked at how each brain type functions overall. She talks about ways each brain type can: use a calendar more effectively, use storage space, deal with paperwork, organize your home and office space, and organize your environment. Also, at the end of each brain type chapter, she gives a nice bullet point summary of key points so that you don't have to go back and re-read in detail.

My only problem with the book was the testing method in helping to find your brain type. The test was 50 questions (too long) and many of the questions where things I had problems relating to. For example some questions asked:

You are reminded about going to the opera when:

1. Check your planner a day in advance

2. Notice post-its over the house

3. Friends shows up at door step

4. Your Palm Pilot's alarm goes off 15 before you are to leave

While Typing, you notice your dog is looking at you with those huge hungry eyes you:

1. Tell him you feed him at the same time

2. Your dog never looks hungry there food on the floor all the times

3. Throw him your half-eaten doughnut form breakfast this morning

4. Tell him to lie down and wait until you are done

You normally try to avoid conversations that:

1. Involve the future

2. That go into great detail

3. That deal with figures

4. That is too touch-feely

For me these questions (and some others) depend on situations. I may talk touch-feely at one time, and depending on the day or my mood, I might feed the dog now or wait. The test would have been more effective had it dealt with typical situations. My guess is she was trying to offer something different than the other books out there on organization that gives tests using every day situations, but her test did not work for me. Also, by her own admission, she says some of the test questions "seemed a little over the top" and what I found was because some of the questions were over the top, I scored in a different brain type category (Prioritizing style) when after reading the other brain types, I am clearly a Maintaining type.

My only suggestion would be is to take the test, but make sure you read the other types to see if they don't fit you better. The the book is arranged in a way that you can scan the other brain types easily. Overall the book is very good and offers good tips and info.
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Ms. Nakone is fascinated by the science of brain function and applies its research to the question "Why can't I get organized?" The simple answer: no two brains are alike, although there are some things we all share. Each of us has an organizing "style," different capabilities and preferences for how we organize, which lets us use our strengths. Those styles are about our whole selves: our physical, emotional and mental abilities. When a person is unable to find or use a comfortable style, that person may not be successful at organizing.

Ms. Nakone talks about four common organizing styles: "Maintaining," "Harmonizing," "Innovating," and "Prioritizing." These four styles complement, sometimes annoy, and, sadly, sometimes criticize each other. Ms. Nakone helps you identify which style might be yours, and provides some suggestions for organizing tools to fit your style. She also gives ideas to help us understand each other's styles and cooperate. That's a wonderful gift.

Lauren Williams, Casual Uncluttering LLC, Woodinville, WA, USA
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on February 19, 2007
One of the best organizing books for a chronically messy person! Actually, I'm not messy...I just do things differently. Easy to understand, easy to follow.
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on November 17, 2012
I've read all the top books on time management and organization and could quote the principles in my sleep. But they just didn't work for me. "Out of sight, out of mind" is a big problem for me and the thought of keeping up with detailed systems is exhausting. I wondered if there was something wrong with me. Then someone recommended this book.

Nakone's assessment quiz reveals which one of four brain types is dominant for you. The Maintaining style is probably closest to the traditional organizing advice, so those in the Harmonizing, Innovating and Prioritizing styles will probably get the most from this book. (There's also a section at the end to help couples of various style mixes find a happy middle ground.)

For example, I never filed the stubs and statements after paying my bills. I was in too much of a hurry to open the overstuffed drawer in my desk and find the right file to slide each one into. So when I read her suggestion to just throw them all in a labeled box, it was like a cartoon light bulb clicked on. After all, how often do you really ever have to look at them again?! But if I ever do, I know where exactly they are.

It sounds simple. But it was suggestions like this, along with her insights about the brain types, that really freed me to get creative and find solutions that (finally!) worked for me when it comes to organizing. It would have been great to have some photos or diagrams of some of her suggestions though.

Also, you can tell the book's age when she discusses electronic organizers for time management, although the ideas she gives still apply.

Overall, it is by far my favorite book for those of us lacking the organization gene!
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on October 16, 2008
It helped me think a bit "outside the box" in regards to organizing with my spouse in mind. I had many "Aha!" moments.
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VINE VOICEon March 26, 2010
As a creative, organizationally-challenged person, I found the advice in this book simple to implement, effective, and very practical.

You take a quiz to determine your personality type of about 50 questions, and then the advice is tailored for your personality assessment.

After many years of being frustrated by working "against" my personality type with all kinds of systems, it is a relief to have effective coaching that works "with your strengths.

The style is down-to-earth, and it won't take more than a couple of hours for you to take advantage of this excellent coaching. I wish I'd read this 30 years ago.

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on March 2, 2011
Loved the analyzing quiz & the strategies that were in place for each organizational type.
Very good information with techniques easy to implement.
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