Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reviewed: Organizing for your Brain Type

I just finished reading Organizing for your Brain Type by Lanna Nakone, M.A. This book takes a somewhat scientific approach to organizing, positing that the world can be divided into roughly four types of people whose unique way of interacting with their environment means that they should approach organizing differently. 

I am all for the idea that there is no one right way to approach organizing, and that what works for one person won’t work for another. I took the quiz at the beginning of the book to see which of the four types I was classified as. At first I was skeptical that I would fall squarely into one of the categories, but after I completed the quiz I discovered I was overwhelmingly a “Maintaining Style” organizer. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, since I’m a professional organizer, and this style is defined as “adhering to traditional organizing methods.” But I also identified with portions of the other three styles: Harmonizing, Prioritizing and Innovating. 

Though Nakone does a good job of explaining where each of the types' strengths and weakness lie, where the book succeeds most is in communicating to the reader how others they may live or work with deal with stuff like clutter and time management differently. It's good to be reminded that we can all benefit from a hefty dose of patience, tolerance and flexibility.

Since one of the greatest challenges to getting organized can be dealing with the stuff—and attitudes—of the people we share our spaces with, it helps to have some of these differences identified and explained. If you are having trouble working with someone in your immediate environment, maybe you should both sit down, take the quiz and find out if you are operating from opposite sides of your cerebral cortexes.


Thanks to Brandie Kajino at The Home Office Organizer for turning me onto this book via her website.

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