Here is a brief review of Organizing for your Brain Type by Lanna Nakone.  This is a neat book that gives some explanation about why some people have trouble keeping things organized and why some have trouble understanding those others.

She puts people in four different groups, which are more intricate than my descriptions below, but they give a clue into them. 

Maintainer: the naturally organized type.

Harmonizer: the people are more important than things, but I just can't part with the things people give me style.

Innovator: the artist, least traditionally organized type.

Prioritizer: the logical leader, spartan-desk-look type.

There is a quiz at the beginning to determine which brain type you are.  When taking this quiz, I recommend giving the answer that is closest to what you would do or wish you could do if there was no external pressure on you to do it a certain way.  I think because of our society's traditional organization, the answers can be skewed toward the Maintaining type.

Then make sure you read the detailed descriptions of all the brain types just in case your quiz put you in the wrong category.

I was convinced that I was an Innovator, despite some serious differences with some of the description.  Then Jon read it and was sure I was not.  Once we both read Harmonizer, we knew that is really what I am.   Because of the complexity of the brain, some things overlap, and some of the overlap with Innovator really resonated with me.  But it is the vast majority of Harmonizer that I identify with.

She gives organizing tips for the home and the office for each type.  The idea of the whole book is that you need to organize in a way that resonates with how you think.  You expend too much energy trying to use a system that doesn't align with your type of thinking, and so you end up not doing it.

There's also a chapter on how to get along with people of the other types.  Some of this works best in office settings ("Never go into his office if you can help it.") A warning to Maintainers and Innovators: she admits these two are the most opposite from each other.  However, my Maintainer husband did not like her solution for getting along.  In his reading of it, the Maintainer needs to do all the compromise so that the Innovator can create in his mess.

There's also a section on sensory preference (auditory, visual, kinesthetic) with its own quiz.  Any of the brain types can have any of the sensory preferences, and she says it's helpful to know this when you are organizing your home and office.  It was exceedingly obvious from the quiz that I'm a kinesthetic, which I already knew.

I think this is a great book for non-Maintainers to understand themselves and get some practical ideas.  I think it is an ok book for helping Maintainers understand the other types, but by definition they have a hard time understanding why their way isn't always the right way.

Posted by Heather Daley on September 22, 2007, 1:20 pm | Read 55315 times
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"by definition [Maintainers] have a hard time understanding why their way isn't always the right way" -- are you sure that's not just husbands in general? ;)

Posted by SursumCorda on September 22, 2007, 10:44 pm

What do you mean "by definition"? I guess I didn't read the definition of a maintainer, so maybe it's in there.

Posted by me on September 24, 2007, 9:22 am

Mom, we'd have to ask someone whose husband is not a maintainer to get the answer to that question.

Jon (is that "me"?) - you did read something along those lines because I remember you commenting on it and agreeing (with part joking and part serious (: )

Posted by joyful on September 24, 2007, 10:27 am

The author isn't a Maintainer - I forget which one I thought she was, a harmonizer or an innovator, I think, or else she just empathizes with them really well. But she talks about the frustrations of different types trying to figure each other out.

It seemed to me she was saying that Maintainers have a hard time understanding why other folks leave stuff in various states of disarray and call it organized, since they can get to what they want to quickly.

Posted by Jon Daley on September 24, 2007, 10:33 am

I'm going to have to buy this book so I can contribute more knowledgeably. From what I remember of our phone conversation, one distinction explains why I have trouble finding things in Porter's strictly alphabetical system, and he in my organized-by-categories system. Of course there is overlap in each system (my categories are alphabetical, and he does like some categorization), but there's a basic difference in what each of us thinks of as "disarray."

Posted by SursumCorda on September 24, 2007, 11:00 am

Yes, that part is true. I was referring more to the files vs. piles vs. leaving things out, otherwise they'll never get done difference.

Posted by Jon Daley on September 24, 2007, 2:18 pm

I didn't see Heather's comment until now - and my answer is I am not sure what you are talking about, and I don't remember.

Posted by Jon Daley on September 25, 2007, 10:25 am

I think what we are all wondering was if you were "me." :) Sounds like poor grammar, doesn't it?

Posted by SursumCorda on September 25, 2007, 11:10 am

No, I'm not Jon.

Posted by me 2 on September 25, 2007, 11:54 am

Based on the IP address, I have one guess as to who it is, although it would be a little strange that he would make it that obvious who he is -- Linda, there is (at least) one person in whom you have a rival for caring about privacy.

Posted by Jon Daley on September 26, 2007, 12:22 pm

Wait a minute. There's a woman in existence who could even compete?

P.S. Good luck basing anything on my IP addr except the fact that it *isn't* my ip addr. :-D

Posted by Mike on September 30, 2007, 5:56 pm

Well, that took a while to track down. Peter thought he would be funny by writing "me" for some reason. Mike, AKA me 2 is using some anonymizing software and, while honest in claiming that he wasn't Jon, had a little fun implying that he was Peter/me.

Mike: You'll have to get some better software to be truly anonymous. All but one of the servers that you have used is in Germany, and most of them make it fairly obvious that they are hosting TOR. Additionally, if you randomized the User-Agent field among various valid values, it would make it harder to track.

Posted by Jon Daley on September 30, 2007, 7:31 pm

Dude, I post as mike and only Mike for a reason.

BTW, I really don't think me or me2 was *me* Mike. I like picking a somewhat anonymous nickname but not one which would actually confuse me with a legitimate user. THo maybe at the time, me didn't seem like a legit user to me.

Posted by Mike on September 30, 2007, 7:45 pm

Also, it's **always** obvious that a Tor server is hosting Tor. The list of servers is public info on some website someplace. I'm not trying to hide the fact that I use Tor. But I would like to keep my real ip private, as well as my full name on blog postings.

Posted by Mike on September 30, 2007, 7:51 pm

Maybe I was trying to tell somebody that me wasn't Jon by saying 'look at this I can post as "me" also'

Posted by Mike on September 30, 2007, 7:56 pm
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Organizing for Your Brain
Excerpt: Heather recently reviewed a book called Organizing for Your Brain Type.  According to this article, it might well have been called Organizing for Your Brain.  It seems that "consciencious" people—orderly, dependable, hard-work...
Weblog: Lift Up Your Hearts!
Date: October 1, 2007, 9:55 pm
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