Ah, summertime; the kids are out of school, the pace drops back from 'overdrive' to 'merely hectic,' and you finally have the opportunity to tackle the giant looming crisis that is your personal state of disorganization. Perhaps I'm projecting a little bit. Anyway, if you're looking for a bit of guidance on how your Mac can help you get organized -- and, of course, if you are a Microsoft Office 2008 owner -- the Mac BU has something for you.
Organization expert Peter Walsh (possessor of a charming Australian accent, and author of the slightly-less-charmingly titled Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat) is the host of a video tips presentation over at the Mactopia site. Walsh runs through a couple of suggestions for reducing the chaos in the three key areas of Family, Finance & Health, mostly on the straightforward side (keep a family calendar in Entourage, track your website logins in a secured Excel spreadsheet). Walsh encourages us to envision the end state of the life we want instead of the many steps that may be required to arrive there.
Unfortunately, the delivery mechanism for these helpful tips is a bit less than helpful. The presentation requires the Silverlight plugin, which lots of folks avoid on principle. You can neither download nor rewind the segments; it would seem that for anything intended to help you reduce chaos and clutter, providing the tips in podcastable and mobile-friendly formats would be a nice gesture towards the overscheduled.
On top of that, the tips seem a bit forced into Office's capabilities rather than organically built. While there are more optimal Mac or iPhone single-purpose apps for these tasks (or even multitaskers like Bento), it's true that Office is installed on a lot of Macs and a lot of Mac users could probably leverage it to achieve some organizational goals.
With all that in mind, if you feel like you could use a light organizational boost and you enjoy making spreadsheets of your car maintenance appointments, check it out.
Update: One thing I meant to mention but forgot: Entourage is a bit of an odd choice for a familial calendar, as it doesn't offer native sharing outside of an Exchange environment (an unlikely setup for parents & kids). Adding BusySync makes it much more flexible, but you're just as well off using iCal in that situation.
[h/t The Loop]