Operation Organomics Survey Finds Traditional Methods Still Surpass Digital


HASTINGS, Minn. (August 17, 2010) — Americans prefer to make a list and check it twice to stay organized, according to a recent national poll that found nearly two-thirds of those surveyed use wall calendars or checklists to stay organized while only one-fourth use electronic devices.

The Operation Organomics Survey, developed by Smead, also found that Americans are 85 percent more likely to do the things that are listed on a ‘to-do’ list and a majority of Americans (72 percent) use checklists at least once a week (28 percent use checklists 2-3 times per week; 23 percent use checklists daily; and 21 percent use them once a week). Smead is a leading national provider of filing and organizational products.

"While Americans have embraced technology in many areas of their lives, they have yet to make the switch when it comes to keeping up with everyday activities such as shopping, vacations, school activities and life events," said Michelle Santaferraro, a professional organizer who works with Smead. "For most, the process of checking something off a list offers just as much satisfaction as completing the task."

Specifically, the survey found that 35 percent of those surveyed use wall calendars to stay organized; 28 percent use checklists; 26 percent use electronic devices and 11 percent use a filing system. It also found that women were much more likely to use a wall calendar (41 percent of women respondents versus 29 percent of men), while men were more likely to use electronic devices (32 percent of male respondents versus 21 percent of female respondents).

Organizational Stress Impacted by Time of Year

The Smead Operation Organomics Survey also examined the time of year that Americans feel the most stress to be organized and found the holiday months of October – December ranked highest with nearly 50 percent. However, the second most stressful time of the year was a tie as 20 percent of Americans chose April – June (spring cleaning/end of school/summer planning), while another 20 percent chose January – March (New Year and tax time.) July – September received 11 percent of the vote. Interestingly, men found the time period of January – March to be more stressful than women; women found October – December to be more stressful than men.

The survey also found that if given the choice, Americans would organize their bills and important documents first (55 percent); family schedules second (13 percent); home office third (12 percent); school work and projects fourth (11 percent) and photos fifth (10 percent).

Operation Organomics is a new effort, led by Smead Organomics, dedicated to helping people get their lives organized. Operation Organomics will kick-off in September and will offer monthly practical ideas and advice including the latest trends and solutions to common organizing challenges. The Smead experts will teach people how to organize anything in three simple steps, and include monthly topics and projects on blogs, online community forums, Facebook and Twitter.

In addition, Operation Organomics will provide practical checklists on Smead Organomics (, a free interactive "how to" web site that can identify a person’s organization style and offer tools to match that style. The web site also provides an "Organomics Calculator" that calculates actual time and money lost to individuals and companies due to disorganization.

The online survey of 1,000 adults age 18 and older was conducted June 18-June 22 by eNation.

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Smead Manufacturing Company, a leader in office filing products and records management systems, was established in 1906 in Hastings, Minnesota. Smead is a privately held, certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) offering thousands of organizational products for use in the home or office. For more information on Smead’s high-quality organizational products, including hundreds of environmentally friendly products made from Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)-certified materials, visit To find your personal organizing style, visit Smead Organomics at