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Best Time Management Strategy: The OHIO Method (Only Handle It Once)

Adopting a streamlined approach to task management is the biggest goal all professionals are aiming for this year. One method that’s gained popularity is the OHIO Method, also known as “Only Handle It Once.”

This productivity technique emphasizes the importance of addressing tasks, emails, and documents immediately, minimizing delays and enhancing efficiency. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the OHIO Method, its origins, how it works, and the benefits it offers.

Additionally, we will explore three powerful productivity apps by that can complement and enhance your implementation of the OHIO Method: Auto BCC, Meeting Scheduler, and Backup your cloud.

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With countless tasks, emails, and documents vying for our attention, staying organized and managing our workload efficiently is crucial. The Ohio Method, also known as “Only Handle It Once,” offers a systematic approach to task management that can help individuals and businesses streamline their workflow, reduce clutter, and accomplish tasks more effectively. By implementing the principles of the Ohio Method, you can minimize distractions, eliminate procrastination, and ultimately boost your productivity.

The Ohio Method: A Brief Overview

The Ohio Method, as the name suggests, revolves around the idea of handling tasks only once. It emphasizes the importance of addressing items immediately to prevent them from piling up or becoming overwhelming. By adopting this method, you commit to taking immediate action on tasks, emails, and documents, instead of letting them linger or postponing them for later. This proactive approach ensures that you stay on top of your workload, make efficient use of your time, and maintain a clutter-free work environment.

Origins of the Ohio Method

The Ohio Method is built upon the time management philosophies developed by early pioneers such as Ivy Lee and Alan Lakein. Ivy Lee, a productivity consultant in the early 20th century, advocated for a similar approach to task management. He advised his clients to prioritize their tasks, focus on one task at a time, and complete each task before moving on to the next. The Ohio Method builds upon these ideas and provides a systematic framework for implementing the concept of handling tasks only once.

How the Ohio Method Works (In 4 Steps)

The Ohio Method operates on the principle of immediate action. Instead of allowing tasks, emails, and documents to accumulate or linger, you address them as soon as they come to your attention. This approach helps minimize procrastination, reduce mental clutter, and enhance decision-making. The Ohio Method can be implemented in four simple steps: collect, evaluate, act, and organize.

1. Collect: Gather all incoming tasks, emails, and documents in a central location.

To effectively implement the Ohio Method, it is essential to have a designated space where you can collect all incoming tasks, emails, and documents. This could be a physical inbox, a digital task management app, or a dedicated folder in your email client. The key is to ensure that all incoming items are centralized and easily accessible for evaluation and action.

2. Evaluate: Prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance.

Once you have collected all incoming items, it’s time to evaluate and prioritize them. Assess each task, email, or document based on its urgency and importance. Consider deadlines, dependencies, and potential impact when determining the order in which tasks should be addressed. This evaluation process helps you allocate your time and energy efficiently, ensuring that you focus on the most critical tasks first.

3. Act: Take immediate action on each item.

The distinguishing feature of the Ohio Method is its emphasis on immediate action. Once you have evaluated the priority of each task, email, or document, take action accordingly. Completing tasks, replying to emails, making decisions, delegating responsibilities, or discarding unnecessary items should be done promptly. By addressing items immediately, you prevent them from piling up and becoming a source of stress or overwhelm.

4. Organize: File or categorize completed items for easy retrieval.

After taking action on each item, it is crucial to organize and file them appropriately. This step ensures that completed tasks, resolved emails, or processed documents can be easily retrieved if needed in the future. Establish a systematic filing system that aligns with your workflow and allows for quick and efficient retrieval of information.

Benefits of Implementing the Ohio Method

Implementing the Ohio Method offers numerous benefits that can significantly enhance your productivity and efficiency. Let’s explore some of the key advantages:

1. Increased productivity

By adopting the Ohio Method, you minimize delays and distractions, allowing you to focus on completing tasks promptly. The emphasis on immediate action helps you stay on top of your workload, accomplish more in less time, and ultimately boost your productivity.

2. Reduced stress and overwhelm

The Ohio Method prevents tasks from piling up and becoming overwhelming. By addressing items immediately, you avoid the stress associated with procrastination and the feeling of being constantly behind. This proactive approach helps create a sense of control and calmness in your work environment.

3. Improved decision-making

By taking immediate action on tasks, emails, and documents, you reduce decision fatigue. The Ohio Method eliminates the need for repetitive decision-making by encouraging you to make timely choices and commitments. This allows you to allocate your mental energy to more critical and complex decision-making processes.

4. Enhanced organization

The Ohio Method promotes efficient organization and filing practices. By promptly categorizing and filing completed items, you create an organized system that facilitates easy retrieval of information. This organization not only saves you time but also reduces the frustration of searching for misplaced or lost items.

Is the OHIO Method Suitable for ADHD?

The OHIO (Only Handle It Once) Method can be particularly beneficial for individuals with ADHD, who often face challenges in managing attention, prioritizing tasks, and avoiding procrastination. By encouraging the immediate handling of tasks, the OHIO Method aligns well with the ADHD brain’s preference for engaging, in-the-moment activities.

A study by the Journal of Attention Disorders suggests that strategies which reduce the need for task switching can improve focus for ADHD individuals. The OHIO Method helps by minimizing the overwhelming build-up of tasks, which can often lead to decision fatigue and reduced productivity.

Furthermore, the method’s emphasis on organization and simplicity can be a counterbalance to the common ADHD-related difficulties in organizing tasks and managing time effectively. Overall, the OHIO Method’s structured yet flexible approach can enhance focus, reduce stress, and promote a sense of accomplishment for those with ADHD, leading to improved productivity and job satisfaction.

Implementing the Ohio Method: Step-by-Step Guide

Implementing the Ohio Method requires discipline and commitment. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you effectively incorporate the Ohio Method into your workflow:

  1. Collect: Set up a centralized location, such as a task management app or a physical inbox, to gather all incoming tasks, emails, and documents.
  2. Evaluate: Prioritize tasks, emails, and documents based on urgency and importance. Assess each item’s significance to determine the appropriate action required.
  3. Act: Take immediate action on each item. Complete tasks, respond to emails, make decisions, delegate responsibilities, or discard unnecessary items promptly.
  4. Organize: File or categorize completed items for easy retrieval. Establish a systematic filing system that aligns with your workflow and allows for quick and efficient retrieval of information.
  5. Review: Regularly review your task list, inbox, or filing system to ensure that nothing is overlooked or left unattended. Make necessary adjustments and updates as needed.

By following these steps, you can effectively implement the Ohio Method and experience the benefits of improved productivity, reduced stress, and enhanced organization.

Tips for Success with the Ohio Method

To maximize the benefits of the Ohio Method, consider the following tips:

  1. Customize it: Adapt the Ohio Method to suit your specific needs and work style. Experiment with variations or modifications that align with your workflow and preferences.
  2. Use appropriate tools: Leverage productivity apps and tools that complement the Ohio Method. Auto BCC, Meeting Scheduler, and Cloud Backup by are powerful tools that can enhance your productivity and streamline your workflow.
  3. Stay disciplined: Consistently apply the principles of the Ohio Method to ensure effectiveness. Practice discipline and commitment to maintaining a proactive approach to task management.
  4. Communicate with your team: If you work in a team or collaborate with others, communicate your use of the Ohio Method. Ensure that everyone is aware of the approach and understands the benefits it offers. This promotes transparency and helps align expectations.
  5. Stay flexible: While the Ohio Method emphasizes immediate action, there may be situations where careful consideration or delayed execution is necessary. Be flexible and adapt the method to accommodate unforeseen circumstances or unexpected changes in priorities.

Case Studies: Real-Life Examples of the Ohio Method in Action

To illustrate the effectiveness of the Ohio Method, let’s explore two real-life case studies:

  1. Case Study 1: “Sarah,” a freelance graphic designer in Austin, Texas

Sarah, a freelance graphic designer, adopted the Ohio Method to streamline her workflow. By promptly addressing client requests, emails, and project files, she was able to complete tasks more efficiently and meet deadlines consistently. The Ohio Method helped her stay organized and reduce the stress associated with managing multiple projects simultaneously. Additionally, Sarah used Auto BCC to keep her clients informed about project updates, enhancing transparency and client satisfaction.

  1. Case Study 2: “John,” a project manager in Silicon Valley

John, a project manager, implemented the Ohio Method to enhance his team’s productivity. By encouraging immediate action and timely decision-making, John was able to keep projects on track and minimize delays. He used Meeting Scheduler to simplify the meeting scheduling process, allowing team members to book meeting times with him effortlessly. This improved collaboration and ensured that everyone had an opportunity to contribute and provide input.

These case studies demonstrate how the Ohio Method, combined with productivity apps like Auto BCC and Meeting Scheduler, can significantly boost productivity and streamline workflows in various professional settings.

3 Productivity Apps

Enhance your professional efficiency with’s suite of productivity apps: Auto BCC, Meeting Scheduler, and Cloud Backup. These apps are designed to streamline email communication, organize your meeting calendar, and enhance your data security, all in an automated way.

1. Auto BCC: Streamline Email Communication

Email has become an integral part of our professional communication. However, managing email conversations and ensuring effective collaboration can be challenging, especially when working with teams or clients. This is where Auto BCC by cloudHQ comes in. Auto BCC is a powerful productivity app designed to streamline email communication by automatically copying specific recipients on all work-related emails.

How Auto BCC Works

Auto BCC seamlessly integrates with your email client, such as Gmail, allowing you to configure it to automatically CC or BCC another email address whenever you send emails. With Auto BCC, you can set rules based on specific criteria to determine when and to whom the email should be copied. This eliminates the need for manual CC or BCC entries and ensures that all relevant parties are kept in the loop.

Benefits of Auto BCC

Auto BCC offers several benefits that can enhance your email communication and collaboration:

2. Meeting Scheduler: Efficiently Schedule and Manage Meetings

Scheduling meetings can be a time-consuming and tedious process, often involving back-and-forth emails or phone calls to find a suitable time for all participants. Meeting Scheduler is a powerful productivity app that simplifies and streamlines the meeting scheduling process. With Meeting Scheduler, you can easily set up open office hours and allow others to book meeting times with you effortlessly.

How Meeting Scheduler Works

Meeting Scheduler integrates seamlessly with your preferred email client, such as Gmail, and enables you to offer time slots where you’re available, as well as a “Book me” link that can be included in your email signature or website. This link allows anyone to access your availability and book a 15-minute meeting slot with you directly. Meeting Scheduler syncs with your calendar in real-time, ensuring that your availability is up-to-date and conflicts are avoided.

Benefits of Meeting Scheduler

Meeting Scheduler offers several benefits that can enhance your meeting scheduling process:

3. Backup Your Cloud: Safeguard Data

Data is invaluable. Whether it’s important documents, client information, or project files, losing data can be devastating. This is why it is crucial to have a reliable backup solution in place. Backing up your cloud offers you a secure and convenient way to safeguard your data.

How Cloud Backup Works

A cloud backup seamlessly integrates with your cloud storage platforms, allowing you to schedule automatic backups of your files and folders. With a cloud backup, you can choose from various backup destinations, including Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint and Amazon S3, ensuring redundancy for your data. In the event of accidental deletions, synchronization errors, or system failures, you can easily restore your files from the backup.

Benefits of a Cloud Backup

A cloud backup offers several benefits that can provide peace of mind and protect your valuable data:


Staying organized and managing tasks efficiently is crucial for maximizing productivity. The Ohio Method, rooted in the principle of handling tasks only once, offers a valuable approach to boost productivity and reduce overwhelm. By promptly addressing tasks, emails, and documents, you can minimize delays, eliminate clutter, and accomplish more in less time. Additionally, integrating productivity apps such as Auto BCC, Meeting Scheduler, and a cloud backup, you can further enhance your productivity and streamline your workflow. Embrace the OHIO Method, implement these powerful tools, and experience the benefits of a streamlined and efficient work process.

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