This post doesn’t need much of an introduction, other than I would categorize myself as an 11 if I was asked to rate my organization on a scale of 1-10. Let’s hop to it, shall we?
In order to stay organized, I like to utilize my phone since it is the device I take with me everywhere. Everyone has their own system, but I love using the Notes app, and then creating a different note for each topic that I have found work well for me:
- I have general to-dos for the week and weekend, which I eventually will transfer to my hard copy list at home (more on that later).
- I have blog to-dos (shoutout to Abbi for making the TOT acronym a thing), such as commenting on other blog’s or responding to an inquiry.
- I keep a running list of future post ideas so on nights when things get hectic, I have some pre-baked posts ready to go.
- And lastly, I keep Bible quotes and inspiration quotes on there for when I need a little pick-me up.
Even if I am in the metro sans cell service, I can always access and update my notes for later. I also use this area of my phone to write reminders to myself and usually check them before bed (i.e. set your alarm, girl!).
My day job is in creative marketing, and my night pet project is this blog, so I am constantly brainstorming ideas for a future project, marketing campaign, or blog post. Since those ideas are often fleeting, I try to keep journals around to have when an idea strikes.
I keep the yellow flower one above in my work bag so it’s usually always with me, and contains notes about upcoming blog posts in the front pages and work projects in the back. I definitely recommend having a “take-every where” journal to keep your ideas organized, and at the very least, you know you always have somewhere to spit out your gum.
Then, when I am surfing the Internet or scrolling through Twitter, and don’t have time to read an article, or want to refer back to it later, I swear by Pocket. I’ve installed the widget on all my browsers and platforms, so saving an article for later is as easy as clicking a button. Genius.
To the people who have thousands of emails in their inboxes: how does that not stress you out?! It is a very rare day when either my work or personal inbox has more than 20 email chains in it. Since college I have followed a very simple email organization system:
- As soon as an email comes in, I categorize it using Gmail categories (I am lucky enough that my work email is also hosted on Google).
- For my personal email, the different color labels are mostly for aesthetics. At work, I try to keep similar projects the same colors. For example, all emails relating to proposals for new business in my work email are green, all related to recruiting are yellow, and so on.
- When an email requires action of some sort, whether it be a reply or completion of an assignment, I leave it in my inbox until I have completed the task is done. As soon as the task is complete, I archive it immediately.
- For the times when a response is the task, and I know I need a response from that person, I use my boomerang plugin, which automatically sends the email back to you in a specified period of time so you know to continue following-up.
- To keep all those chain emails out of my inbox, I use (and LOVE) unroll.me. Essentially, it takes all my J Crew, LOFT, and Banana Republic sales emails and puts them into one tempting email digest that I receive at a specified time daily. It also makes it super easy to unsubscribe from emails you don’t want. But don’t worry, you can easily keep any email you want to see in your inbox.
For my to-do lists, I like to follow the cliche of not mixing business and pleasure by keeping all my personal and work tasks completely separate. Above is the list I keep at home where I write down clothes I want to buy (#addict), personal things I need to do, and groceries (since I just went shopping yesterday, there isn’t food on there…for now). I also like keeping a small desk calendar for quick reference since I am a very visual person.
Work is an entirely different beast, but one I have figured out over the past year and change. For one, I love scheduling everything in my Google Calendar. I love it so much I don’t even carry a planner, since the Google one syncs with my phone and thus is always with me.
Then, I write tasks I need to complete on a to-do list right in front of my on my desk (shout out to Santa for the Tory Burch post-its). And if it’s an incredibly busy day ahead, the night before I email myself the top things I need to get done in the first hour of work so that the most pressing tasks are out of the way before the day slips away.
I take my spiral-bound notebook into every meeting and take notes on it during any important phone calls. It’s great having everything kept in the same place. I usually highlight when a new section of notes has started to keep topics separate. And I always draw a star and then circle it when an item from a meeting or call requires follow-up action, and then highlight it once it is complete.
For more in-depth projects, I am all about using my bright colored crayola markers and creating a key to use to show where each element of the project is on the road to completion.
I use the blue flowered notebook above (twin to the aforementioned yellow one) to jot down cool ideas for future projects, and refer back to it if I need inspiration.
Do you have any killer organization tips? I’d love to hear them in the comments section below!