For some reason, people think that getting or being organized is some arduous task. You have to be neat, everything has to be spic and span...This is just not the case.
You don’t have to be some Mary Poppins in order to be organized. You only need to find a system that works for YOU. No matter if it does or doesn’t make sense to anyone else or if your desk looks a mess to the outside. As long as you know what you are looking for, can find it, and have a consistent system to stick to, you’re good!
Getting organized doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are 5 ways to get more organized while using just 3 very common tools - your phone, a journal/planner, and pens.
***FYI, if you have red button anxiety (plenty of notifications on the iPhone) then brace yourself. You have been warned :). Also, sorry Droid users I’m an Apple girl (read snob) so some of these tips may not work for you. But I’m pretty sure you can find some great substitutes out there***
1. Sync all your calendars
If you’re like me, you probably have like 3 or more calendars. One for work, one for school, personal, family, and the like. Managing all of these can get a little hectic if they all don’t operate on the same system or platform. And with so much to keep up with many things can fall through the cracks. My family and friends know that if it’s not on my calendar, then that means it’s not happening. Which is why most of them send me calendar invites even for small gatherings (thanks guys!) so I won’t forget. To manage all of the aspects of my life I sync all of my calendars to my phone calendar. This makes it easier for me to see everything together in one place. And, my phone gives me a handy preview of my schedule so that I can get a sense of what my day looks like.
To further help me, I color code every calendar so I know what is what when I look at my day. If you’re in school and feeling really diligent, I use to make a calendar for each class and color code them so I could keep up with tests and assignments by subject.
Doing my calendars this way has really helped me get my life in order. Now I don’t have any excuses as to why I didn’t make it to a meeting, event, or get together. (Still trying to figure out if this is a good thing or not #extravertedintrovertproblems.)
2. Create reminders
Another thing I love about my phone is that I can easily create reminders -- either myself or through Siri. I can be a bit scatterbrained at times and the moment I think of things to do I need to immediately record it. Usually pen and paper is not handy, but the one thing that is is my phone. I simply tell Siri to remind me of a certain thing at a certain time if my surroundings permit. Or, I manually enter it indicating what I need to be reminded of along with the day and time of the reminder. I also love that I can tell my phone to remind me when I arrive or leave a particular place.
Another great thing is that I can set priorities to the reminders indicating what has great importance and what I could probably get away with ignoring for a little while.
3. Phone organization
I tend to be very particular when it comes to how my phone is organized. When I need things or am looking for something, I like to find it fast. So, I have my phone set up a particular way that is conducive to that. On the front or home screen of my phone are all the apps that I use regularly, usually on a daily basis. This gives me quick access to the things I need so I don’t have to scroll and hunt them down.
On subsequent screens a have folders which hold apps that are in the same category. This helps me keep everything together so I can quickly get to it based on its category or function. Looking for Snapchat, that’s in the social folder. Dropbox, the productivity folder. I really like this method a lot as it limits me spending time swiping to look for things. If you don’t know how to create folders on your phone here is a video to help you out. It’s actually really simple.
4. Journal or Planner
I know it’s a bit old school but I still use a journal to write things out such as thoughts and ideas. A journal helps me get keep all my thoughts in one handy place. Also, it is scientifically proven that writing things down helps with memory. (Source)
I particularly like to use mole skin or soft leather journals such as these and these. Or one that is unruled so I can doodle and mark up as I please. I also like to use post it notes or cute tabs such as these to mark pages that are important or have information that I may need to use in the future. One of my good friends just returned from her hometown in Japan and brought me back lots of cute little stationary, so I’m so excited to start using them!
5. Colorful Pens
To go along with your cute journal, you have to have cute writing utensils, right? I love these pens because they write smoothly and don’t smudge. Also seeing different colors in my journal just lifts my spirits.
But this post is about organization so I should probably give their organizational use as well. Having different colored pens is almost like the color coding of the calendar above. You can organize your thoughts in your journal by color. Family is one color, work another, your side hustle another, you get the point. This way you have a clear visual of your ideas and can quickly distinguish them need be.
So there you have it. 5 ways you can get organized by using just your phone, journal, and pens. I hope this has sparked some ideas on how you can better manage your life and the craziness that sometimes ensues.
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