Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Get Organized!

I go to a school that uses the quarter system, so I don't actually start school until the end of September. However, I strongly believe that there is no such thing as too much organization. So, I ordered a Lilly Pulitzer 2014-2015 agenda (yes, I decided to splurge) a couple weeks ago and it finally got here yesterday. I've been spending the last several hours getting my schedule down on paper and updating my to-do list. I'm making this post to share some of my organization tips with you, but more than that, I want to show off my new agenda.

Wow. Look how beautiful this thing is. It was well worth the near $30 I spent to buy it. Everyone keeps their schedule and to-do list in their own way, and it took me a couple of years to figure out which method of organization worked best for me. For me, the act of writing helps me remember what I need to do-- I'm also one of those people who has to write their notes in class instead of typing them. However,  I understand that not everyone has to carry around two or three notebooks to feel prepared for the day. Some people prefer using their smartphone to stay organized, like the people who wrote this article over at PC Mag. I can tell you from experience that not every organization app works for everybody, but I do have to tell you that Evernote and Dashlane are extraordinary apps that can be used in quite a few ways.

 There's also quite a number of to-do list apps, like Todoist and Any.Do. After quite a bit of experimentation, I've found that keeping a notebook of lists with me at all times works best for me. Anyone who knows me knows that lists make my world go 'round, so an entire notebook of lists not only keeps me organized, but provides me with something fun to do when I'm stressed. I update this list every morning and every evening, as well as whenever I have time throughout the day. Here's what I put on this list:

  • Daily appointments that I need to remember (doctor, meetings, carpools, etc.) that are short enough to feel like a task that needs to be done
  • Small, achievable tasks that contribute to the completion of a much larger project. By breaking down the project into small steps I can take every day, I am able to get it done on time without having to rush to finish it at the last minute. For example, when I have 2 weeks to write an essay, I generally divide the process into 7 daily tasks: writing an outline, writing half of the first draft, writing the other half of the first draft, reading the draft aloud to myself and making corrections, having someone peer-edit the draft, editing the draft, and composing a bibliography. I can do each of these things in an hour or two, making the whole process seem a lot more manageable.
  • Basic daily tasks.
  • If it's been a particularly rough day, I add things that I'm going to do anyways (i.e. brush teeth, eat lunch). When I cross them off, I feel a little bit more productive, which makes me feel a little bit better about myself. A bit ridiculous, but it works!

I mostly use iCalendar to keep track of my schedule, but having a physical, written schedule helps me better visualize what my week or month looks like as a whole. I also keep track of important dates and birthdays in my planner so I don't forget about it until I see it on my calendar the day of!

Any questions? As always, feel free to leave a comment! And keep a lookout for a Facebook page coming soon: if it helps, put it on your calendar for sometime in the first week of August.

No comments :

Post a Comment