Is it just me, or do we all wish we were just a touch more organized? It’s as if, no matter what I do, that perfectly-ordered life is just out of reach. I’m starting to think it’s a myth, honestly. But hey, if you’re looking to be a little more organized than you are right now, I’ve pulled together a list of some of my best tools – and took care to include only the ones you aren’t using already.
Organization Tools You Should Be Using
One Planner Rule
Planner addiction is real, guys, and it’s problem. I’ve mentioned this before, but I know someone with six planners. Aside from questions of why, I just want to know how they do it, how they keep things from falling through the cracks, since those planners can’t all work seamlessly together.
I think this is a concern even if you only have two planners, something I know a lot of bloggers are guilty of. But I really encourage you to find just one system that works, so nothing important gets lost in transition. If you’re looking for something flexible and customizable, bullet journals are a gift.
Not a polka instrument, I promise. If you’re a paper-hoarder like me, this is your new best friend. I keep every graded paper, class handout, assignment prompt, and grading rubric I’ve ever been given, like some sort of bizarre academic security blanket. But all those papers can make quite the mess, and occasionally, when I realized I needed one, I’d have no idea where it was – enter the accordion file. I keep a tab for each class and an accordion file for each year of school, and then I never have to worry about losing a paper – or having nowhere to keep it – again.
Alright, so Google might be an evil overlord out to take over my life and mine all my data, but I’m all in on Google products anyway. I’m an Android-toting, Google Calendar-planning, Google Drive-sharing fiend. Just bite the bullet and get the Google Suite going – Mail, Drive, Calendar – and hook it up to your phone, as well.
I get notifications at regular intervals before events, task reminders, and access to all my documents on my phone. Since I don’t leave the house without it, I have constant access to and reminders of the stuff I need. And since Google syncs everything across devices, I think using Google Calendar can be an exception to my earlier “only one planner” decree.
Does your desktop have sixty-seven files, all named some variation of “shfgioahrlkgje”? Mine does, usually. And then I have to find places for all those files, and some inevitably get lost, and since their names are keyboard smashes, they’re never found again. But not anymore.
If you’re working on a Windows machine, you can actually add new Libraries (like Pictures, Documents, etc.) to your hard drive to help keep yourself organized. Bonus points if you shortcut to them on your desktop to make clearing it easy.
A clean inbox just makes me feel so in control of my life, you know? So even if I might need something for later reference, everything but the highest priority messages leave my inbox within the first few hours. Still, it’s nice to have folders to organize the messages I don’t need right away.
Having search on my email is nice, but if I don’t know what I’m looking for, having a folder to reference is a godsend – it’s worth the extra two seconds it’ll take to sort, instead of just archive, your messages.
The most important thing…
Is that the tools you use work for you, and not the other way around. Give a few of these a shot for, say, a week. If they help, awesome, let me know below! If not, try something else. There’s no magic bullet to put your life in perfect order, but with all the options out there, you’re sure to find something that will help.