I think it’s safe to assume everyone strives to be organized.
Whether you’re meticulous in your planning, dedicated to your agenda, or live in some sort of perfectly curated disaster, everyone is organized somehow.
I used to be the “organized disaster” type. I’m talking, “Hey, where’s your mascara?” “Oh underneath the blanket on the couch,” type.
Who am I kidding, I definitely still am sometimes. Let’s just not talk about the back seat of my car, kay?
When it comes to my mind though, I’m the complete opposite. I’m the kind of person with a million ideas running through my head at once – but they all have a time and place. Picture 20 little hamsters running at full speed… but all on their own wheel. And the wheels are perfectly lined up. And they’re all running at the same pace. All the hamsters are the same color. Welcome to my mind.
Sound like you?
Now, I don’t know any better. I’ve always been like this. When I run through my thought process with my friends, they look dumbfounded, like for some reason I’m overthinking and stressing about every little thing. To each their own, I guess!
For years, I tried to be miss cool-girl go-with-the-flow, not planning a single thing. Guess how much I forgot? Too much.
Recently, I’ve checked my ego at the door, and started doing what really works for me. Writing things down…a hundred times.
Okay, maybe not a hundred, but I have 4 calendars/planners I use. They each serve an equally unique, important purpose. If this sounds up your alley, just keep on readin’!
1. My Planner
My planner is the hub for allll of the things. I got this great one from Target for $10! Holla! It took me a few minutes to look through all of the options (hard cover, spiral, large, small), but I ultimately chose this one. I love it because it’s got a monthly view, and a bunch of space for each day. Its structured, but not too much. Just clean, open space. I’m not usually a fan of spiral notebooks/planners, but I made an exception for this one.
In my planner, I write my work schedule, any homework assignments, and MAJOR to-do’s. Take this week for example.
I wrote in my work schedule so I know to factor in those hours when planning out my homework/blog work. I wrote in any homework that’s due, or things I should get ahead on. Lastly, I keep track of major due dates (bills, paperwork, etc.). Write in important phone calls or Emails, meetings, or appointments. Seeing all of the major things in my life including school helps me just visualize the week ahead, and specific tasks.
2. Productivity Planner
I got this little cutie from Anthropologie! I normally try really hard to restrict myself from buying cute stationary and journals, but this one serves a purpose I promise. This planner focuses on the day to day, but the MAJOR TASKS of the day to day. The idea is to focus on the top 5 things you need to accomplish during the day, but really, if you just accomplished the first one, you’d be happy.
This planner is not the place to write Go To School or Pilates Class. Those are things that are on your schedule, not other tasks that need to be completed. This is the place to write Pay All Bills or Finish Laundry. Stuff you need to get done.
3. Google Calendar
If you don’t have a gmail account – 1) What are you doing? 2) Make one, if only for the purpose of the calendar. This was a resource shown to me by a student advisor my freshman year of college, and has been a godsend. This is the place I organize all of my major time blocks in the day. For example: I insert my work schedule, classes, workout time, homework time, blog time. If I have any scheduled time with friends it goes in here too.
This is a whole different kind of visual. Instead of looking at tasks that need completing, I’m looking at time blocks. I can see how much of my day will be spent at school, and how much time I’ll have to work on homework that night, or if I need to pack gym clothes and go straight from work to make my boxing class. It clearly shows me what to expect the rest of the day and week. When I schedule homework or blog time, I then go into my Planner to see exactly what needs to get done during that time block. It’s genius, seriously.
4. Wall Calendar
Lastly, I have this whiteboard calendar in my room. I got this from Target too, not exact – but similar! This calendar stays right above my bed so I can look at it each and every day. This is mainly for major due dates, deadlines, or dates I need to remember, like friend’s birthdays or days off from school.
I have different folders for each class I’m taking, and different important documents. One day I’ll get myself a little filing cabinet, but for right now, my desk is getting the job done!! I got these cute folders from Target, (anyone who tells you they don’t like target isn’t to be trusted).