I never used to be particularly organised. In fact, I was messy, always late and very forgetful in my teens and early 20s. I’m not sure when the shift happened, but these days I’m very tidy, hate being late… maybe still a little forgetful.
Being organised and planning ahead is something I’ve found so important for my general wellbeing (and mental health). It helps me feel prepared, eases anxiety (to a degree) and basically helps me feel like I’ve got my shit together (even when I don’t!).
So I thought in today’s blog I would just chat a bit about the organisational tools I use and how they help me adult better.
Let’s look at what tools I currently use to help me organise my life…
Notes app on my phone
Like most people, I use this as a digital notebook. I have folders for blog ideas, Instagram photo ideas, hashtags, IGTV ideas, passwords (I know, I shouldn’t do that *slaps own wrist*), addresses and any other notes of things to look up later.
I also have a folder called ‘worry time’, a technique I learned during CBT. The idea is to write down anything you’re worried about, then come back to it at a designated ‘worry time’ (say 30 mins in the evening). I found it really helpful and while I haven’t used it in a long time, I like to keep the folder there as a reminder in case I need it again.
This to-do list app is super simple and just helps to keep me on track day to day. I don’t write anything to do with my day-job here (I use evernote for that), instead I use it for any life admin jobs and any blogging/coaching to-dos.
It comes up with notifications and an annoying red circle with the number of tasks on the app, which reminds me I still have something to do.
I hate those red dots, so find this motivates me to get shit done!
There are lots of fancy things you can do with Evernote, but I just use it as a place to store check lists. I have one for my day-job (at Memiah), one for the blog, one for coaching work and then one for Blue Jay Fridays.
For my day-job I spend time on Thursday afternoons planning out the following week so I can leave the office knowing I’ve got the next week sorted. For the blog, I try and plan a month ahead. So I’ll sit down at the end of the month and write up checklists for every blog for the next month, including my monthly musings newsletter.
The coaching checklist is spread over a couple of months, listing all the little things I need to do before officially launching my services…
I’m getting there thankfully (and have now finished my course!!) so should be ready to launch in September.
The Blue Jay Fridays list is just somewhere for me to jot down all the things I want to get done on Fridays, I do this a couple of weeks in advance. I try and get most of my blog post writing done during the week so I can use Friday’s for bigger picture stuff and coaching tasks.
I got my planner from Blogtacular and find it so handy as it has three columns. I split this into ‘life’ (any social events, life admin tasks and self-care go here), ‘blog’ (blog writing, newsletter writing, social media scheduling etc.) and ‘coaching’ (coursework, sessions, preparing for launch tasks).
It’s the space for me to plan out my week ahead, and I tend to do this on Sundays. I then transfer the tasks to my Any.do app on a daily basis so I have a reminder while I’m out and about.
And yes, I’m sure there’s a more succinct way of doing all this – but I really like a combination of paper and digital tools!
For the last two years I’ve used the Happiness Planner as a place to note my goals for the week and to jot down how each day has been, then reflecting back at the end of the week. But now I’ve finished my latest one I’ve decided to try something new.
I’ve ordered myself a ‘Self Journal’ which looks like it takes a slightly different approach. I’m intrigued to try it and see how it compares. Will report back!
I have a Trello board for my day-job and one for my blog and coaching tasks. It’s basically a more visual way of setting your tasks and I personally find it helpful for seeing a birds-eye view of what needs to be done at a glance. Plus it’s really satisfying moving tasks from the to-do column to the done column!
This is where I pop any events and reminders (pretty self-explanatory!).
Looking at this list…. It looks like a lot of work – but I’ve found systems and tools that work for me. I find listing things out and planning ahead stops me from overthinking and worrying about what I have to do. I know if it’s written down, I’ll get to it.
I should also point out that I’m not rigid with any of this. Sometimes life gets in the way and instead of the blog I plan to write one evening, I need an evening of yoga and chocolate. I try my best to listen to my body, respect when it tells me to take a break and prioritise rest.
What’s important though is fInding what works for you. Some people like to keep all their organisation online, others need it on paper and then there are those like me who love a mix.
However you do it and whatever tools you use, I urge you to plan your self-care in here too. When it’s planned in, written down and at the front of your mind, you’re so much more likely to stick to it. Treat it as sacred and remember – it is an investment into your health and happiness.
Happy planning everyone.
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