Let’s talk organization. And I’m not referring to your closet or bookshelf, I’m talking big picture … let’s organize your life. How you ask? It’s simple, write “it” down. You may recall from this post a few years ago that I’m a huge advocate of the planner/organizer to the point where I’m a bit obsessed and totally addicted. But to put a more positive spin on it, I see it as keeping up with a healthy habit. Also, I’m specifically talking about the non-digital versions because let’s face it, it’s always a welcoming opportunity to go old school and take a break from the highly obsessive screen time habit that we all have. I’m guilty as well, so I am consciously choosing a good old fashion, pen to paper organizer method. It’s therapeutic. It’s the beginning of the year, and although we are not in January, I truly believe that anytime is a good time to get organized. Planners give you a chance to look ahead and plan or reflect on the priorities and tasks that are coming up and if you are like me, have a busy life and often times have to factor in the family’s busy schedule too, then the best way to manage this is to write everything down in some form of a planner/organizer/agenda/notebook.
Some people prefer to have blank or simple lined notebooks and shift their to-do items from one day to another. Others prefer to have very defined sections with goals and daily mantras. Some like to color and doodle their thoughts and feelings (sounds very soothing) and some are check-list-checkers and some are crosser- outers. Whatever gives you that ultimate satisfaction of marking a task off your list, then go for it! What works best for me is jotting space for things that need to be done that week and then I shuffle the items over to the individual days in that week as I go along; it helps me prioritize the overall goals of the week and when I need to do them and then, whoosh, I cross out the completed task with a yellow marker. Honestly, I’m such a nerd, I can talk about organizing for hours because, to me, it’s kinda fun and I fully believe that this habit has life changing benefits.
From internet research as well as my own personal experience, I think these are the top benefits:
- Stress Relief - Have you ever felt so overwhelmed because you have SO MUCH (maybe too much) stuff in your head and if you don’t figure out how to keep everything straight then you feel like you’re brain is about explode? Well, that’s not healthy and not a nice feeling. The best remedy is to write everything down; get it all out, do a massive brain dump and start organizing from there. Before we even get to the actual organizing part, let’s not underestimate what a stress relief it is to even get all of the excess mental notes, reminders, must dos, thoughts, etc out of your head and on to a physical holding place and what better place to write all of this information down then in on well organized sheet of paper. An example is when I can’t sleep and usually it’s because I have all of these things running through my mind, the best way for me to settle down mentally and physically (believe me, when anxiety sets in, it’s nearly impossible to get necessary sleep), I just write all of the thoughts or tasks down. It'll all be sorted out later, but at least I have it out of my head and onto a piece of paper.
- Organizing life - Getting.Stuff. Done. Now that you have all of the chaos in your head on paper, let’s get organized. You look at your list of to-dos and goals for the month/week/day and you start parsing them out into manageable bites. My strategy is to have an “overall to-do“ section in your planner, this can be a general running list of items or it can be a year goal broken down to monthly goals to weekly and then eventually tapers down to daily plan of what needs to be done. Are you following so far? You sort it out, plan to do it and then actually do it (or, at least, try your very best). Conquering the list bit by bit is less overwhelming and more manageable and ultimately, this will make you more productive because you are getting stuff done. Nothing is too big or too small to be written down, ranging from book your honeymoon to buy a birthday card.
- Time Management - Once you get organized, this will overall help with your time management because you can see ahead into the future to plan your day/week; you know what you need to conquer and you will less likely have unexpected items come up last minute. Of course, things will be added as you progress throughout ya know, life and stuff, but maybe those seemingly stressful impromptu moments will not occur as often when you don't have to scramble to get everything done last minute. This is all because you took a few moments to make a plan for the week. For instance, you pick up a birthday gift ahead of time for a birthday party coming up next week ( ie, looking at the calendar and list of things to do), rather than scrambling to pick up a birthday gift on the way to the party and being stressed out about it or late to the party. The better you are at time management, the less stress you will be both mentally and physically because you are able to use your precious time more effectively.
- Archiving - I’m not good at keep journals or diaries, however, I do love the idea of having a paper trail. By using a notebook planner, this is a great way to keep a ledger and/or track various tasks. It’s archival. On many occasions, I have had to look back at previous notes in order to to remind myself “did I do this” or “when did I do this”. In this way, the organizer is the best recording keeping tool that I have. Like most people, I use a digital calendar in order to organize my time and appointments, but these do not give you a record of tasks such as “pay property tax” or “make dentist appointment”.
Over the years, I have expanded and cycled through various types of notebooks, planners and organizers in the Curated Collection shop page. In full transparency, I’m reluctant to have any dated planners in the store because I want the notebooks to have a longer shelf life, but I’ve managed to have a little collection of evergreen organizational planning tools in the shop. Let’s take a look:
Weekly Meal Plan & Shopping List: This is a great way to not only plan your meals, perhaps you have a special occasion or dinner party to work around, but also meal planning for the week is a great way to be efficient in your time management. You know what you will be eating in the week and, therefore, when you are at the grocery store, you can more efficient and productive because you took a pause to plan ahead. This reduces the last minute runs to the grocery store for a forgotten item or scratching your head about what to cook for dinner when you have hungry kids throwing toys at you.
To Do List - Undated Weekly Organizer: I adore this weekly planner and this is totally up my ally in terms of how to get organized. List your priorities by the day so you can work on priorities and time management, tick the item off once completed or if not completed, move the task to another day. The key is to always keep the upcoming tasks on your radar until the item is actually accomplished.
“Lists” Notepads (various): Maybe you don’t want to commit to a more substantial notebook and making ad-hoc lists are more your jam? We got you. Although selling out soon, there are many “lists” notepads available that achieve the overall theme of organizing your thoughts in terms of making lists, shopping lists or even a literal pros and cons list.
Retro Notebook (Blank Pages): This is for the creatives, the purists, the non-conformists. Here lies a book of blank pages, go crazy with organizing, planning, bulleting, doodling, note taking, daydreaming, whatever floats your boat ... All in the fun vibes retro notebook.
Hoping all of this planning and organizational chatter has inspired you to go full force into the new year, it’s never too late to start a good habit!