Face it. Life is hard. Work is hard. And trying to stay on top of both is exhausting.
Lucky for me I’ve always been very organized. But then I met my husband in college. He was not so super organized. So I became his walking calendar and to-do list. Then I entered my 30s, had two kids, and my brain stopped working altogether.
So, here I am, 34 and still super organized, but it’s hard work people! And since I’m now responsible for making sure four people (me + hubby + daughter + son) make it through life, I’ve had to come up with some no-brainer ways to keep us all from driving off a cliff…not literally.
My formula is simple, but it works. And, since we’re all different, add your own flavor to the formula to make it work for you.
Tip #1: I’ve gone electronic for everything. While I hate to admit that I completely transitioned away from hardcopy to-do lists, calendars and notepads, it’s true. My phone is always with it. And, it holds everything sacred that is my life. It fits in my back pocket. I can easily copy/paste and share things with others. Anything I need is a touch away, so it makes sense.
Tip #2: I got really annoyed needing to pay a bill online or sign in to buy bulk diapers on Amazon and forgetting my dang login. Gotta hate that, right? So I created a spreadsheet that contains every dang online account that me or my hubby will ever need. I even organized it by sheets (i.e. medical, shopping, bills, etc.) so that I can easily find the login info I need. I saved it to Dropbox. My hubby and I both have Dropbox on our phones. Either of us can access it on the go. My husband actually helps pay the bills now – win! Yes, the password spreadsheet is password protected. If we forget that, we’re screwed.
Tip #3: Buy me a pie. No, really. Buy me a pie. Just joking. It’s an app. A simple list app that can be synced with friends. So both my hubby and I have the app on our phones, meaning that if I forget to put toilet paper on the Wal-Mart list and add it while I’m at work, it will automatically update our synced lists so that when my hubby is actually at Wal-Mart, it magically appears. And, he doesn’t forget the toilet paper. Genius, right? You can create up to eight different lists, which has been more than enough for us.
Tip #4: Most days can be broken down into small to-dos and big to-dos. Small to-dos are random things I think of when I’m driving to work or cooking supper, like “Call the doctor and make an appointment for Bear,” or “Text back my sis,” or “Reschedule my StitchFix.” I like to simply use the native Reminders app on my iPhone for these because I 1) check it daily and 2) can have Siri add a to-do while I’m driving. Most are those annoying tasks that I need to take care of on a short timeframe and will definitely forget if I don’t have them written down somewhere.
My big to-dos (personal and professional) I keep organized in Asana. I’m a big fan of using one task management solution for both my work + personal life, and since Asana has an accompanying app, I can check my progress from anywhere. Asana is built around the following idea structure: Tasks > Sections > Projects. I have a work project and a personal project folder, and several sections within each folder (color coded of course). I add tasks to sections, and all my tasks have deadlines. So I can easily view my dashboard to see what my priorities are for that day, week or month. I tend to use Asana for bigger, more long-term projects and tasks, so you better believe that when I am finally able to check a task off my list, I get a little giddy inside. More on Asana later.
So, there you go. Sharing some of my love for organizing so that you can kick butt in work and in life. The biggest thing I’ve learned? Don’t separate your work from your personal life. It doesn’t work. Our lives are a nice blend of everything, so use these tools and tips to just stay organized, and let everything fall into one place.
Stay tuned. I have more organizational tips to share and didn’t want to write a novel. So I’ll be back with more.
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