Those who don’t know me wouldn’t know this, but I am a very organized person. Not necessarily in terms of messiness (I tend to leave my clothes out for a few days before putting them away) but more in terms of getting tasks done. I work as a Project Coordinator at a tech company, which only enhances my need for everything in my life to be written down, catalogued, and organized. I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while, and I thought Monday would be the perfect time to share my tips for managing projects and organizing your life! I’d love to hear any of your organizational tips and what helps you stay on top of things in our crazy busy lives.
My typical day looks like this: wake up just before 6AM, make a coffee, check my emails (I manage a lot of projects in London), check my social media channels, quickly get ready for work, go to the office for about 8:30AM, catch up with my team and colleagues, sit in on meetings and calls with my clients, go to the gym for a quick work out at lunch, and leave the office by 4 or 5PM. After that, I run errands that I missed on the weekend, catch up on my own blog, cook dinner, have a glass of wine around 5 or 6PM and head to bed by 10PM latest. Sometimes, my day is longer and sometimes if I can I try to get out of the office on time to enjoy extra sunny weather or see an old friend. Either way, I am always managing at least 15 projects at work and more on the go at home (hello, renovation!) and I always need to keep on top of all of the things I am doing.
1) Google Docs: I mostly use Google Docs to keep on top of my projects at work. I separate a Google Doc Spreadsheet into colour coordinated rows that show what the project is, the stage of the projects, the deliverables, and the due date. I organize by due date so that I know what I have to focus on each day/week. It really helps my see things from a high-level perspective.
2) Stickies on your desktop: I’m pretty sure I hadn’t used these since I first got a Macbook, but I have reverted back to them. I love having a running to do list on my desk top. While I used to do it on paper, my to do list is far too long and ever changing, so I need somewhere that can be edited quickly and referred to throughout the day by simply glancing to the left while writing emails, etc. I keep a long one for my project to-dos and a shorter one for my personal (although, this seems to be getting longer by the day).
3) Outlook calendar: I schedule all of my appointments that are in work hours through Outlook. Even if it’s just a 15 minute coffee run, I like to have it in my calendar so that I can plan my day. Also, I always put my workouts from 12-1 so that this time is blocked off from meeting invites and it keeps my accountable.
4) Google calendar: I like to separate my personal and professional calendar. While I can see both on my iPhone, on the desktop I like to focus on my work calendar while at the office and my personal one while I’m out and about. I keep my Google Cal open in a tab on Google Chrome in case I need to jot something down to remember to do at the end of the day. I put everything you can possibly imagine in this calendar. If I want to do a “taco tuesday,” I put this in my calendar. If I need to pick up a broom, I put this in my calendar (4:30 today!) etc…I rarely forget things when they’re in my calendar, but usually it’s too much to remember just in my head.
5) iPhone: I was recently talking about the prices of iPhones and for the use you get, how they’re really not that expensive. I use my iPhone probably 10 hours a day at least. Granted, I work for an app development company, but still. I have to charge it at least once a day. I have my calendar linked to my iPhone, as well as both of my email accounts. However, a big one for me is turning off my work email on the weekend. It’s easy to do this from settings and makes a big difference to my enjoyment of the weekend! Obviously, if there is something big going on at work, this isn’t possible but I definitely do it when I can.
6) Notebooks: I keep my agenda open at work for jotting stuff down that I later enter into my calendar. I also keep a few notebooks: one at work, one for the renovation, and one for my personal musings. I’ll use it for random notes during meetings at work, renovation notes with our contractor and designer, and even as a way to journal my thoughts. I will always need to put pen to paper to think creatively.
7) Reminders: I use the “Reminders” app in my iPhone for little things like picking up paper towel, remember ing to take vitamins, etc. It helps to not have a cluttered calendar of reminders, so little things go in here.
8) Evernote: Evernote is one of my favourite apps. I have it on my desktop, iPhone and iPad. I can access my notes from anywhere, and it’s a place for me to keep track of everything from to do lists to packing lists. It’s like a virtual, super organized notebook and I love it.
That’s all for now! I hope that was helpful. Happy Monday!