Organising

4 Tips to a More Organised Life

Cathryn Lavery

I’ve always been a keen organiser and to do list maker. Some time back my organisation needed an overhaul. You see, I was an avid post-it-note user. As you can imagine, this wasn’t the most effective means of staying organised, no matter how well intentioned my efforts were. Most of the time my post-it-notes would end up at the bottom of my handbag, scrunched up or would just disappear off the face of the Earth. Worst case, I’d end up with something leaking in my handbag ruining my organisation attempts. (Just a quick disclaimer, I am more organised these days, but after spilling 20% of my coke zero in my handbag earlier today I am definitely still working on that side of things ;))  

I still use a mix of handwritten and digital methods to keep myself organised. I find a balance of both helps. There’s no greater satisfaction than ticking off completed tasks on paper but I also enjoy the convenience of having 24 hour access to my digital organisation versions.

Here are 4 Tips to a More Organised Life I recommend to help you on your journey to kick-ass at organisation!   

  1. Start a Bullet Journal

I discovered bullet journals about a year ago and have been keeping one ever since. It helps me to keep all my thoughts in one place and have a plan for action. Even better you can personalise it to suit your needs and schedule. I like to do a week to a page as well as a page for the monthly calendar and monthly goals. In the weeks plan I include the following:

  • To do list
  • Weekly Meal plan
  • House tasks chores I need to do
  • Monday to Friday Weekly schedule with dates for plans and appointments
  • A ‘To buy’ list for any items I need to buy that week such as birthday gifts
  • Exercise plan to mark in gym days and other exercise

On my monthly page I mark in any upcoming appointments or scheduled plans for the month ahead so i can see my month at a glance. I also make note of my goals for the month on the page to the right. It certainly beats my old post-it note system and I find it extremely satisfying ticking things off my list as they are done. Is there any greater joy? 

You can make your bullet journal as simple or creative as you like it’s totally up to you! If you love drawing or are artistically creative I’m sure yours will look a lot better than mine 😛 

For anyone else a bit stuck on what to include in their bullet journal or how to get starter there are many Pins on Pinterest to help you get some cool ideas and inspiration.

And of course the organisation doesn’t end here. There are a myriad of things you can use your bullet journal for:

  • Tracking your debt journey
  • A habit journal to record your achievements e.g. exercise daily, water intake, taking your vitamins, eat fruit
  • List such as books to read, books I’ve read, documentaries to watch
  • A record of things you want to do around the house
  • Keeping track of your savings balances
  • Weight goals
  • Recipe ideas
  • Cleaning schedules
  • Favourite quotes

The greatest things about the bullet journal is you can tailor it to suit your life and sometimes it feels nice to crack out the texters and coloured pens (stationery lovers I’m looking at you!).

 

  1. Three Item Task List

Sometimes our to do lists can look so overwhelming that we don’t know where to start. Looking at a list of ten things might make it hard to prioritise what is the most important and can be an extremely unrealistic goal. And let’s be honest trying to do a large number of things in a small space of time can often mean we make not progress on any.

The key to achieving our goals is to set realistic ones. If you try and attempt 10 things on your to do list today you are probably going to fail. A good tip to limit the fear of your to do list is stick to a list for each day of the 3 most important to do tasks.

Pick the three things that you feel are the most important to be done today. The ones that if left incomplete have the most consequences. Once you have completed those three most important tasks, you will feel a great sense of achievement that you met your days goals. If you feel like you’re on a roll and could do more than three go for it, but only do this once you have done your top three items. By the end of the week you could have up to 21 tasks on your to do list cleared off. For more on list organisation method read Joshua Becker’s Accomplish More with a 3-Item To Do List.

>> If you like this, you’ll love: “12 Simple Bedroom Organisation Tips!

  1. Google Calendar to keep track of your schedule

I have been using my google calendar for years and would be lost without it. Although the bullet journal is great for writing down your tasks and plans, there is nothing quite like having access to your calendar no matter where you are. I don’t carry my bullet journal out with me on nights out and there is the chance you could leave it at home one day. A wall calendar just never worked for me. You can only view it when you are home and it’s not ideal for making plans or appointment on the go.

Typically you will always have your phone or access to a PC so there will be very few occasions where you aren’t able to check your calendar. Each time I make any plans it goes straight into my Google Calendar to make sure I don’t lose track of it and forget. There is so much to remember day-to-day and we should utilise what tools we have to make our life easier. Another advantage of the Google Calendar is you can share it with whomever you need – your spouse, team, colleagues. It can help everyone stay on the same page as to what is happening when. I’m sure there are other digital calendar out there but I have found this one the easiest and most reliable.

 

  1. Utilise Organisation Apps 

There are a whole range of organisation apps out there to help you get organised. Apps such as Google Keep, Wunderlist and Colour Note are great for organising your notes and to do lists.

My personal favourite I love to use to keep track of notes is Colour Note app. There is an option for notes or check lists. You can make as many notes as you need and copy and paste information easily. It’s great for those times when you want to make a quick note like a movie recommendation or if you come across a book you’d like to read. I like to make notes in mine such as what I have planned for the day, my shopping list and where I am going to shop, recipe ideas, travel packing lists and so on. Even better, it syncs with your phone so you can back-up your notes – no fear of losing your phone and your important notes. You can easily send the notes to your email or share it with others.

Another organisation app I love is Google Drive. It offers a to-do-list where you can list your to dos by category, record due date, enter a description and mark them as completed when done.

Try a few out, research your own and find what works best for you!

 

For more tips on getting organised check out my article 13 Time Management Tips to Get Organised . I share my tips for getting on top of your to do list and tools and techniques for becoming a master of your own.

What are your favourite ways to stay organised? Do you have any apps to recommend? Please Comment below with your tips.

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  • Anton
    May 8, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I love the Things application for very important time management such as teaching deadlines, university assignments and repayments. I used it all throughout Uni as it gave me reminders before I had to do things; very good for someone who wants to ease into a more structured and managed lifestyle!

    • minimisewithme@gmail.com
      May 9, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Thanks for the suggestion, Anton! Is that an iphone application? I haven’t used it before! I couldn’t live without my reminders. Great to just set and forget until they go off 🙂