Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Werk It

I have always been a pretty organized person. My closet is usually in good order, my desk is tidy, and I have many storage totes and bins so I know exactly where everything is. I never had to work at being organized, it sort of came naturally. Lately as my schedule keeps filling up with work, school, personal projects, e-mail, etc., I notice that it's easy to forget about an item on my mental to-do list. In the past I haven't been much for keeping a calendar or planner and writing down my to-do items. I remember my high school handed out planners to each student every year and I thought I was impressive because I didn't use one. But really, my schedule consisted of going to class, then sports practice, then home for school work so it turns out I didn't have much of a schedule. Now that it's a new year and I have a to-do list that involves real stuff, I think it's time to find a system that keeps me organized.

This week I have been testing out the app, Todoist. It's an app that let's you create to-do lists and organize and filter tasks by labels. So far I'm really happy with it and love that I can create one giant to-do list and categorize each task in "blog", "art history", "Social Stylate", and so on. Keeping everything in one place is so helpful and the color coordinated categories help me prioritize visually.

Besides my to-do list, I need a better way of organizing new ideas. Currently anything that pops in my head like a blog post idea, potential project, or anything, I either type in my notes app on my iPhone or I type on a sticky note on my computer desktop. Neither are outstanding tools. I like the idea of having a notebook to write down all of my thoughts.

I use Google Calendar for work, but that's it. I don't know how I feel about using an online calendar for  everything just yet, so I want a planner to write down appointments, meetings, due dates and more. Plus it can double as my notebook for my thoughts. These planners by Julia Kostreva are perfect. I would find every excuse to pull this marble planner out of my bag, and if that means I am staying organized, even better.

My thoughts are if I stay organized and am aware of my daunting to-do list, I will stay motivated during the day and work even harder to tackle it. Hopefully it works.

What are your favorite apps and tools to stay organized? Do you prefer paper or electronic calendars? Do you carry a daily planner?

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