Living The Organized Life: Step 3

Last week, I told you want to do with those lists. This week, I am going to go into it more in depth and share with you how I plan my week. So, grab a cup of strong coffee and lets do some planning! 

The most important thing to do when getting it all organized is to decide if you prefer digital or paper planning. I do a little of both. So, I'll start with how I handle lists. 

Here are the digital lists I use. I use Wunderlist for those things I need to do on my computer every day. In this is social media tasks, reading my blog reader, check email, and even things that if I don't do every day, I get behind on. On Wunderlist, I also keep a list that is what I need to do after publishing a post, monthly to-dos reminders, and business bills.

I use the post-it program that came on my computer for different things. For instance, if I am working on a campaign and need to keep track of a certain hashtag, handle, or url- those go on a yellow post-it. The purple post-it is for projects that I need to make progress on when I can (like finishing up my website) or things that I need to do to my computer, like organizing files or learning a new program. 

The black rectangles are To-Do Desklist tasks. I use this for keeping up with reference sites (if a client sends me a font they like or an element of a website they like, it goes in their task box); links to reviews I have in the queue, and things I need to research. 

Keeping these lists on my desktop are what I have found works for me. It keeps me from having scraps of paper and a million lists. (Although I still have a thousand!)

Every thing else goes in my planner. 

My master to-do is written on notebook paper, folded and tucked in a pocket of my planner. 

My weekly recurring tasks are also on a paper in the same pocket. 

Almost everything else is in the calendar. (The stuff that isn't listed here is another project) When something is planned (for instance, an investigation for CSPRI Inc) that is more than a week out, it goes into the monthly planner to be handled at a later date. Within the week, it goes straight to the daily plan book. 

Now, its time to plan. 

I sit down every Sunday evening with a strong cup of coffee, pretty pens, post-its, all of my paper lists, and some tabs. I get to planning. 

Here are the steps (don't worry, I'll share tips after)

  1. Move everything for the week from the monthly to daily planner. 
  2. Transfer all weekly to-dos into the daily planner
  3. What are your goals for the week? Write those on a post it to be moved each day (unless you use a weekly format)
  4. Look at the week- does anything need advanced planning for? If it does, plan a time/ day for that. 
  5. Look at your master- what do you want to accomplish that week? Schedule those- try not to include more than a few items a day, depending on how much time is available for said day. 
Note: I am currently trying out a daily planner because I want to see if it will keep me focused on that day instead of worrying about what I have to do the next day- it might work!

I do color code- but that is just works for me, because I like color! School activities are always in red!

  • If you are planning an event/ trip/ big day, add a tab to that day. On that day, add a couple of post its. I add one for details (address, important phone number, confirmation, etc). I add one for things I need to take or grab at the last minute that day. If it is for a CSPRI Inc event, I even add one for the members that have confirmed. Adding the tab allows for me to quick reference that day. Adding the post its allow me to jot those things down and not muddying up the page if things change. 
  • Use sales dots (like you buy for yard sales) for recurring tasks that are not your own. For instance, I use them for my husband's appointments, class days, and even doctor appointments for family members- if I want to check on them afterwards (like Mom's stroke appointments). Because these dots are not on every day, it brings my attention to it more. 
  • I also have a post it that I move that is for the project I am currently working on. I am planning a big Halloween event, so my immediate tasks are on this list because they are things that I can't necessarily schedule. 
  • Use a highlighter to mark off instead of a pen. It keeps things looking more orderly and allows you to look back at what you accomplished. 
  • Add one little thing a day that you can mark off quickly. Something about marking off a to do list feels good and gets one motivated. (Even it is drink a cup of coffee or check email) I promise this works. 
This is what I have found works for me. It might not work for you, but it keeps me organized and sane. Spending an hour every Sunday evening ensures that I plan out my week and have an idea of what I have to get done. It also allows me to plan when I will get to do something special with my little guy. 

Next week, I will talk about organizing projects. Some of this will go in your planner, so make sure its pretty! 

What part of my organized life would you like to see? 

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