In order for me to stay focused and accomplish as much as I do in a day, I have to organize and plan ahead. Solid planning is essential to accomplishing anything. You've probably heard once or twice that poor planning results in poor performance. Well, It's an absolute truth.
To plan and organize each day and accomplish the most, it's important to start with the right tools. Some people only use electronic systems, while others like good old-fashion pen and paper. I happen to enjoy a little bit of both. For me, it's extremely important to write things down as soon as they come to mind. Whether it's a good idea, something I need to buy, or a reminder for an appointment, it has to be written down immediately or it will go right out the window. It's easier and quicker for me at times to grab a pen and jot something down. For this reason, I carry a planner/notebook and pen everywhere I go.
I purchase planner/notebook combos. A notebook is most important to me, but a calendar is kind of a necessity. I like pretty ones that put me in a lighthearted mood and fit in either my largest tote or smaller clutch. I prefer smaller and light planners/notebooks to bulky ones, as this makes carrying them around much easier. I have used others like Erin Condren planners, and they just didn't work for me. I ended up leaving them on my desk at home, never taking them on the go with me, which defeated the purpose of having them in the first place. They are nice, don't get me wrong, and you can personalize them. But, the price is high and they are too big and bulky for my needs.
Before I started doing this, I would have these great ideas that disappeared as quickly as they came, set appointments that I ended up missing, or heard about something important or new that I wanted to research that faded away in the blink of an eye. It didn't take me long to realize that I could no longer rely on memory. Enough missed appointments and forgotten ideas results in missed opportunities, money lost, and complete frustration. My pen and planner even rest on my nightstand beside my bed as awesome ideas pop into my head often just before I go to sleep, and this allows me to get them on paper before lights out and total memory loss occurs.
Every evening I take about 10-20 minutes and review my notes and appointments and enter them into my Trello online account. Trello is like a big, electronic cork board with several large colored index cards on it. Each card is labeled and when you flip it over it has several different lists and items within that list. You should definitely sign up and give it a shot for FREE at www.trello.com. You can access the Trello site to set up your account and access it anytime from any internet browser on your smartphone, computer or tablet./iPad.
You set up multiple colored boards that represent categories that you choose and name. Each board can be clicked on, and within that board, you can create sub-llists. You name each list and add cards with your notes that you've taken throughout the day. Each board even has a calendar and you can create reminders and link everything to your email.
There are tons of cool features on Trello. On of my favorites is stickers. You can place fun stickers over cards with a stars, exclamation points or check marks. The check mark sticker is my favorite because it give me a visual on my progress and productivity. Another feature that is great is board sharing with other Trello users. I share a couple of my boards with my husband so that we can collaborate on home design ideas, travel plans, and other family related things. He can only see the boards I choose for him to see on my Trello and vice versa.
These tools work best for me. Give them a try and let me know. Or tell me about your organizational tools and what works best for you. I'd love to hear about your systems or suggestions that you have for me - comment below or send me an email!
Below are just a few of my favorite notebooks and planners by Sugar Paper. I will be posting more products and info about the Sugar Paper line of products very soon so that you can add glam to your office with their chic and pretty line. Click on any image for more info and to take you directly to order online.
- Jill - xoxo