I don't think I've ever written a whole post on organising even though I love doing it. I could talk hours about staying organised. I am just so forgetful that I need order in my life when I can have it, otherwise I'd be a bit of a mess.
Everyone has their own system of being organized so what I'll share with you is solely based on how I do it because it's a system that I found that works for me. So it might not work for you! But maybe I'll be able to spark some inspiration for some.
Whilst downgrading and cutting back on material to minimise baggage for my move, I've decided to ditch paper planners. Long story short, I've found something that works for me perfectly fine and it saves paper and space in my bag, too.
Planning every day
I use the good old iCalendar for the Mac and iPhone. No special, fancy app. Yup, I'm going basic! After watching Lucy and Hannah's organisation video, I stole Hannah's idea and decided to put everything on my iCalendar which is accessible on my laptop and my phone so that's definitely coming in handy every day. And with everything I mean everything – events, blog posts, story updates and tasks!
Crazy you think? Probably, yes. But I needed something to put everything in one place and I feel this way is working pretty well so far that I've decided to stick with it. How you ask? Here's a quick run-down. I thought I would give you a simulation of my actual calendar and screenshot my method.
This is the monthly view I have on my laptop. My calendar is colour-coded because I've always colour-coded events, etc. Tasks are blue, events and appointments are yellow, national holidays green and blog posts and story updates are orange.
Blog posts and story updates are put as an all-day event as well so I have an easy overview of what is still to write, to schedule, to post.
The rest, events and appointments, are just down below with their time stamps. That can be exams, work shifts, doctor's appointments. Since I don't have too much going on at the moment other than uni and my part-time job, I am keeping my work shifts yellow, too. If it gets busier in the future I'll probably colour-code it differently.
Of course I can't put every detail in my iCalendar. I need space. I need massive space for ideas and to-do's for my stories and blog posts and everything else. I recently started actively, regularly using Trello. You might have heard from this pretty tool already, and if not, this is what it is:
Trello is accessible via Web, as an app for laptops and phones, Apple and Android. It's an organisation tool reminding of a pin-board. Basically you create boards, where you add lists and then add as many cards as you'd like. They can be annotated, you can add to-do's, mark a scheduled time, etc. You can freely move items and cards around. Here's how I use it:
This is my board for my works/stories, one of many boards that I currently have. I've got the cards for ideas for stories, completed works, the ones I'm working on for publishing, the ones I have on hold at the moment and the board goes on and on with all of my stories solely.
To each card you can add tasks. This is from my university board and this is my card for Tourism Management, a subject I had to study for. I added tasks for the card, steps to take and things to take care of for studying (because I tend to procrastinate more when I think of a task of a whole. So instead of saying "Study Tourism Management today" I'll divide small tasks so it doesn't sound like it's too much to do). I can tick tasks off and add comments if I think of anything extra.
Each board and card can be shared with others to participate. So if you're working with a partner or a group, this is a great way of organising everything as everyone can add comments, etc. Trello works together with the app Slack for teams, so there you go.
So many E-Mails
For E-Mails I simply use the normal, basic iOS Mail app on my phone and on my laptop. It's simple and I like to keep it simple. I added all e-mail accounts and have several (many) folders for each account so I can move all incoming e-mails to specific folders for organisation purposes. I flag important ones and mark ones as unread so I won't forget to reply to the ones that need a response as soon as possible. (I will have the urge to check unread e-mails to get rid of the badge counts so that will help me remember to go through said e-mails).
Setting up signatures helps tremendously if you don't have the time to put up with writing it out over and over.
Tracking expenses & keeping my budget
Spendee is still my all-time favourite. The American version is called Mint, I think. That app isn't accessible here in Germany for some reason so I'm sticking with Spendee. I actually upgraded the app (it's perfectly fine used in the free version) because I don't only have my daily expenses to keep track of but also the money I owe friends or what friends owe me and budgets for trips, etc.
It's such a pretty app that I look forward to using every day. You can even add receipts as pictures which is great for me. Every evening I sit down to go through my expenses of the day. More on the app itself and how I sort out my finances here!
Daily logs & Journal writing
Some of you might know since I started therapy I learned to keep track of daily mood logs every day. I couldn't bother with my notes app or my calendar so I downloaded the Day One app for my laptop and phone. It's a diary/journal app where you can add as many journals as you'd like. Not that I need multiple journals, my life isn't that exciting. But I have one that is for my daily logs, one for my thoughts and what I usually jot down in my journal when feeling anxious or when I'm reminiscing, and one for goals and personal plans, e.g. what I want to do while I'm in London, what I want to get done, To-Go's and so on. It's safe with a password and I can access it anywhere. You can add photos from your camera roll and even connect with your Twitter and Instagram where it'll include your tweets and pictures. You can put a location, too.
Look, I know what some of you are thinking. Before this I would've shaken my head at myself, too, why being so digital and why don't I just keep writing per hand? Isn't that more "intimate"? More personal? But the thing is,
- I don't like to waste fancy paper anymore.
- And I want to be able to re-read my entries at any time and I've got like three filled journals back home that I can't just grab and read. This way I can even search up key words and find entries from the past with the speed of a button. (Now I've taken pictures of all content of my old diaries too and put their date on the app.)
- I can't even bring a paper journal with me all the time. I don't always have a pen or space to write.
- And most of the times I have so much on my mind that I can't even write all of it down, not because it would've turned into a novel but because my hand would hurt so freaking much.
Keeping track of girly needs
Oh, periods. What can I say, I don't like being surprised by my natural body procedures. That's why I like to keep track of my period with Clue. This is a cute app many women already know. I even know boyfriends that downloaded the app to keep track for their girlfriends! I know, crazy. And cute.
I use this app to track many more things than just my red days, though. You can log how much your bleeding was on a day, how bad the pain was, how you were feeling emotionally, how much sleep you got, whether you had sex that day or not, how energetic you felt, what you craved throughout the day, how your skin has been and how much you weight.
As you can see this apps knows to do a lot of things so it can be a great "body" tracker next to the Health app as well. You can even set reminders for your pill, for when your next cycle is about to begin, when you're estimated to ovulate. Quite handy if you ask me.
Feels like this was quite a lot! Tell me below what you use and how to stay organised. Thoughts on digital vs. handwritten journaling? Any questions on how I organise are welcome as well.
Until then – stay groovy,