Thursday, January 29, 2015

Organization For the Disorganized Person

Well, what do you think of the new design? I'm loving it.  I was definitely ready for a change around here and I think that was exactly what this blog needed to freshen up.  I hope everyone is enjoying the face-lift. Over the next couple weeks I'll be making changes to my Facebook, Twitter, and IG accounts to make it all match. Let me know what you think of it all! 
Since school started back up again, I've been working really hard to stay on top of everything.  Lucky for me, it's really working.  I'm not only on top of things, but I'm ahead.  If you know anything about me, you know that I'm a professional procrastinator so this is a pretty big freaking deal.  The reason that I have been so successful is simple:  Time Management.  To put it even more simply, my planner. 
The other day I was sitting in class and someone saw me write my assignment in my planner.  He said, "I don't know how you use a planner.  I put stuff in my phone but then when the alarm goes off I just ignore it."  And this isn't the first time in the past two weeks that someone has commented on my use of my planner.  So, let me tell you my secrets on how I make my planner (and my phone) work together to keep my grades looking good and my time amazingly free and productive. 
If I'm being completely honest here, I'm probably one of the least organized people you've ever heard of. I can't keep my room clean for more than a week, but a planner has been just the ticket to keep this disorganized mess in check.

As you may know, I use a Plum Paper Planner. Some people like Whitney English Day Designers or Erin Condren Life Planners, but I'm into Plum Paper.  And here is what I do with it to make things work.

I use color coding so that I can see at a glance where I have the most work to do.  It helps me easily prioritize and gives me a place to start.  

The check boxes are a huge part of my success.  It is so satisfying to put a check in those boxes and show myself how much progress I've made.  For the past two weeks, I've been able to check every single box I've made. 

It's kind of hard to see (please pardon the quality, cropping iPhone photos is rough on the quality) But up at the top where the arrow is pointing I have the gym, breakfast, and my classes scheduled for a time.  By making sure that there is a time for everything, I keep from getting overwhelmed.  I even plan for time to watch Netflix and time for blogging.  It's especially important with the amount of reading I have to do this semester. 

When you're using a planner the number one most important thing to remember is this:  Actually use the planner.  You have to have it on you.  You have to leave it open.  And you have to actively write in it and interact with it or else you will never get used to it and it will be just like those irritating phone reminders that you ignore.  It's just a book filled with paper that you spend $35+ on.  

BONUS TIP:  Schedule your week in advance if you can.  The one I have pictured is next week.  There are a few holes in it because I'm not positive about a few assignments, but it is really helpful when you already have an idea of what your work load is going to look like so that you can be sure to plan around everything you have to do. 

On top of all of this, I work my phone into the mix as well.  You're probably thinking "Isn't the planner working in place of the phone?"  Nope!  I still use the phone to help me stay on track.  I have all of my class times and my work schedule in my phone.  It goes off 30 minutes before whatever I have scheduled starts.  It keeps me on track so that I always have plenty of time to get to class or to work.  There is event the cool feature on the iPhone where when you slide it down from the top it will give you an overview of what your day looks like the next day and when you have events scheduled. 

How do you stay organized?  Does a planner work for you? Do you manage your time well?  If not, I would highly suggest giving this stuff a try.  Trust me, if I can do this anyone can.  


Jen said...

It can be difficult to stay organized but I think you have a good plan.

Ashley said...

I wish I had done all of this in college. I made it through, but I do remember a few late nights writing papers I completely forgot about!

Katie said...

It really changes my life to have it all in the planner. It gives me zero excuses not to get things done. And the check boxes are great too. It makes me feel accomplished and happy!

Katie said...

I still allow for some procrastination, but I get so much more done in a timely manner than I ever have before. I'm super in love with my new found organizational skills with a planner.

Katie said...

It is a good plan I think. It's hard but so beyond worth it. Keeps my stress level wayyy down.

MeandMySoldierMan said...

I rise and fall by my planner. I've been using one for the last couple of years and I can't live without it! I've had an ECLP for the last couple of years and I'm using an Inkwell now. I love them both!

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