Staying Organized – How I do it and why I do it.

2 Mar


So, you came here wanting some ideas and ways to stay organized in this crazy life. Well, it’s easy. I go back and forth between using my iPad Pro and a pencil and paper.

When I use my iPad Pro I’m making notes inside of OneNote as I’m able to sync it across multiple devices and update the notes from any device. I primarily use a planner that I created which can be found on Etsy.

On Etsy, you can see all of the screenshots I made of how I use it and I also included a YouTube video I made on how I use the Planner.

Anyway, I chose OneNote as I use a Windows Desktop + iPhone + Apple Watch but I sometimes switch to Android and if I did in the future, I wanted to access the notes on any device I wanted to. Also, OneNote is free among all devices, you just need a Microsoft Account. If you are interested and don’t have one, create an account here! You can even access OneNote directly from a browser so if you don’t have the application installed or are using someone else’s device you can still have access to all of your notes. It is incredibly useful and, dare I say, the best thing Microsoft has come up with so far.

I haven’t tried Notability or GoodNotes primarily because they don’t sync across multiple platforms. This was something that I found very important due to the fact that I am on my computer mostly and sometimes/rarely use my iPad.

There are other features OneNote has but rather than this leading to an advertisement for OneNote, I’ll let you do a quick Google Search for the most important features.

Now I said I also switch back to the trusty pen and paper. I do that because I, personally, feel more accomplished with To Do lists on paper where I scratch off the items instead of checking them off on an application. I have tried it over the last 2 months with my OneNote Planner but I just didn’t get the same feeling. There are just some things you have to have written out instead of typed up and even using my Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro didn’t give me the same satisfying feeling of pen and paper.

If you haven’t looked at my planner and want to create your own, here is what I had on each page (in order):

  1. I have an overview for the year where I show a huge calendar for the whole year (if pen and paper, I’d probably print this and glue/tape it into your planner). I do this for quick glances and so I can mark important dates like holidays and vacations.
  2. Then I have a list page for any year long “Goals” I want to complete or goals that I know will take quite some time to complete.
  3. The next page is the decorated page where I write the name of the month and color it however I want to get my creative juices flowing.
  4. The following page, is one where I have the month calendar listed and mark out important dates. I give myself room to write important things about what I’m doing that day. When I was working retail, I’d write my hours for that particular week/2 weeks here so I could quickly glance and make sure I was getting to work on time. Now, that I’m out of retail, I mark quick things like when I’m working out and vacations and such.
  5. I don’t have any plans for the rest of the pages but usually I write out all of my bills with the amount, name, and date they are due so I can scratch them off when they are completed. After that I use the rest of the pages I see fit. Then after each month is done, I restart from #3 above and I fold down the corners of the previous month so I know where the current month starts and it is easy to find.

As you can see in my OneNote planner I do it a bit differently but you can add any additional pages as you see fit.

It is important to stay organized every day as it will relieve stress and help you have less stress in your life. You can stay on top of your life and make sure important things don’t bypass you. I’m figuring this out more and more every day.

How do you stay organized? Are you organized? I’m interested to hear how you organize your life. 🙂

One Reply to “Staying Organized – How I do it and why I do it.”

  1. I’m always impressed with folks who have the dedication to create and maintain a planner. I used to do the paper planner thing (Erin Condren has sucked out so much money I will never get back…) but one week in college I actually lost my planner and then literally had NO IDEA what was going on. I missed club meetings, dance practices, even an exam. I have really poor memory so the planner was what was keeping my life together! I switched completely to digital after that fiasco so that I can’t “lose” my planner again. I used Evernote for a while, and then switched to just using to-do list apps + my calendar. Right now I use a kanban-style organizer called MeisterTask – it’s similar to Trello but with easier integrations and better handling of due dates and recurring tasks. And for everything else, I have my trusty color-coded Google Calendar 🙂

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