I mentioned last month that my family is going through some transitions. My husband and I are getting our house ready to go on the market (so many little projects to do before it’s ready!), we are house hunting, and this week I’m stepping into a new role at work.
This month, I celebrate nine years working for a non-profit, The National Foundation for Transplants. Nine years is a long time to stay at one company, and through the years, I’ve held a variety of roles within the organization. But this week, I’ll be transitioning to only working half days with a different set of responsibilities than I’ve previously held.
I’m excited, because now my afternoons can be spent focusing on all things writing-related (not to mention that it will also give me some extra time to spend with my family). But as I’m looking at my week, I’m also realizing something—I need to get organized so I can maximize those hours. My goal is to be able to actually have nights and weekends free (or at least mostly free) to be with family instead of working and writing during that time. (for many years now, I’ve had the kind of job that required lots of hours and was hard to “let go of” even when I wasn’t working. Couple that with needing to write at night and on weekends, and you have a recipe for stress!) So I’m excited about this new adventure, but am also hopeful I can pack as much into my afternoons as possible.
I’ve been scouring the internet for some great organizational tips, and seeking help on Pinterest (do people still love Pinterest or is it just me? I can get lost there, finding recipes, workouts, clothes, house decorating ideas, and so much more!)
I need to start by finding a new planner/calendar. Now I’ll confess something—as much as I love technology, I really need a planner I can write in and carry with me! I’ve tried different apps and things, but I just can’t get into it. I was a Covey planner girl back in the day, and I need something along those lines. I’ve been reading reviews and looking at a few different types of planners and I’ve found a couple that seem great—they not only help organize your day or week, but also overall goals for each week/month/year. That could be helpful to me. Does anyone have a day planner they love? Care to share?
I also need to organize my space. As we’ve been working to get the house “market ready” I have been shocked at what a packrat I’ve become! Books, clothes, paper…those seem to be my downfall! I know I’m late to the game, but I’m finally reading Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I plan to use it as a guide to declutter. It won’t be easy for me though! I keep everything. As in, there are still clothes in my closet from when I was in college. And if I’m totally honest, I may have a high school era t-shirt or two…
But overall, I think getting organized and having more of a plan will be so beneficial to me as I move into a new chapter of life!
I’d love to hear your very best “organizational” tip!
I hope you all have a wonderful September!
Our calendar in the kitchen and my google calendars are color-coded and I feel like I spend half my days just putting things on the calendar!
Jill Weatherholt says
I couldn’t survive without my day planner, Annalisa. I take mine everywhere too! I write everything down and find great satisfaction checking things off. :) For the past few years, I’ve been a Covey gal as well, but I recently purchased a beautiful new planner from Staples and the Day-Timer filler from Amazon.It has a page per day, along with extra pages for notes, etc. I’m looking forward to using it in 2018.
Valerie Comer says
Do you have a link for the Amazon one?
Jill Weatherholt says
Val, below is the link. You have to purchase a cover separate. The one I bought from Staples is a beautiful plum color…perfect for autumn. :)
Hi Annalisa! Having worked full time and being in the sandwich years, I always had several calendars: a wall calendar, a small two year appointment calendar in my purse and an electronic calendar. As a teacher while caring for my children and parents, what kept my sanity was taking time every Sunday to make a weekly to do list. I had a legal pad. I combined appointments and meetings, etc. Plus included a to do list: pay bills, grade papers, lesson plans, etc. Daily I reviewed my list and revised or updated my thoughts. I tried using a planner, but found them to complicated for my needs, plus I felt I had to plan the entire month or year AND darn life is ever changing. So I only recorded major events and used my legal pad – One that is bound on the top – so I could use multiple pages. Moving and remodeling are definitely decluttering processes. Moved over 20 times in my life, plus lost everything in a house fire 20 years ago. Not that I am good at following the tip, but if you haven’t used or worn something in a year; one can probably do without. Best wishes as you start a new chapter in your life.
Hi Annalisa, we have a calendar that sits on the kitchen wall. Everything goes on that- appointments, bills etc. basically, if it is not on the calendar, it does not happen. I have not found electronic planners helpful at all, there is something about having it out on paper that makes it easier.
Each school holiday, I give my boys the washing basket- they have to throw out a minimum number of basketfuls full of ‘stuff’ from under their beds. That goes a long way in tidying up! Otherwise- no real tips because I am guilty of keeping ‘treasures’ from long past:)
Elizabeth Maddrey says
Before I switched to bullet journaling (which I adore, so you might check it out too), I loved my Planner Pad.
We’ve been working on decluttering here as well. It’s hard, but feels so good when all is said and done!
Sherri G says
I’ve used DayTimers for years and years. Before I retired, I used the 2 page per day version. Now, I use the 2 page per week version. i got the folder years ago and it has lasted for years. The refills contain the daily pages, an advance planner with monthly views, contact pages, and blank sheets for note taking. My ex-sister-in-law gave me my first one over 30 years ago. It’s worked for me all this time.
I just keep a wall calendar & write the schedule on that so I always have it in view. :)
I love planners as well and could never fully transition to apps. I just wish I could be more organized and accomplish my goals. I used to have very little time during the week and now I have almost all my afternoons free but I always keep postponing the things I want or have to do and procrastinating. Maybe I do need to buy a nice and colorful planner to inspire me to do the things I have to.
Valerie Comer says
I keep buying planners and then not using them. I’m really dreadful at them. :( I put hubby’s and my appts on a wall calendar in the kitchen, and transition them to the white board on the fridge when they’re getting near. Otherwise they’re too easy to forget. For my work stuff – whether it has a firm deadline or not – I have a document open on my computer I call Running To-Do. It lists a whole lot of things I could or should be doing with my non-writing time, from keeping an eye out for the next audiobook proofing to notes for my next newsletter.
The rest of my life isn’t so well organized just now. A truckload to the recycling center and second hand store would not go amiss!
I used to be a day planner, but then the electronic era came in and now everything is on my phone. Google calendar. This can be a problem when you get a new phone like I just did. Now I have to sync everything back up. My son told me about an app called Timetree. It can be seen by him and his wife and they both can put events on the calendar even when they’re not together, and they both can see it. That would help so we don’t double book something.
As for declutting, our pastor shared that he and his wife go into each room each month and look for 12 things to either give away, or throw away. They say it has made a lot of difference and they have teenagers.
Have fun with this new phase in your life.
Margaret Nelson says
I have 4 calendars – one by my computer upstairs, one by my desk downstairs, one in the kitchen and one in my purse… It seems like there’s always something that is on 3 calendars, but not the 4th, and I look at the 4th… I also have piles all over the house of things to be sorted and filed away…
Kimberly Rose Johnson says
For business my planner is a thin book style calendar that is 8 1/2 x 11 inches. I buy one each year at the dollar store. I love it. It has lines inside each box for every day and a lined spot along the side for notes. It also has a smaller calendar at the bottom so I can check dates from the prior and future months.
I don’t carry a calendar around with me. I have a pretty good handle on my personal schedule so just write appointments on the business card of said establishment and transfer to my desk size calendar at home.
Merrillee Whren says
My outlook popup is a lifesaver. I can write things on a calendar and then completely forget them. I put the reminders in Outlook.
Autumn Macarthur says
Praying the transition is easy and blessed, Annalisa!
I’m definitely more an app planner than paper planner type – EVERYTHING goes into my Google calendar. Um, I do just need to remember to check my agenda more often!
I have daily, weekly, monthly, and annual planners I designed to suit me, all done electronically and stored in my Dropbox. The daily planner is a mix of prayer journal, agenda, and evaluation. It works for me. Kind of! Sometimes I admit to skimping on the nightly check-in and evaluation. I do love my system.
Though when my best friend sent some pics of her new paper planner/ journal with lots of cute stickers, I did have a moment of “Hmm, pretty stickers, I want!”
My mother-in-law said that one should move every ten years, just to clean out things you haven’t used in that time period. I like the pocket daytimer.com that has a daily calendar, as well as a monthly calendar at the back.
Jackie Smith says
I enjoy reading how others “organize”…..challenges me to do better!
Blessings on your new job and plans!
Jessica B. says
I haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book yet but it is on my TBR list. I hope that you find it helpful. I sometimes have a hard time letting go of things but I know that it is necessary and I have become better about letting go as I’ve gotten older.
We moved into the house we bought six months ago and I’m ashamed to admit I still have a box or two I haven’t touched and need to! Probably things in them that I no longer need or want. :-)
For me, like when it comes to clothes, if I haven’t worn it in six months and it’s still good…it goes in what I call a Goodwill pile (to be donated). If I buy clothes at a yard sale or new, it’s with the idea it will replace one item in my closet (say pants for pants or shirt for shirt). We’ve moved about three times over the last 10 years or so, that we’ve pretty much decluttered because we didn’t want to keep dragging things along…lol! But then again, I consider myself a pretty organized person.
As for appointments and things, I still use an old fashioned calendar to write them down on. I also have a dry erase board to write down a weekly schedule of things happening and erase them as they happen. I’ve never liked pocket book planners/calendars. The one thing I love on my phone and utilize, is my memo pad :-) I write reminders, grocery lists and whatever else small like that.
Judy Burdett says
I have to admit I still prefer a written planner. I used Day Runner for years. Since I am overseas, I don’t use it as much. Mostly use reminders on my phone. But when home it gets alot more complicated for us so found the Day Runner helpful. But I also borrowed some of the inserts from Franklin as they had some that Day Runner didn’t have.
I am learning to use my phone more for notes.
Judy Burdett says
It looks like the Day timer so wonder if Day Runner is now Day Timer as the inserts look very similar. I had alot of blank Monthly calendar inserts so haven’t bought any in awhile.
janet estridge says
I have great organizing skills at least for the church library, home is a different story. Right now, we are waiting for Irma to make up her mind as to where she wants to go.
Prayers are appreciated.
Britney Vasquez says
I’ll definitely say a planner is a must for me, but I just recently discovered that, so I still haven’t found one that I absolutely love. I do love being able to write everything down, make lists (I like being able to cross things off), etc. We also have a white board on the fridge that we use for other things. Oh, and I love Pinterest too. :)
I have a planner for myself and a planner for my grown children’s schedules. We go over them on Sundays to make sure we know who has what child pick up etc.
HI Annalisa! Best wishes on your new endeavors! :D I lvoe a paper planner. If i write it down it’s more in my memory. I am having toruble finding one that works for em and that I love. I prefer a daily planner and I like a lot of room to put notes. I also want it to start early (most planners I see don’t start at like say 6am. I’ve been looking into Bullet Journalling. I like the concept but organiizing it is what keeps me from trying that route. I am horrible at organizing what I want or need to do. I like Franklin Covey planners was just looking at a couple but not sold to try them. The bullet journal still speaks to me. Sorry I’m not more help. I’d love to know what you choose. I am a list girl too! :)