Organization takes planning. To plan, you need a few tools. For me, the most basic are a calendar/planner, some small, legal-sized notebooks and a pen.
When buying a planner, I’d look for a binder that holds both a yearly calendar with blocks on each day to write in, plus a few pockets for miscellaneous pieces of paper and some of your business cards, and, very important, a place for a small legal pad. If you can’t find anything like that, you’ll have to stick with a separate calendar/planner and some small legal size pads.
The calendar part of planning is obvious. Put down appointments and other important things you have to do each day. Another trick is, at the end of the day, write one line about the most significant thing you did. You can keep these as a kind of quick and dirty diary to look back at, if needed, or if interested, later on.
The notepads can have a cover or not. Have one for each project. Right now I have:
- One for daily stuff—to-do lists, to-buy lists, notes about anything I find important, miscellaneous stuff. This one is with my calendar.
- I also have one about writing. I jot down ideas for this blog, other ideas about writing, anything I need to remember about writing in general.
- Another one is full of notes about organization; many of those ideas from that notebook will probably be expanded on for this blog.
- Yet another one now is for plans being made for an upcoming road trip. To pack, ideas for sight-seeing, towns to stop in along the way and so on.
- I write short stories, so I keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas for those.
- Suggestions for others are: hobbies, reading, genealogy.
You’d think I’d have one for my novels. But I make all my notes about my current work-in-progress right in a document (saving it as: <Title> Notes.doc) in my word processor.
A single, large or small notebook can also serve the same purpose. With tabs for each individual project, you can keep it all together and quickly find what you need. Since I am on my laptop a good part of the day, I find the smaller, individual notebooks easier to handle.
Have you found a different system that works for you to keep the areas of your life separate? Please share them here in the comments section. I’d love to hear them.