Picture: Salt Mines in Maras, Peru by Kyla Alexandre
If you have been here a while, you would know that part of my brand is organization and part of being super organized comes from having a really solid planning system. Today, I will run you through my organization system so you can pull some of my tips into your own system. I know at first this may seem like a lot, so I recommend experimenting with what works best for you. There are SO MANY different resources for planning and there is one for everyone out there. Planning keeps you motivated and on task, allowing you to create structure in your day and minimizes the amount of stress in your day to day life. It also gives you the ability to see things ahead so you can avoid procrastination.
I use four methods to keep myself organized:
- Day designer (https://daydesigner.com/ or https://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=day+designer&facetedValue=toxcg)
- Google Calendar
- Note pads
- Journals (for organizing thoughts and ideas)
This planner allows you to see one whole day on each page, so you can block time slots for certain activities. It has a monthly view and a view for every single day with sections for to-dos, notes, tonight, and gratitude. The planner starts off with four pages that allow you to set goals for yourself, which I find really helpful for staying motivated (it’s also really helpful for those of you started out with the Law of Attraction). The templates make it easy to create your own planning system. The biggest key to keeping your planner organized is color-coding. Color-coding allows you to label various components of your life (classes, personal, work, etc) to see exactly what has to be done and where you should put your focus. Plus, it is really pleasing seeing all of those pretty colors on the calendar. If you are not into colors, labeling is also super helpful, whether it is using symbols or dividing everything into categories. I found that using both methods works best for me and my planning needs.
I find that this planner is very effective, especially if you need structure and order to function. It allows you to really plan ahead and in-depth. I do not recommend using this type of planner if you are just starting out or do not need as much structure. I would recommend a weekly planner. They still have a monthly calendar (essential in every planner), that allows you to see everything happening that month, but instead of each day being on its own page, they have their own section across two pages. It still allows you to see all of your to-dos but not by the hour. If that does not appeal to you either, you could always try bullet journaling where you can custom create what works best for you or do it all digitally.
I do not use Google Calendar as in-depth as I could simply because my planning system is integrated physically and digitally, but that does not mean you cannot still have a day designer-like layout online. I use GC to see a more general view of my life. Here, I place appointments, family events, college schedules, school events, etc. There is some overlap in terms of the things on my day designer and GC, but my day designer is more specific and focuses on tasks and assignments and GC focuses more on events. I have two calendars: family and personal, and each type of event is color-coded (school, birthdays/anniversaries, appointments, etc). It is nice to see an overview.
I also use Google Keep, which acts as an online sticky-notes/notes app. You can set reminders, write out notes, and organize them into their own labels. When you set reminders, they will show up on your GC. What is cool about keep, you can open it on a side taskbar of other google applications. For example, I have my color-coding system for GC pinned on Keep. When I forget the color of an event, I simply open the taskbar without having to go back and forth from various windows. It is also helpful in Google Drive. Let’s say I’m writing a story in Docs or creating a spreadsheet, I can open the taskbar and view any notes on my project or assignment in Keep without opening tabs.
As I mentioned before, I do not use them to the extent I use my day designer, but that does not mean you can’t. I simply use them as tools, but you can use them to create the full extent of your planning system. It’s great for saving space. You can have the apps on your phone, meaning they sync up on any device you use Google on, therefore you can save space and paper.
There are also a few miscellaneous things I use as tools to aid my planning. I find sticky notes very helpful, and you can go digital or physical (or both) with stickies. There are apps on both Macs and PCs that act like sticky notes on your desktop. I use stickies (both kinds) to put reminders and lists of various things that need to get done. Sometimes they are things that do not have a direct timeline, meaning I do not have to get done by a specific time. Sometimes they are long-lasting notes such as schedules or positive affirmations. Sometimes they can be random ideas you have. Every element to planning is so versatile and there is something out there for everyone. I use note pads, the notes app, and reminder app to do the various things mentioned above and more. I use the reminder app to remind me when to post content, create content, and create shopping lists. I use the notes app to organize ideas and other information. The variety of apps on your fingertips can allow you to create such a strong planning system.
This next thing does not really have much to do with planning, rather more to do with organizing your thoughts. Planning, in general, enforces a less cluttered mindset, and on top of that, I also think it is important to keep that momentum and have a place to put your thoughts. This can be in a journal, the notes app, a document, literally anything. Like planning, journaling is incredibly diverse and there is no right way to do it. Journaling gives you the chance to get out all of your thoughts so they do not consume you, but it also acts as a time capsule capturing all of the memories you get on paper, good and bad. Check out my post on journaling for more about it! Journaling does not have to be just writing (but there is nothing wrong with that if it is) you can create spreads for various parts of your life such as habits, movies/books/TV shows you’ve watched or read, lists of various things (post on this later), and ideas you have that you would like to bring to life. Journaling gives you clarity and a safe space to let everything out. If you are a little crazy like me, you have journals for various things. I have a journal dedicated to all of my personal thoughts, a journal for my website with ideas and plans, and a journal for manifestation and dreams.
All I am saying is you are never too crazy for having an elaborate planning system if it means your system keeps you stable. I hope this provided guidance and aid in discovering your own planning system. If you want help/advice on planning or want to show me your planning system, email me, or message me on Instagram. I’d love to see it! And of course, don’t forget to stay vibin!
Where you can reach me:
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