My Favourite Ways to Stay Organised
In business & life
This post couldn’t come at a better time for me. To be honest, I feel a little bit overwhelmed this week. A little bit over-worked. A little bit disorganised. A little bit busy. A little bit stressed. A little bit frazzled. And when you add all those littles up you get a lot of Me Not Performing At My Best. And I’ve watched it. It’s not a good show, I promise.
But to keep me on track, especially at times like these, I have a multitude of apps, processes and schedules. These help me get my work done, roll-over what I can’t get a handle on today and be gentle on myself. Because, just like you, I’m human. I have blogs to write, client work to complete and a social media strategy to stick to. Outside of work I have a family to take care of and a home to run. And, just for the next 3 months, a wedding to finalise.
So here are my favourite ways to stay organised in my business (and life) and how they help me get around to everything on my list, even if it’s not today.
Reflective Morning Time
I love starting the day off fresh and focused! It primes me for the busy day ahead and lets me define my goals and the steps I’ll take to achieve them. Not sitting down at my computer at the start of my workday took some getting used to but I can already feel the impact it’s having on my productivity, intentionality and overall mood. Sitting with my iPad, planner and coffee prevents the internet black-hole so before I even touch my mouse, I know what I emails I need to reply to first and what tasks are a priority.
This application is a recent addition to my arsenal but having used it for the last couple of months has made me wonder how I managed my social media at all before that. Being able to schedule my Facebook and Twitter prior to publishing is a huge time-saver in the day-to-day running of my business. And having the analytics function really helps me keep track of what my audience engages with most so I can bear that in mind for future content creation.
AnyList & Any.do
Being able to share lists has changed. My. Life. It may seem exaggerative but when your thoughts take no specific form or pattern and you remember you need to buy dog food while you’re in the shower (it happens) these apps are the best! With real-time updates, Richard and I can both see what we need to buy, do or accomplish for the fridge, wedding or house. I can set reminders for both of us for any task under any banner and when it’s complete you can swipe it off the list.
This is a broad one and covers anything from emails to blog post graphics to client specific project pages on my website. Not having to reinvent the wheel each time you need to tackle a task not only helps keep the time you’re spending on it to a minimum but lets you focus on the real priority - sending the latest draft to a client, getting your blog post up and on Pinterest and organising a welcome packet for a new client.
Having so many thoughts running through your brain can be tiring and a huge waste of energy if you’re not jotting notes and ideas as you go. I use Trello for product ideas, batch-tasks for my website, blog post ideas and any random to-do’s. I also have a brain dump board open for anything that pops into my head that feels worth developing or investigating and then re-file under the applicable cards every week. This can also be a powerful project management system by keeping track of the who, when and where so you also know what the next step is.
If you’re the same kind of Pinterest-loving, information-devouring entrepreneur as me, you need this in your life! I come across so many interesting articles and posts on a daily basis that I could become a full-time consumer. But that won’t put food on the table so I use Pocket to save all these juicy nuggets of wisdom being shared by all you amazing ladies and read them at a time that’s more appropriate. Also a great tool for keeping your open tabs to a minimum and saving all the links you’d love to share on your social platforms.
Anything document based lives here, filed neatly under their applicable headings. All my blog posts, subscription lists and process forms are available at a click of a button and easy to keep track of. Shared documents are great for project workflow with clients being able to easily share and update info and content.
Sadly, my favourite part of Google Inbox is the snooze button. Something about having a clear inbox makes me feel at ease and accomplished. So if a project is only scheduled to be worked on tomorrow, I snooze it and receive it again at my chosen time.
Now, I love English and grammar more than your average consumer, I promise. But proof-reading everything (emails, social media and blog posts and anything that uses words) is very time-consuming. And chances are you’ll miss a few mistakes anyways. Grammarly keeps my language usage on top-form while allowing me to add my very own lorinisms to the dictionary. Because who has the time?
Want to read more about my daily schedule as a work-from-home entrepreneur? Great, because I love sharing (and over-sharing) so you can read all about my trials, errors and (then eventually) successes right here!
Now it's your turn? What keeps your organised and focused? I'd love to hear all about the apps, rituals and processes that form part of your day and keep the overwhelm from setting in!