I was planning out my May and June and it got me thinking. I know everyone is not a planner like me. Some people thrive in craziness and keep their sanity through disorganization. Other people require structure and organization to keep their sanity.

What about those of you who want to be more organized but don’t know where to start?

I wanted to share some of the ways I organize my life and hold myself accountable. My {over} organized self uses: Goals, Lists, Planner/Journal, Calendar, and Reminders.  

Goals: I keep a note in EverNote (Free App) and also a Word document of my personal and professional goals. I list short-term and long-term goals I want to accomplish and what needs to be done to accomplish them. I keep my personal & professional goals in one document because for me, they are dependent on each other. You might want to keep your goals separate.

Lists: I use EverNote to keep track of all my lists. It is more convenient because I always have my phone. In EverNote, I keep a “Personal” Notebook for all my personal lists: To Dos (Monthly, Short-Term, & Long-Term), Plans, Trips, Shopping Lists, and Bucket List. I keep a “Work” Notebook for all my work lists: To Dos (Monthly, Short-Term, & Long-Term) and Projects.

Two goals for myself are better time management and more work-life balance. My lists provide a starting point for me accomplishing my goals. To help accomplish better time management, I set daily goals prioritizing three work things and three personal things I want to accomplish each day. (Three might not sound like a lot but I swear it is!) I set aside time each Sunday night to write my daily goals in my planner. To help accomplish more work-life balance, I spend my first few minutes at work on Monday writing my work lists into my notebook or typing them into Word documents for Projects. Then, I delete the note in EverNote. I leave the notebook on my desk at work and documents saved on my work computer. This keeps me accountable for separating work and home life by only accessing work documents at work.

Planner/Journal: This year since I didn’t have school so I had this novel idea that I didn’t need a planner. Psshh…that lasted until March and thankfully a friend who knows me well enough got me one for Christmas. I intended to use it like a journal but now it captures my journal plus reminders, appointments, daily goals, and social stuff. I use the Large Happy Planner with three sections separated by washi-tape and color-code everything I write down. The top section has appointments in orange and reminders in pink. The middle section has work daily goals in green. The bottom section has personal daily goals in blue and social stuff in purple. I have such a sense of fulfillment being able to look back on a week or month and see the fun things I got to do plus the goals I accomplished.

Calendars: I keep my personal appointments in my calendar on my phone and set reminders (so that I don’t have to carry around my planner all the time). I also keep my work calendar synced to my phone so that I can see everything that is going on at once or separate out work and personal.

Reminders: I set reminders in my phone for almost everything. I either assign them to a calendar event or create an individual reminder for appointments. I got into the habit of this during school and now I depend on it. I also set reminders for when bills are due which ensures everything is paid on time.

Whether you’re a planner who loves lists (like me), you thrive on the craziness, or you want to be more organized…one thing is the same. Never let the busyness of life overwhelm you so much that you lose sight of yourself, who you are, and what you want to achieve in life. It is important to do whatever works for you to create a method to the madness and accomplish your goals.