As you might imagine, since I work four different part time jobs from home, I get asked a lot – how do you do it all?! My first answer, always? I stay very organized using lots of different tools! You might not be quite as crazy as me and be juggling 4 jobs, 2 kids, one hubby, 2 in-laws, 3 dogs, and 1 God — but just in case you’re anywhere close I thought I’d break down how I keep a handle on things and maybe you can get some ideas too!
Schedule Every Moment – you can go to that article to read my purpose behind having a master plan for each day of the week. I have used this system for going on 2 years now and I swear by it. When I’m following it I get things done and keep balance in my life, when I let it slide–like I have over the past few months–I find myself overwhelmed, missing deadlines, and spending way too much time on dumb things online.
Use Spreadsheets – I still swear by GoogleDocs and use them in every single job that I have right now. The ability to easily set up and keep track of due dates and requirements in them makes that invaluable for my work! If you don’t know how to use them they are super simple and you can just Swagbucks “how to create a spreadsheet in google docs” and probably find all you need to know in a few minutes!
Use a Nice Paper Planner – I don’t care how much else you do online or through technology–you need to own at least one, nice paper planner each year. The Circa smartPlanner Master Agenda 2014 is the perfect paper planner for someone like me. It has a nice, heavy duty plastic cover (great for those sticky tables that are sure to come along with working from home and kids) and the pages are thick and smooth-quality paper that will hold up to daily scribbling and turning. I use and abuse my planner-so it needs to hold up! In addition to those qualities, I always need the following features–and use them this way:
Month at a Glance: (2nd picture in post) I like to use this page that shows the entire month for things like birthday reminders, appointments, or things that are weekly but have time changes, like my Moms Group on Mondays.
Detailed Week: These pages are where I write down my daily list of to-dos. Many planners have a timeline but I really like that the Circa smartPlanner Master Agenda 2014 doesn’t because I never used the timeline on the ones that do (that’s what my Master Plan in #1 is for!) instead I always write down a list of what specifically I need to accomplish for places to go, errands to run, or job tasks that need completed that day.
Weekly To Do & Goals: My previous planners have not included this but I love it because I did similar things in the margins of them. I love having a spot this year to put the bigger projects or my goals for the week–like “write 3 blog posts” or under daily goals put “exercise Monday, Wednesday, Friday.” The notes section is great too–I always have my planner handy so for writing down those little things you don’t want to forget it’s always wonderful to have a section there!
Another great thing about the Circa smartPlanner Master Agenda 2014 is that there are several “apps” you can purchase to expand it! What are apps in reference to a paper planner you might ask–well they’re additions that you can purchase and customize to make your planner truly work for you! You can choose from nine of the organizational apps: Contacts, Doodler, Ideation Station, Meeting Notes, Scheduler, Take-With Lists, To Do and Travel Tamer .
My last tip is to Use Free Digital Planners – when you’ve invested in a nice “hard copy” planner there’s really no reason to get one digitally. Instead use things like that little calendar sitting on the bottom of your screen and the ones that come with your email. I use my on-computer calendar to plan out my blog posts — that way I can see at a glance what I should be writing without cluttering up my physical planner with that information, and I use my gmail calanders on my various emails to keep track of every day work due dates and appointments. Anything big and important makes it to the paper planner!
Those are my top tips! Hope they help. Do you have any different ones? I’d love to hear them! Let’s chat in the comments!