I recently took the Clifton Strengths test for a conference I attended. It won’t surprise anyone who knows me well to hear most of my results fell into the Relationship Building category. People are my strength. I have always considered myself a people person, though I was surprised to discover, of my 5 strengths, 4 were from that category. I was not surprised that I had NO strengths in the strategic thinking or executing areas. That just isn’t my thing. I am not naturally organized.
How do I get more organized?
For as long as I can remember, I have been forgetful and disorganized. Information literally just falls out of my brain at a rate of knots. I do try really hard to be organized. And as I have got older I have taught myself strategies to be less forgetful, and more organized! I am going to share some of those strategies to hopefully help all you slightly less-organized mamas out there. My husband is a very organized person and he cannot work out why the iPhone calendar doesn’t work for me. Anyone else totally unable to live by the iPhone calendar? I need more visuals than it offers. Enter the following tips, tricks and apps I have to simplify your life:
This website and associated app are the holy grail for mums like me who need a little help staying organized. Whether you need to help your work team, family team, or just yourself run more efficiently, Monday.com is where it’s at. It allows boards for different projects and collaborations as well as private boards your team members cannot see. AND it lets you colour code by importance and topic. I know. You. Are. Welcome.
Mom Planner Calendar
Oh hello, the ultimate organizer of my life. 2 years ago I decided I couldn’t rely on my memory or my iPhone calendar to keep my life running. So I bought the Mom’s Family Calendar and never looked back! It certainly isn’t the prettiest calendar out there, but don’t let that put you off. It has space for 5 family members where you can write in the activities for each member. The only time I forget to do stuff now, is if I forgot to write it down. The struggle is REAL.
Trello.com is a business tool, but it’s an awesome one for anyone working as part of a team. It allows each team member to see what their tasks are, to add tasks and to have boards for specific projects. It would also be for personal use as a way to keep your ‘to do list’ organized. Currently the jury is out on whether we will be replacing Trello with Monday.com. But, you know, the colour coding….
Day Designer Daily Planner
The strategic planner and daily agenda for living a well-designed life
I recently got the ultimate life planner and I have a feeling it’s about to revolutionize my life. I am a very visual person and as much as I enjoy using technology, nothing makes me happier than a good old fashioned paper list. This planner has a 2 page monthly overview calendar for each month. However, the real joy is on the day to pages. It allows you the option to plan your day out hour by hour, has a to do list for EACH DAY, a ‘don’t forget’ box, and a space to write your top 3 things to do for the day. It even has a box to write what’s for dinner that day. Yup. I know. When I successfully get up early, I use that time to write my list for the day before doing anything else.
And just to keep you on a positive track there is a quote on each day page and a spot to write your daily gratitude. Someone thought of EVERYTHING when they made this beauty. Its only downfall is that it is heavy, but with this much beauty who cares right?!
Get Up Early
Ok so this is not a physical tool, but getting up 30-45 minutes earlier than my children makes my day so much more productive. I use the time to write my lists and then sit at my laptop while my brain is wired and ready to go. It stops me feeling guilty that I haven’t done any work before I run my errands for the day. My children know if I am at my desk, I am working. If I am up an hour earlier I will shower. But let’s be real, I am not a morning person and 5:45am is bad enough!
Lunch and meal planning
I pack all my boys’ snacks and lunches for the week on a Sunday night. It means in the morning I can just grab the items we need, throw them in a bag and run. I mean, my husband does all that really, but at least I have made them ahead of time! I’ve been doing it since they started preschool but still, every Sunday I feel like super mum for getting my ish together.
I’d love to hear some of the tools you use to make life more organized.