Well, here we are, almost a month into 2016 and I feel like I already need another kick start. If you caught my post on New Year’s Resolutions, you’ll know I’m focusing this year around the word growth. Getting organized is one small step I can take towards reaching my “growth” goal in 2016!
I am extremely organized when it comes to certain things, like my planner, for example. My planner is color coded, I write in both the monthly overview and the specific days, make lists, etc. Other things, like my apartment, not so much. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. My parents think I’m a bit of a hoarder, and maybe they’re right, but this year I want to change this.
My guest room is currently a disaster, I mean it. Like piles and piles of clothes that are two sizes too big after my weight loss. This is really my organizational goal for the year. I want to clean up this room and turn it into an office space, which I desperately need.
This isn’t going to happen overnight, so baby steps. My first organizational priority for 2016 has to do with school, work, the blog(s) (oh, right… more on that later), and of course, my Chloe and Isabel business. I’m juggling a lot of hats and that doesn’t even touch on things I want to do like write a novel (if that ever happens). Basically, I need organization. A lot of it.
So, how does one get organized when it seems like they have so many different things going on? I’m not going to lie, this has been difficult for me. Normally, I hate writing things down in multiple locations but with how hectic my current situation is, I didn’t really have a choice. Here’s how I’m getting organized (the current methods, anyways) in 2016.
Kate Spade Planner + Bullet Journal Combo
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always carried a planner. I love them and I look forward to buying a new one every year. When my jumbo Lilly Pulitzer planner died randomly in October (RIP) I decided to get the Large Kate Spade planner (TBH, I really miss the Lilly but felt like I needed something a little more professional for meetings and the like). Anyways… I was using a method that looks something like this:
It was really kind of all over the place. On days when I had multiple meetings, homework assignments, etc. there wasn’t really any room for list making. Cue large amounts of post-it notes all over my desk. Not cute. As 2016 approached, I discovered the genius that is Studyblr (Tumblr blogs dedicated to studying), and the majority of these individuals use bullet journals. *Insert heart eye emoji’s here*
After looking around both Tumblr and Pinterest, I decided to try a bullet journal for the upcoming semester. For financial aid reasons (ugh, student loans) I ended up having to take three classes, two of which happen at the same time, right at the beginning of the semester. That’s two sets of discussions, 8 responses, and 2 writing assignments per week, all with the same due dates. (Don’t even get me started on the amount of reading I have to do). Like I said earlier, I need a lot of organization.
Back to the bullet journal. So far, it’s been great. I transfer the important stuff from my planner (which stays on my desk) and then make lists upon lists to my heart’s content in the bullet journal. I also have sections (because this Kate Spade notebook is flawless) for blogging ideas, writing ideas, and even books to be read! There’s also a section for journaling (another of my resolutions this year) but I have yet to actually journal anything aside from my running list of goals for the year.
Binder with Assignment Sheet + Dividers
Confession: I hate binders. I hate carrying them, I hate putting stuff in them and I’m pretty sure I haven’t used one since like freshman year of high school. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I think the best decision I’ve made in my entire college career is to (finally) get all of my textbooks in eBook form. This makes it WAY easier to tote them to and from work (for when I have down time, lunch breaks, etc.) or to the coffee shop (where I plan on spending my Sundays working on the week’s writing assignments, at least until I get an office set up). So, all of my textbooks currently live on my iPad Mini, and hopefully this will be doable for the rest of my graduate career. Fingers crossed.
The one thing I hate about taking online classes is that all of the lectures and other information, including my weekly readings (additional to the textbook readings) are all online. I don’t know about you, but I hate reading things on a computer. I have to have something in my hands when I read it (reading on an iPad isn’t easy either, but I like it better than a computer). This is one of the reasons I decided to carry a binder this semester.
The binder (similar) is complete with dividers (similar) for each class so that I don’t get them confused. My favorite part is the insert I made for the front cover (picture above). It outlines all of my readings, discussion posts and responses, assignments, and most importantly, due dates (which are also in both the planner and my bullet journal). Am I overdoing it? Probably. Will it pay off? TBD.
Want to read more about my organizational goals in 2016? Subscribe today and see if I can actually get that guest room cleaned up like I keep saying I will. (JP is hoping it actually happens so he can finally get his computer shipped here from AK). Stay tuned!