Building a life and business you love can take a good amount of focus, and it’s easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. I always tell my clients that it’s super important to find the system and processes that work for you, but I thought I’d share some of the tools and tricks I use to keep both my life and business organized.
I’m an idea machine, so I capture all random thoughts and ideas in Evernote. Sometimes I write them on random scraps of paper or on my phone’s note app, but everything ends up in Evernote. It’s free and you can access it on your phone and computer (online and off). You can take photos, scan text and write notes. It’s awesome. In a single day, I may think of an Awesome Life Tip or two, a random thought or topic to post to Facebook, a blog post title and other random snippets that become something down the road. It’s so important to capture them in the moment, otherwise they’re easily lost!
Basecamp is where I manage projects and clients, as well as internal projects. It’s a paid service, but I love it. Some other good ones include Asana and Teambox. Because I have multiple projects going at any given time, I absolutely need to keep everything for a project in one place, AND have my project manager Amy able to access it. We also have tasks, schedules, forwarded emails, files, notes and discussions in here. Things is also a great app for to dos and tasks, but it’s only available for Mac. You can have a desktop and smart phone app and they sync over wifi. I used Things for many years to manage my personal to-dos.
Despite all the awesome apps and sites I’ve tried over the years, I do best with a written out to do list. However, I can’t just have a giant to do list or I’ll get overwhelmed (or procrastinate the big important things by doing a million little unimportant ones). My solution is to buy “page a day” paper planners that are spiral bound. What I do is create my written to do list each day with a little square checkbox. The best part is I can “schedule” to dos. So if I say I’m going to get you something in a few days, it goes on that day in my planner. Make sense? I love it and it’s the best thing that’s worked for me so far.
This is my lifesaver. If it’s not scheduled, it doesn’t happen (read: I don’t remember). 🙂 All my coaching calls, appointments and workout schedules are in google calendar in different colors, and they all sync to my phone with a 15-min pop up reminder! If there’s a to do I really can’t forget (like canceling a trial before I get charged, or making sure I check in with a client on something), it gets scheduled on my calendar under a “tasks and to dos” calendar color. The best part about Google Calendar is that it syncs with my phone, so no matter where I am, I get a reminder there’s something on my calendar. If I’m being honest, this has saved me more times than I care to admit! One example was actually about a month ago when I was getting ready to head to the carwash after running a ton of errands and my phone popped up a call reminder! I would’ve completely spaced it otherwise.
Big Wall Calendar
This works best for my editorial calendar. I use post its and plan out my blog posts a couple months out. I love post its because I can color coordinate categories (I’m nerdy like that) AND I can move them around if I decide to post something different on a whim. I need to SEE it too, that’s big for me. Having my blogging schedule up on the wall is motivating, though I can’t say I always stick to it and publish as often as I’d like. My intention for each month is to push out a lot of content, so this helps me organize what posts will go out when, and get a blend of topics for my audience.
Here’s the thing about me… I’m AWESOME at doing a lot of really cool things. I can design and build websites, draft crazy big business plans and strategies, coach, develop programs, etc. But I absolutely fail at everyday life things. I’ve learned that this doesn’t have to be a hinderance, so long as I accept it’s just the way I am and get the support I need. I never check the mail (or mail things), I’ll wash clothes and then live out of the dryer, even if I make a list I won’t leave the grocery store with what I need because I always forget the list, I can’t schedule appointments to save my life, and things like car registration lapse easily when I’m in charge. So, I focus on what I’m good at and hire out the rest. I hired my first personal assistant before I could really afford to and it was worth every penny. She took care of everything I couldn’t or wouldn’t get to, cleaned my house, and allowed me the space and focus to build my business more quickly. I recently brought on another personal assistant because things were falling through the cracks and I want to focus all my energy on creating for YOU. Best decision I’ve ever made, TWICE.
What helps you stay organized?
I’d love for you to share something that works for you.
We’re all so different, so it’s important to find what works for us. Sharing these things helps others who haven’t found what works for them yet. So I want to know… what tools, people, processes or strategies work best for you?