For the first time in I can't remember how long I feel like everything is going right. I've never felt so empowered and I owe this in large part to the fact that I recently went on a mission to organize my life. It started when I moved last month. I absolutely refused to rest until I was unpacked and everything had a place. I moved from a fully furnished one bedroom apartment to a three bedroom I share with two other girls and had everything away and organized within two days. This was a huge improvement from the last time I moved when I still had unpacked boxes over a month after moving.
The second step was getting into a routine. If any of you have an ipad or iphone I highly reccomend the app HomeRoutines. Its honestly my life line. I have everything I need to do daily to the
last detail, including inherent things like brushing my teeth. By
having everything on a list it helps me establish a routine, do things
in order, faster and more effectively. The best part is you can decide
when you want the list to reset, so things like brushing my teeth
reappear every day, while things like grocery shopping and laundry reset
once a week.
Another way I've kept myself organized is by using a tool called a Personal Crazy Index or PCI invented by Patrick Carnes. I keep a list of the seven most important things I need to accomplish EVERY SINGLE DAY and before I go to bed at night I get a score for how many I've done. If I have done all 7 I get a 0 if I haven't done any or forget to fill it out I get a 7. The lower the score the better. At the end of the week I add up my points from each day to see how I'm doing. As long as I am at 19 or below I'm happy, otherwise I know I need improvement.
I also have an app called simpleGoals where you keep track of your goals. Each day I accomplish one of my listed goals I get a check mark, if I don't I don't. It tracks how many times a week and a month you achieve each specific goal which helps me see where I'm doing well and What I can focus on to improve my PCI score and subsequently my life.
The next thing I set to work on was establishing a routine for school. I got an app called evernote (if you're starting to notice a pattern my ipad is my life, there isn't a single more useful tool in organizing your life and I highly recommend getting one if it's at all possible, it's worth the splurge) in which i have a separate "notebook" for each class where I can take my notes and save documents and pictures. It's been extremely helpful and the best note taking app I've tried (and trust me I've tried several!) On top of that I put all my homework for the week in a note on my phone and eliminate each assignment as I finish it
Finally, the last piece of my organizing puzzle was to set my finances in order. For this I used (you guessed it) yet another app called mint.com. It has been amazing in helping me set up a budget and track my spending. It keeps track of your income, your debt, everything you could possibly need. And the great thing about mint.com, like evernote and homeroutines is that they're accessible on line and sync between devices like your ipad and iphone. I also use outright.com to keep track of my etsy and pay pal expenses.
Overall, my biggest tip in getting (and staying) organized is to write everything down in the order you plan to do it every single day. My calendar has an allotted time for my morning routine, night time routine, homework, blogging, even driving to and from school. By keeping everything on a timed schedule, even if I don't follow it to a t, I'm able to see where my lost time went, or determine what I need to sacrifice in order to add something extra to my day. It might sound a little like over kill, but it's the only thing that has ever worked for me before and for as busy as I am, my life couldn't possibly feel any easier!