Hello readers of Ally’s blog! I am Lia from Lost In A Story (imaginaryplacesonpaper.wordpress.com) and I usually blog mostly about books but now I am here to talk about something else, namely organizing!
I’m quite a fan of being organized and plan ahead, but lately I’ve been kinda sloppy and therefore I forgot about so many things I wanted to do. So one of my new year’s resolutions is to get more organized. So I’m going to discuss a few ways in which you can get more organized and which ways I’m going to use.
Getting Things Done
A month ago I had a lecture from David Allen who is famous for his method Getting Things Done (or GTD). He wrote several books about it and lots and lots of people use his method. This method basically consists of 5 steps:
- Capture: what has your attention? He explained that you can do this by doing a mind sweep. You take five minutes, a piece of paper and a pen and write every single thing that’s distracting you from what you’re doing right now, everything that you should do and every idea you need to pay attention to. Being distracted is really annoying, and sometimes it really helps to get it all down on paper. In about 5 minutes I had written down 20 things!
- Clarify: what does it mean? In this step you define what you’re supposed to do. If you had nothing holding you back what is the next thing to do with this problem? For example, your project is due next week, the next step to take is to find information and write an outline for your report.
There are two options:
- Actionable: okay then: defer it, delegate it, do it. The last one refers to tasks that take 2 minutes or less: DO IT NOW. If it takes longer, you should define when are you going to do it, and who will do it.
- Not-actionable: trash it, reference it (save for the future), incubate it (keep it on hold, for example you need to wait for something to happen so you can jump in and take action)
3. Organize: where does it belong? For each type of action, put it on a special pile for every action in that category. For example, emails to send, calls to make and more. Make these categories clear and put them where they belong.
4. Reflect: what next? Review these lists as often as you need to, throw out things that you don’t need to do anymore, add new tasks etc.
5. Engage: go do it now!
This method is made to make you feel in control of your life again. However, I’m not going to use it, it feels like a huge commitment and a complete life-style change, but I can definitely see it’s benefits.
I don’t know who invented this method, but I’ve seen it around very often. I’ve also used this method for a while, and I really thought it was helpful. I love making to-do lists and especially cross of items (isn’t that the best feeling?). This method uses different signs for tasks. So you make a list with all that you need to do, and in front of each task you put a little dot or bullet. There are three options: you put a cross in front of it, then the task is complete, you put a > in front of it, then the task is migrated (moved to another date), or you put a < in front of it, the task is then scheduled.
For events, you place an “o” bullet in front of it, and for notes such as ideas and thoughts you put a – in front of it. You can also add more importance to tasks, there are also ways to show that using different symbols. More information: http://bulletjournal.com/get-started/.
The most beneficial thing of bullet journalling is that you can make it any way you want to. You can add monthly to-do lists, indexes and anything you think is important. The one thing that I don’t really like about this method is that you miss that feeling of accomplishment when you can finally cross something off your list.
What I’ll be using
Because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted in a journal/planner in any store, I’ve decided to make one myself. I’ve gathered free printables from different websites and printed them so I can make my own planner! One of the most helpful sites I’ve found is Eliza Ellis’ blog http://elizaellis.blogspot.nl/p/free-printables_27.html. I’m going to use a combination of weekly overviews (with hourly planner), monthly planners and daily pages. I am using a system that I love because you can add pages and fun things in whenever you want to. I have bought these rings at an art store that can open and close, so I all I have to do is perforate the page and I can put it in. This also means that I can add in as much note space as I want and need. On the daily pages I will use a system similar to the bullet journal, and I’ve added in pages specific for blog planning.
Whatever method you use, you should use it because it works for you. You can always adapt the method to whatever works for you. Like I said, I’m going to use a combination of different ways. What is your favourite planning method? Have you used any of these methods? If you would like to know which planner pages I’m using I’m happy to let you know, just get in touch. I’m over at imaginaryplacesonpaper.wordpress.com and @Lost_In_A_Story on twitter.
Have a wonderful 2017!