It’s probably a little bit ridiculous how excited I get by a new planner and notebook, but there is no denying it: I am completely obsessed with adorable stationary! Thankfully, this love of mine can directly translate into a fresh organizational system that comes with endless productivity benefits! After lots of planner and notebook scouting, it is pretty safe to say, I am SO excited to get myself ready and organized for fall!
This year is the first year I can remember where I’m not heading back to school… and my knowledge-loving heart is so sad. I will miss it so much! One of my favorite parts of the back-to-school season was getting new school supplies and filling my planner with obsessively organized color-coded assignments. Who is with me?! I know there are some more of you crazy people out there! 🙂
Even though I’m not heading back to school, I am starting a new part of my life this fall: MY CAREER! If you’re new around here, I just graduated from college in May and now I am now jumping into my PR career. So, what better way to celebrate new beginnings than with new stationary?
Whether you are heading back to school, starting a new job or your career like me, or just looking to freshen up your organizational system, I found so many cute options of planners, notebooks, and pads of paper for great prices this season!
In the past, I would spend SO much on getting the most perfect planner and cutest notebooks. However, my current self would laugh at my silly, splurging self for how much I would drop on a 100 pieces of paper bound together with a spiral. So many places are creating fantastic, budget-friendly choices. Seriously, have you checked out Target? Because I don’t think it gets a whole lot better than some of their cute options! 🙂
I’ll cut myself short on pouring my heart out about how much I love Target (what’s new?) so I can jump into the (questionably) more important topic of HOW to use those cute organizational pieces. I scour the office and dollar sections year-round, always on the look out for a cute pad of paper, but once I have on, I struggle to find the most effective way to put it to use. Thankfully, I’ve acknowledged this problem and have explored effective ways to create to-do lists and I am here to show you some great planning strategies today!
My Organizational Tools
I always start with a planner that I love for two reasons:
- First, the design. If you’re carrying this thing around with you for a year, it is basically an accessory. People probably see my planner more than they see most of my handbags. So, make sure you love the design.
- But also, make sure you love the layout on the INSIDE! It’s what’s inside that counts, right? One time, I bought a planner than started on a Sunday, so my weekends were always split onto two pages. While that might work for some people, it drove me NUTS. Pay attention to the little things inside. I recently grabbed this Day Designer planner from Target for $25 and I immediately fell in love with it because every day, it challenges you to think of your top three goals. I am going to dive more into this below because I LOVE this idea. Other planners I found that I loved and are $25 are linked here, here and here.
Pads of Paper & Sticky Notes
I love having lots of different pads of paper so I can organize my lists by paper design (cuteness certainly does make organizing more fun!). To start off each week, I write a to-do list with all of my deadlines for that week. However, I also keep lists of ongoing tasks, future goals and ideas, etc. When it comes to daily lists, keep them small. I love using sticky notes in my planner to put emphasis on certain things due on specific days.
Having notebooks on hand is so great for writing down critical ideas when you think of them! I have a notebook for work, for my blog, and for other various ideas. Write it down when you think of it and review it later.
The older I get, the more I realize folders are ESSENTIAL. As you start getting loan statements, bills, etc., you realize how important an effective organizational system is to not only handle your finances, but also to organize any career papers, goals, etc. You can find lots of trendy file cabinets that are very functional but also a great addition to decorating you home office space.
- Understanding what is of greatest priority in your day helps you focus your energy in the right places. Use the tools above to put emphasize on priority items and to help you clarify with yourself what is most important.
- Be specific
- When you give yourself very vague goals or tasks, they rarely ever get done. I have read a lot about this and I find it so interesting! Give yourself specific, quantifiable (when possible) goals.
- Create attainable daily goals
- I can’t remember the last time I actually went to bed feeling like I had done everything I needed to. This is a problem. When you write huge, long to-do lists, you are constantly overwhelming yourself. You NEVER are going to complete everything you want to complete in a day, so you’re setting yourself up for failure. As I mentioned above, I love my new Day Designer planner because it challenges you to pick your top three goals for the day. It’s great to have a running to do list, but give yourself the opportunity to complete a more reasonable list in your day. That way, you will feel more accomplished, less overwhlemed, and MUCH more motivated.
- Challenge yourself with larger goals
- Each day, it is great to give yourself a list of tasks that aren’t too overwhelming. However, it is ALWAYS good to challenge yourself, too! Creating goals is such a beneficial way to push yourself in a positive way. Always remind yourself of your goals, and maybe it’ll spark that little extra bit of energy you need to knock out your to-do list.
What tips do you use to stay organized? I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear them! Comment below! 🙂 Thanks for reading! XO