As much as you might want to be that person who wakes up early to have relaxing mornings before school or work, who is never late to go anywhere, who always has a gift wrapped up and ready to go weeks before an event, who budgets their money flawlessly, and who always seems put together… chances are good that, well, you aren’t. Being organized in every aspect of life is a huge struggle for most people, especially when you have a lot going on. And whether you’re in high school, college, or you’re working, you probably have a lot going on. How are you supposed to organize your life when you have no idea where to start?
Listen, I get it. I’ve never been super organized, but I’ve been getting over the past few years. A few of the things that help me stay on top of my schedule include: using a bullet journal, establishing set habits that I don’t stray from, and meal prepping on Sundays (so that food is one less thing I have to worry about). I recommend all of these ideas to anyone who wants to get more organized, but they certainly aren’t the only tips out there. After all, I’m still not 100 percent neat and put together! You should see my bedroom! It’s a mess!
Anyway, I find it helpful to hear from real people when you’re looking for ways to get your sh*t together. So, here are a few clever ways to organize your life, found on a very practical Ask Reddit thread. Check them out, and then try at least one this year. Or keep trying them until you find what works for you!
Use A Mix Of Technology and PaperTechnology is the answer to a lot of problems, but it's not the only way to stay organized. One of the best things you can do is take advantage of technology while also still relying on more "old fashion" ways of staying organized. User Pantone877 says, "iCal on my phone for all events. Mint for all my finances. Flags in my email for all things I need to act upon or reply to. Sticky notes everywhere as a backup." Apps are super helpful, but you really can't beat physically writing things down. And sticky notes are great! Source: iStock
Create A Weekly ReportPlanning your week ahead of time is an ideal way to avoid forgetting certain things that need to get done. User nat_lite says, "I do a 'Weekly Report,' stole the idea from Demitri Martin. It's a piece of paper with the activities I want to do in a given week. For example, there's a row for running 3x/week, so I put a check mark there when I finish a run. Other things on it: meditating, swimming, reading, things like that. It really helps me manage time, and when I don't know what to do next, I'll just look at my sheet and see what needs to be done." It can be really hard to keep track of everything that you need/want to do, so something like this can be super helpful. Source: iStock
Get A Google CalendarA calendar is an essential if you want to stay organized. User destria says, "I use my google calendar pretty extensively to track everything, from work events to my weekend plans." Google calendars are great because you can open them up anywhere - on your phone, on someone else's computer, on a tablet. You can't "forget" your calendar unless you forget a tech item. They're really easy to use too. I also like using Google Docs! Source: Instagram/@xhellomargaretx
Make A Bullet JournalStarting a bullet journal has really helped me stay more organized. They can be a lot of work, but to me, it's worth it. User firefawkes23 says, "I use a bullet journal - not precisely the original method, modified to suit me instead. The bullet journal website has a really good explanation of the basic system. It works for me because I think in list form already." Don't start this if you really don't think you'll have time for it - it requires dedication - but it's definitely worth trying. And you can always make it your own! Bullet journals are a great way to keep track of everything. Source: Instagram/@paperdokii
Have Homes For EverythingPart of being disorganized can come from losing important items all the time. So, start finding space for items you use every day and never move them from their spots. User hoshizuku says, "The other thing I do is make sure that my home is set up to help me. I know I lose my keys, so I got a key rack right by the door to put my keys on as soon as I get home. I know I lose important papers and shit, so I have a couple bins on my desk where important papers go. Having this system helps me worry less, because I don't have to stress over stuff I'm forgetting if it's all written down/in a specific place." I've done this too. I lose a lot of stuff, but I've made "homes" for my keys, my wallet, my bills, etc. It really, really made a huge difference. Just get into the habit! Source: iStock
Set Alarms For EverythingIt's so easy to lose track of time and spend way too many hours on one task. It's also easy to procrastinate and let the day get away from you. Setting alarms for everything throughout the day helps keep you on track. User mumblestheword says, "I make a to-do list and I keep alarms that go off at different times of the day so I can stay on track and not forget things... you get distracted when you have a mobile toddler that rarely naps nowadays. I want to get an actual notebook or planner so I can check things off... I still do on my phone but I feel like I'd get more nerdy satisfaction out of it doing it on paper." Source: iStock
Get A PlannerYou really can't beat the basics when it comes to getting organized. User hiylipr says, "A planner. I'm in college, so this works great for me." Planners are easy to use and make staying organized so much easier than you'd think. Source: Instagram/@laurenessl
Use A Weekly Calendar In A Convenient SpotA dry erase calendar is a great way to keep track of what you have going on all week so you don't forget. User SleepNowMyThrowaway says, "A magnetic eraserable weekly calendar on the fridge, a calendar on same for longer plans, and Siri for more immediate reminders." Put it somewhere you'll always be near. Source: iStock
Use A Day DesignerI'm not sure what a Day Designer is, but this person swears by them. User snuggle_fish says, "Day Designer is my MVP right now. The planners are HUGE because they have daily spreads with a schedule from 5am-9pm, a to-do list, and space for a few other things. It's been really helpful for my productivity. In my previous planners I spent way too much time decorating and worrying about the aesthetics. I like Day Designer because it's nice and minimal, with clean lines. I can focus more on just getting things done than worrying about whether my list is pretty. My only complaint is that Saturdays and Sundays are on the same page and only have room for 3 to-do tasks. If they each had their own full spread, it would be perfect." Source: Instagram/@laurenstylish
Write Down All Important InfoIt's great to store all of your information in your phone or on your laptop. But technology isn't foolproof, so your best bet is also writing things down as a backup plan. User mamblepamble says, "I have a physical planner that I write everything down in. Important phone numbers, days I work, appointments, parties, plans with friends etc. My phone could die, get lost or break at any point in time, so I have the written numbers to call someone for help if I need it. And if my phone is MIA or broken I still have access to my schedule." Source: Instagram/@melisgreer
Which one of these ideas are you going to try out? How do you stay organized? Share in the comments!