How to organise everything – my essential tools
I am a natural organiser, I’m good at keeping track of what I’ve done, what I need to do, and when I need to do it for, and I always have been. But even the most organised of us need a little help sometimes.
Having a natural ability to organise things is great, but our brains can only hold so much information, and if you’re organising a lot of things, you’ll need some help. So here are my essential tips to help you organise absolutely anything;
1. Browser Set Up – I use the same laptop for everything, home and work, so I have to keep my browsers organised. Firstly, I have everything in folders on my browser bar, one folder for each job or project, and all the commonly used sites saved in each. Then, when I come to work on that project, I can right click the folder and ‘open all bookmarks’ to easily get set up.
2. Task Bar Set Up – Again, I pin all my commonly used programs to the task bar for easy start up. As a minimum I use chrome, firefox (chrome for personal, firefox for work, helps keep stuff separate), tweetdeck, slack, notepad & keep.
3. Inbox Zero – All my inboxes work to inbox zero, when I receive an email, if i’m not prepared to deal with it I won’t read it. Leaving an email unread in my inbox helps remind me I have something that needs to be done. Once read, it will be dealt with and filed or archived.
4. Google Calendar – Having all my email accounts on gmail helps, as it means I can easily sync all my accounts with the corresponding google calendar. I have two main calendar views, which allow me to keep track of everything, while separating my work and personal life;
- Personal – Includes my personal appointments, but also displays some other calendars, each a different colour so they can be easily identified;
- My boyfriend’s personal calendar
- My work hours for free lance jobs I take
- My geek events calendar that syncs with my website
- My personal work calendar where my working hours are stored
- Work – Includes my personal work stuff, such as hours, courses and business appointments, but also displays other work related calendars;
- The office calendar, with general work information
- A calendar for each floor in the building, where room hires and courses are booked in
- Everyone else’s personal work calendars, so we can see who is working and when
5. Trello – I currently have 6 Trello boards that I use, and I use them all for various tasks, but this is one collaboration tool I couldn’t live without!
- Work – Probably my most used Trello board, we all use Trello to make notes of things that need doing, and tag in the members of staff who are expected to take the job on board. It’s an easy way of seeing your ‘to do’ list, and everyone has visibility on where you’re up to on each job.
- BarCamp Manchester – This one helps me keep track of what needs to be done, and ensures I don’t miss anything.
- CodeUp Manchester – As with BarCamp, helps me keep track of tasks that need doing.
- A-Level Maths – This board has a card for every topic I need to learn & links to the learning resources I need. Once I’m happy that I’ve learnt something, the card gets moved and I can clearly see how much I’ve got left to do.
- Buy a House – This Trello board doesn’t get used anymore, as we’ve been in our house since March, but it was really helpful in keeping track of where we were with surveys and legal stuff, as I had to chase up people every step of the way.
- Personal – My boyfriend and I also share a to do list on Trello, where we can add jobs that need doing around the house, or things we want to do.
6. Tweetdeck – Another tool I can’t live without! When you have 7 twitter accounts it can be a lot to manage, but Tweetdeck allows me to schedule tweets weeks ahead, which is an absolute lifesaver for me. I can promote my upcoming events at regular intervals, and spread out interesting content I want to share without doing 6 retweets in a row and then nothing for 4 days.
7. Slack – Slack on the desktop is great for keeping in contact with your team, and saves on sending emails to numerous people for every little thing. For quick messages and questions, its much better.
8. Notepad – I always have a blank notepad open on my laptop in case I need to make quick notes, so if someone calls or I think of something I just want to make note of, I can jot it down quickly, and then before the end of the day I can make sure I either deal with everything listed or add it into Trello.
9. Keep – A great tool for storing little bits of important information, especially when you may need to share it with other people at somepoint. I like to use keep to store lists I may need, telephone numbers, or other bits of information I may need to refer to on a regular basis.
10. Notepad & Pen – Sometimes you just can’t beat jotting down a note for later, I don’t go anywhere without my notepad and pen in my bag!
So use these essential tools to help you stay on top of your work load and keep organised!Thanks for reading!
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