Juggling projects can be overwhelming for creatives with a million ideas. In fact, the reason why I love organization is because I’m naturally scatterbrained and will forget things if I don’t write them down. That’s why I need to have a plan of action for all my projects, ideas, and work-related tasks.
Because I’m a recovering planning addict, I try adhering to a general schedule that helps me stay on track. For instance, if I’m deep in the middle of a writing session, I’ll set aside time to assess whether I’m procrastinating and/or veering from my business plan. If I am, I either change my goals or readjust my schedule for maximum productivity.
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Throughout the years, I’ve experimented with various apps, planners, etc. and to be honest, my favorite tools are always changing. I love trying new workflow methods and swapping out existing solutions for products or services that help me make progress in my work.
Check out the tools and methods that I’m currently loving:
I use Trello to list all of my ideas, or “cards,” for blog posts, videos, newsletters, and other tasks. As pictured below, “boards” are used to categorize ideas (e.g. “in progress,” “published”).
And color-coded labels to categorize each idea (ex: cards with blue labels are “travel” blog posts). Trello’s a great app to store all your potential blog post ideas! I have the app on my phone in case I come up with ideas on the go. It’s a great free tool for bloggers and one I use every day.
Once I’ve chosen the ideas I want to write about for that month, I go head and add them to my calendar on the amazing project management tool, Asana (see above). The bar on the left shows you all of my “projects” and the colors I’ve assigned to each project category (ex: yellow = A Million Musings blog posts).
Like Trello, the drag-and-drop feature of Asana makes reorganizing and rescheduling a seamless process. A “board” is a visual layout of your project that allows you to organize each tasks like sticky notes. You can access your board by clicking on a specific “project” (see above). The alternative to using “boards” is to set up your project in “list view.”
I use Acuity mainly for booking clients or podcast guests for my newly-launched online business. I tried the free trial, and I was hooked! I’ve only used the application for about a month, but so far I like how easy it is to navigate. The benefits of online schedulers like Acuity is that they eliminate the back-and-forth between business owners and clients.
All I need to do is send my podcast guests a link to my schedule and they get to choose a time that works best for them. There’s also a form section that you can attach to your calendar if you need more information from the recipient. I’m currently on the free plan and definitely recommend it!
For the past few years, I’ve used Moleskine’s classic 5″x8.25″ weekly planner as my journal/diary. I fill out the appointments pages with things I did throughout the week and the ruled pages with my thoughts and personal reflections.
I’m a girl who lives by her planner, and I keep one near me at all times. Although I use calendar apps from time to time, I prefer using physical planners for my daily planning. Something about writing my to-do list by hand is more reassuring than keeping it all in a digital calendar.
For me, AT-A-GLANCE’s 5.5″x8.5″ weekly/monthly planner does the job! It’s affordable and has a simple design.
What exactly is a “personality portfolio”? Well simply put, it’s a tentative name for a Word Document on my computer. In it, I detail my goals, values, skills, and just about anything that would describe me as a person and what I stand for. This document is really for my eyes only.
The reason why I keep a “personality profile” is so that I have a written reminder and expression of what is important in my life right now and who I am on a personal and professional level. I like referring to this document when I’m preparing for a job interview or more importantly, for the days that I’m going through a “quarter-life crisis” (which happens way too often).
As much as I love using tools and apps, what’s more important to me is to create a workflow that I can follow from week to week. Each week is always a little bit different, but I try to follow a general schedule that keeps me on track:
Obviously, your organization methods are going to look different from mine, but these are the tools and systems that I’ve put in place to stay organized as a creative entrepreneur. Even though I love experimenting with new apps, I’ll only switch things up after I’ve gotten used to a certain set of methods and really given it at try. If you’re like me and you’re not much of a multi-tasker, you might want to use only a few tools and apps at a time.
That said, remember to stay flexible! If you find your current workflow stifling, adjust it according to your needs. Do more of what works for you and less of what doesn’t. After all, what’s the point of having a system if it’s not helping you, right?
Anyway, I hope this post has encouraged you to stay on top of your organization game (if that is something you’re struggling with right now). Creating a system has been crucial to my productivity, and I think everyone can benefit from one as well. If you have any tools, apps, or methods that have helped you stay organized, please share them in the comments below! I’d love to see what else is out there.