Several years ago, my mom took me to a Franklin Covey seminar for my birthday. As part of the package, I got a Franklin Covey starter kit that included a planner and all the planning pages for the first year.
That planner - and the system behind it - kept me organized and sane for years.
I always knew where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing. I never worried about forgetting anything and I was never haunted by that nagging worry that I was letting something slip through the cracks. It was wondeful.
I’m not sure exactly why I stopped using Franklin Covey planners. It might be because it was too big to take with me everywhere. Or maybe it was because my husband bought me a Palm Pilot for Christmas one year (which I hated). Or maybe I just got bored and distracted and before I knew it - I was a total and complete unorganized mess all over again.
For the first time in years, I feel like I’ve got a strong organizational system that works for me. I know where I’m supposed to be when, I can manage my time and tasks, and I no longer have to rely on my own brain power to keep track of everything. Thank God.
What I’m using now to stay organized and manage my time is a combination of my computer and my iPhone, and a series of programs that makes everything work together.
Google Calendars - I can’t believe how long it took me to start using Google Calendars. I use GMail for all my personal emails, but couldn’t imagine that a web based calendar system would be useful. Oh, how wrong I was. Google Calendars syncs seamlessly with my Outlook (which I am required to use for work) and my iPhone. It lets me organize multiple calendars so I can juggle all of the different hats I wear. And best of all, it lets me quickly and easily keep other people in the loop with a click of button. It’s no longer my job to constantly remind my husband about appointments or incoming house guests.
Google Sync - Because I do use Google Calendars personally and have to use Outlook for work, it can be a nightmare trying to keep track of two different systems. One of the lessons I learned all those years ago in the Franklin Covey seminar is to have everything in one place. Google Sync allows me to use the system my company uses and integrate it with my own personal system so that I can keep track of everything from one window. Google also offers a program that will sync my Google information with my iPhone - so no matter what I’m using to check in, I know I’m seeing the same information.
Remember The Milk - Once I figured out how to manage all of my appointments and deadlines, the last missing piece was a system that would keep track of the things I needed to do. Tasks lists, to do lists - whatever you call them, we all have a list of stuff that needs to get done every day that doesn’t necessarily fit on a time sheet. I recently started using Remember The Milk, and I am in love.
Remember The Milk uses a series of lists to help me keep track of all of my tasks. It stores grocery lists and to-do lists. I not only know when an assignment is do, I can plan when I’m going to work on it and check it off when I’m done. My favorite part is that I can incorporate it with GMail (a task list for the day shows up in my sidebar), Google Calendar, and my iPhone using Remember The Milk’s iPhone app. I can sit down and plan my week on the computer, email myself a lengthy grocery list, or quickly add a task from my phone no matter where I’m at.
Once again, I’m finding myself being able to let go of the nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something. I feel like I have a clear picture of what needs to get done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis - and a plan for making it all happen.
What do you use to stay organized?