I’m not one to just stay organized, I am hyper-organized and my husband is continually baffled and impressed at my administrative nerdom.)
I have to confess that hyper-organization makes my heart sing. I’m am color-coded, calendared, and alphabetized to the Nth degree. My filing systems make other admin types swoon with delight and totally dumbfound those who don’t connect to my sphere of organization.
my top organizational secrets
LOVE THEM. And I use my digital calendar obsessively. If my day moves around, I make sure to change my calendar to match. I use it to block off time in my day to complete large, focus demanding tasks and batching small tasks (more on batching next week!). Not only does this keep me on track, it lets those who have access to my calendar know when I need to focus, so it keeps down the number of distractions I get in a day.
There are stars in my eyes over this (told you I’m a giant admin nerd.
I color code my digital calendar so I make sure not to miss any of the specific jobs or tasks I need to do -(i.e. my teaching schedule is in green, my office time in yellow, general errands in purple, etc). That way I look at my calendar and can tell the difference in my activities so I know exactly what kind of mind space I need to be in for the task ahead of me. This also helps me streamline my day so I’m being productive vs just being busy.
I also color code any notes I take, so that notes requiring specific attention pop out from the pages of scribbles.
Digital Filing System - in the cloud
There’s very little reason to keep a literal paper trail these days. Everything can be saved digitally. But with those digital files, do NOT keep them on your computer harddrive. If your computer crashes or is stolen, you’re up a creek without a paddle. Saving files “in the cloud” (and having redundancy) is the way to go. My preferred system is Dropbox, but there are others out there that are equally outstanding (Box, OneDrive, iCloud, Google drive, etc). And let’s keep those files organized for easy access:
Break your categories of files down to specifics!
Separate big files (such as business receipts) into years and then down to months. To keep the months in order use a numbering system in front of the month (i.e. 01_January, 02_Feb, etc)
Keep separate files for each “category” of business (i.e. Marketing, Auditions, Jobs, Taxes, etc.). And break those files down smaller, when necessary.
Keep personal files separate from business files.
If there is a software you can use or a process to put in place that takes care of repetitive tasks -(such as accounting software or bill pay - use it! It’ll save you amazing amounts of time and you won’t have to worry about missing a payment or categorizing an expense.
I could go on about hyper-organization ALL. DAY. LONG. but i'll spare you the long blog post with allllll the details. I will say that setting up a hyper-organized system does take a bit of time up front, BUT the amount of time saved by not having to figure out what I was trying to do later on is incredible. I’m all about efficiency, and hyper-organization allows me to streamline my workday and be magically productive.