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Being organized and having your shit together is hard enough. Add on top of that the fact that planners, day designers, and various apps often cost money and well… I can see why a lot of us don’t even bother with attempting to organize.
When I say “organize my life” I really just mean coordinating my schedule, establishing what needs to be done each day, and having a system in place to catalog the things in my life that need to be orderly. You will literally declutter your mind which can ease anxieties and worries, allow more time for you to think about things that are actually important, improve your mood, and can decrease your stress levels which can have a positive physical impact from a health standpoint.
Now when I say “for free,” there are some things you’re going to have to already own for optimal organization. Mainly a smart phone, but a tablet, iTouch, digital planner, or computer/laptop will work just as well. It just needs to be something that has a calendar and a notes app. So, I guess it’s more like “How to Organize Your Life for No Additional Cost.” If you don’t have access to any of these things, check the end of this post for non-digital and totally free ways to accomplish organizing your life! I got you, boo!
For this tutorial, I am going to assume that you are using an iPhone. Understand that most smart phones are going to have the exact same built-in apps that I am referring to, just possibly under different names.
The Calendar App
First things first, you’re going to need to color code your calendars. I have multiple “calendars” on one big calendar.
Color coding makes scheduling and looking at your calendar a whole lot easier because it’s way easier to discern exactly what is going on and when since the colors pop out at you. Plus it makes it look like you have your shit together (which you will by the end of this post).
I mainly utilize the week and daily view options for my calendar. It really just depends on the day and how much shit I’ve got packed into my schedule. You’ll figure out what view works for you!
A major key is to make sure you have your “alerts” turned on. It will alert you when it’s the best time for you to leave for each thing on your schedule by corresponding with the maps app to figure out the best route for you to take, traffic, etc. It always keeps you on track so you’ll never “forget” about anything on your schedule AND you’ll get there on time (hopefully).
Also, when you are scheduling your day or week there’s this nifty little feature that lets you repeat events on a daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, or custom schedule! Super helpful for when you’re scheduling classes for a semester or if you work the same schedule every week!
I find that to have a great week, I need to schedule it as much as I can in advance. It’s less mental strain for me on a Sunday night when I’m trying to prep for the week to come and on the daily when I’m trying to figure out when to set my alarm to wake me up, when I can go on a lunch run, when I can nap, etc.
When it comes organizing my life I like to take a top-down approach, a biggest to smallest if you will. Inputting everything into a calendar is the broadest thing one can do, next is moving on to the reminders/list app!
This is where we start to get into the nitty gritty of getting your life together.
To get the best usage out of this app you’ll need to make multiple lists.
Literally every single task that I need to do goes on one of these lists. Each “to do” has an option to add a note and a deadline with an alert feature. Utilize these.
I put every single assignment, test, and due date on my “school” list. I go through each syllabus for every class at the beginning of the semester, list what’s due and when it’s due, and for big exams I mark it as high priority so I don’t forget that it’s coming up. It’s basically my master syllabus.
My daily to do list is just that… a daily to do list.
My general reminders are things that I need to do, but not necessarily today. A lot of times things from this list will move to the daily list whenever I ready to tackle it. Ex. Calling and making a doctor’s appointment.
Bills, bills, bills. I have all my bills and their due dates set to have an alert and repeat each month.
No late fees all 2k18.
The notes app is probably the most used app on my phone. I currently have hundreds of notes and I add at least two notes on the daily. This is app is where I can put down every little thing that I might need in the future. I rarely delete notes for this reason. A major part of being organized for me is never forgetting anything (especially if it’s important) and knowing where to find everything. Notes makes that a breeze for me.
I make a note for things I don’t want to forget, shopping lists, blog stuff, school stuff, food orders, etc. It’s also where I make and keep my seasonal goals list.
To keep my hundreds of notes ORGANIZED (word of the day lol) I have folders.
The app is also searchable so that makes finding things super easy too!
My notes are connected to my cloud so no matter where I am or what device I’m using I can find and use these notes.
Technology Free + Still Free
You can do everything I said without using a smart phone or a computer!
There are a ton of businesses, schools, organizations, etc. that give out FREE calendars!! Take one and schedule you week/month in advance using the tips I gave above.. Color code using different pens or markers! You can customize a physical calendar to your liking with doodles, stickers, etc. Make it fun!
Pen and paper. I personally use sticky notes for some of my physical to do lists and sometimes I find they work better than my digital to do lists.
Use one, mega, all-inclusive notebook or journal. Or sheets of paper and folder or binder! It doesn’t necessarily have to be “mega,” but if you’re anything like me then you take a lot of fucking notes.
At this point you’re probably like… wtf b you’re barely doing shit lmao. BUT THAT’S THE POINT. It’s super simple and easy things like scheduling your weeks in advance, setting reminders, and having a place where you can find anything and everything you need. It makes focusing on the important things easier. You can actually relax for a second without being like “oh shit I feel like I’m forgetting or supposed to be doing something,” ya know?
So I really hoped this post gave y’all some tips and tricks on how to live a better organized life! Let me know in the comments 🙏🏽.