Using my Planners: Top Ways to Stay Organised

Organisation is a great method for succeeding in life. So what are my top ways to stay organised? Find out, here…

Are you looking for some ideas on how to become an organised person? Being organised can help you to improve your productivity, enhance your accomplishments, and boost your mental health, after all.

Being well organised is certainly a mentality but, with the right tools and mindset, you can accomplish anything. Even if you’re not naturally organised, nurturing some good habits could really help you to achieve your dreams.

So, once you’ve set up your bullet journal, or purchased your productivity planner, what’s next? For some of my top tips for staying organised with your school or uni work, or even your office work, take a look…

1. Note Down All Your Weekly To Dos

My first step to becoming organised is getting your to-do list for the week, or even year, in one place. As a university student, you may know your yearly plan in advance, but if not, staying a week ahead will do.

So, to begin with, every Sunday evening or Monday morning I have a little look through my (very extensive) reading lists for each of my modules. I created an excel spreadsheet of all the reading I’ve been advised to look at for each week of each module. This is where I get my information from in this regard.

Once I have completed the particular reading for that week, I mark it off with a green box on my spreadsheet. This way, I know how I’m getting on, and it provides that positive affirmation that you’re doing well.

Excel Spreadsheet to Stay Organised

2. Break it Up into More Manageable Chunks

Weekly Log Filled With To DosFrom this hefty to-do list, I then make a realistic reading list in the “To Do” section of my bullet journal. I must emphasise the word ‘realistic’ here, as I’ve had a number of occasions where I’ve set myself an impossible amount to do in one day, and have felt very under-accomplished by the end of that day.

Therefore, I think this is so important to ensure you stay motivated. After all, if you’re consistently not accomplishing what you set out to do, it’s easy to become disheartened.

Within this to-do list, I then create subheadings for each module, and write an equal list of reading for each one. This way, you’re getting a good chunk of each module out of the way, without leaving any behind.

3. Distribute Your Weekly To Dos Into Small Chunks

Daily To Dos Filled in Neatly

Making everything more manageable is the key here. So, once you’ve noted down your weekly to-dos, it’s time to split them up across your days of the week.

To do this, I look to the weekly overview on the page across, and I distribute my reading into each day, making sure to keep in my mind how busy I am with lectures and extra-curricular activities, alongside my usual hangover on Thursdays. This is another point where I must emphasise the word ‘realistic’; if you know you won’t feasibly do any work on a particular day, due to a hangover or the like, set yourself realistic tasks that day.

So, maybe give yourself only one article to read that day, or nothing at all! This way, you won’t feel guilty for not having done any work, as you will have actually scheduled in these breaks. This provides a much better mindset, keeping your work mentality healthy and focused.

4. Focus on Your Daily Schedule as It Comes

Close up of my Daily TasksSo, now I have the reading for each day planned, I can then write down Monday’s schedule. I only write down the schedule for the day ahead, and not the rest of the week, just in case I make any changes to the other days as I go.

Monday begins by writing down the reading I have planned to do from my bullet journal into the “other tasks” section of my productivity planner. Then, more time sensitive tasks, such as an article or blog post, will go in the “critical tasks” section.

Once this is done, I then write down the lectures I have that day in the schedule at the side, alongside any other commitments I have, so I can work my reading around these compulsory tasks.

img_8526When I schedule in time for reading, I do not designate particular time-slots for particular reading, as it can get frustrating if the reading takes you longer than you planned, and you end up going over the time allocated. Therefore, where I have free time, I simply write “Reading”, and I just make my way through the “other tasks” section on the left hand side of the page.

This adds to my healthy mindset, as I don’t feel rushed to complete tasks, and I can make my way through the list at my own pace. The great thing about having a list to do for the day is, once I complete all the tasks on my list, I feel as though my evening relaxation is so well-deserved!

5. Bear Your Health in Mind

Close up of my Hydration Chart

One of the best ways to remain motivated and focused is to have a healthy lifestyle. This includes consuming good foods, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly.

Luckily, a number of productivity planners have areas to add your water and food intake. This way, you can keep track of it, and keep motivated to treat your body well.

So, in terms of these little extras, I try to remember to tick off my water intake as the day goes by. I also fill in my “exercise” and “today’s wins” for the day, which is a nice little extra to remind yourself of how well you’re doing.

Even if I don’t feel as though that day has been particular accomplished, I always strive to write down a win for the day, so I can remind myself that it’s the little things that count. The “progress (goals)” section is one I don’t use too often, as I have many goals to work towards, so I struggle to pick one!

Finally, I am able to mark my productivity out of 10 and, as you can see here, I gave myself a productivity mark of 10 on this day (which is the only 10 I’ve actually given myself in the planner so far), as this was a day I was very proud of!

6. Reflect on Your Week

Weekly Reflection Filled in

At the end of the week comes the reflection page. Here is where I put my personal aims, what went well during the week, and how I can work on my productivity. Most importantly, though, I write down the ways I can work on my own well-being and self-improvement.

I also set myself goals to reach during that week, including drinking 8 glasses of water a day, eating healthily, waking up early, and working hard each day.

This has been hit-and-miss, however, working on yourself doesn’t come straight away, so it’s important to remember that not completing everything on your self-improvement list all at once is okay; it’s all a process.

My Top Ways to Stay Organised: How It Helps Me

Overall, I really find that this system has helped me to become so much more productive. This is because I have a plan for each day, and the quicker I complete the tasks, the more time I have to relax at the end of the day.

This helps to improve my mindset, which is such a key part of being an organised person. I have also found that, by ensuring I have a plan for the day ahead, I am so much more inclined to wake up early.

What do you think of my top tips for being well organised? Do you have anything else to add, or did this help you in any way? Questions and comments are more than welcome, down below!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Mercydes says:

    Wow girl! You’re so organised I loved reading this xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joannamc97 says:

      Thanks so much!! Glad you enjoyed 😊xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kristina says:

    ouhh goodjob !
    I love the emphasis on “realistic”, as I so do that too ! I expect myself to be able to do ALL the things and then get mad when I cannot keep up ..


    1. joannamc97 says:

      Thank you for reading! Exactly – when I first started doing this, I gave myself waaaay too much to do and it really affected my positive mentality! We can’t expect ourselves to be superwomen haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kristina says:

        Nope.. we always have to try though, dont we? 😂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s