Easy Tricks to Get Organized and Reduce Stress
Who Is Marie Kondo?
If you've been watching Netflix lately, you've probably heard of Marie Kondo's latest hit show. She's also an organizing consultant and author of several books on the same subject of decluttering, staying organized, and keeping on top of things.
So my question to you is this: Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling like you should be somewhere or that you have something scheduled for that evening, but you just can’t remember what? If you’re like most people and don’t always remember your entire social calendar, lists and staying organized are the way to go! While I can’t always remember all the items I need at the grocery store, staying organized and making a list is key to my success!
See below for a few more tips on ways to stay organized and help keep on track of all the things in life that you need to remember.
Use a Calendar
There is almost an infinite number of possibilities here: apps, paper, or desktop calendars. Depending on your job, maybe you prefer a paper calendar at your desk at work, but for personal use, you have an app on your phone.
However you like to do it, a calendar is a great way to make sure you don’t forget or miss an appointment. I like to have a paper calendar on my desk for a quick visual guide of our day-to-day activities. But I also like to use a calendar app (Cozi) on my phone for our entire family's activities. See below for more details on why I like Cozi and how it works.
Having both an electronic copy and a paper calendar works for me, but may seem like overkill to you. The key is doing what works best for you and your lifestyle.
How Do You Like To Stay Organized?
Use an Open-Spiral Notebook
I like to have a notebook handy for miscellaneous things that come up during the day for jotting down quick things that I don’t want to forget. I don’t necessarily need to write all things in my calendar and this is where the notebook comes in handy. On the phone with a friend and need to write down a number, take a few notes, or just doodle while you talk? This is the place for those sorts of things!
You may not see the need for the spiral notebook, and I could probably just as easily jot down some notes on the corner of my paper calendar; I just like to have things looking pretty in my paper calendar, so the notebook helps me to scribble down whatever I need to, without the focus on using a pretty colored pen or keeping my handwriting neat. (I like to color-code our paper calendar by person, so each child gets a different color so I can keep both of their activities straight).
Post-its, big or small, are always helpful. Use them as a bookmark, grocery list, a note to your spouse, or any other variety of uses. I like them for reminders. If one of the kids needs to remember to return a library book or if I need to remember to put food in the crockpot before heading out for the day, Post-its are awesome for the little reminders!
In our technologically filled lifestyle these days, sometimes it’s nice to write things down, but if you’d prefer things to be close at hand on your phone, there’s an app for almost anything you can think of. Below I have listed a few free apps that can help keep you organized and hopefully simplify your life. We all know that a simpler way of life will lead to less stress, and we all could use a little less stress in our lives!
Cozi Organizational App
- Cozi is an app where you can keep track of events and activities in a calendar, write & share your grocery list, store recipes, plan meals, and track birthdays with reminders.
- You can use it from your mobile device or computer, and they sync automatically!
- This is also a good app to share with a spouse as multiple people can have access to the same account making it easy to keep track of both of your activities in one convenient location.
I've used Cozi for several years now, and I find it most helpful for keeping track of our activities every day and, in particular, things that I can't forget (i.e. dentist appointments, piano lessons, and other miscellaneous from our week).
We have paid for the Cozi Gold subscription so the one I use isn't free, but this allows us access to the birthday tracker in the calendar and a few other fun features. Whether you pay for the Cozi Gold or use the free app, I would highly recommend it for ease of use and it's easy to read layout.
Google Keep for Taking Notes and Making Lists
- This is an app mainly for note-taking.
- It’s pretty straight forward and user friendly, but I like it because it has the ability for you to actually check off tasks as you’ve completed them.
- You can also share notes with other users or convert text notes into a Google Docs file.
See the picture below to get an idea of some of its neat layout and design scheme.
Keepy for Photos, Videos, and Artwork
- Keepy is an app where you can digitally store all of your family’s photos, videos, and artwork in one safe place.
- This app is new to me, but seemed like a neat idea and a helpful tool to help declutter your home, especially if you’re like most parents and save all your kids' art and schoolwork.
- It looks like you may have to pay for this app to have access to all the cool features, but I think it's worth it if you can store all your kids' artwork and easily share it with friends and family digitally!
Small Steps for Big Changes
Is your life feeling less organized than you’d like it to be? It doesn’t have to be: Start with one small change today and see how it works for you and your family.
Maybe you try a family calendar to get all your activities in one place or just get better at writing on a post-it when you have something that you don’t want to forget. Little changes will make big improvements. Good luck!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2018 Lisa Bean