Time Management Is a Breeze With the Right Tools
Apps, Scheduling and Note-Taking Tips For Your Sanity
First thing’s first, I want to hear more about how you stay organized! Do you have a system in particular that works well with your flow? Let me know in the comments! For those of you looking for something different or even starting from scratch with time organization, I wanted to share a few agendas, methods, and gidgets that have been working for me! Have an idea of how to implement them and transform them to something even more innovative? You definitely have to tell me about it!
So here’s the thing, people always say there’s not enough time in the day. Sometimes, that’s true; most of the time, it’s just a case of us not making use of all of our time efficiently. In my head, If Mark Zuckerburg can constantly progress in an ever-changing social media industry with just 24 hours a day, so can we.
My motivation? I look to people who are achieving new goals each and everyday. A lot of the time, I find that in the people I work with who are killing it in the game with everything they do! It’s a common encounter. We tend to see these people do more than we can ever imagine—and I honestly believe that some people know how to warp time, but we can talk about that another day—and it’s almost overwhelming thinking about doing the same. When you really think about it, though, we’re all given the same amount of seconds, minutes, hours, and days in a week; it’s all up to how we manage it.
From my last few jobs, internships, and college projects, I’ve picked up a few things. Recently, my team lead at work even hosted a time and task management workshop where the whole team contributed a few of their own tactics. It was honestly a whole brainstorm of all things glorious! A lot of the following pieces of time management come from all of my previous experiences, so if I work with you and it looks familiar, you know why!
Many Apps Are Designed to Help You Get Your Work Done
- Apple’s Notes (check list)
- For my fellow Mac users, you probably already use Notes to jot down some quick reminders. Did you know you can also create a checklist? Click the little ✓ at the top right corner, and you can begin listing the tasks you need to get done. This is a great way to integrate notes and to-do lists.
- Copy Clip
- A few of us have jobs that include a number of different links and text. If you get tangled in everything you're copying and pasting, Copy Clip gives you a gorgeous archive of everything you've clipped! After downloading this app, you'll have a little paperclip on your top bar. By simply clicking something from the archive, you can quickly re-copy your text. This way, you're able to go back and forth between tasks without losing anything. To my PC users, I haven't been able to find the equivalent for a PC. Let me know if you have a similar app!
- Google Sheets To-Do List
- I'm a complete sucker for organizing everything with an Excel sheet. Luckily, Google Sheets provides various templates for your every need! One of my favorites? I use the To-Do List template to organize due dates and cross tasks off my list. You can even share this doc with a few classmates or colleagues to split tasks. Simply add another column and name it "Assigned To." Then, you'll all have access to crossing tasks off the sheet!
An Hourly Schedule Gives You a Chance to Time Block
- SMART goals are for more than just school. With every goal you have, set a deadline! This way, you’ll hold yourself accountable for all that you plan on doing. Make a plan that includes the goal, a timeline, and a due date.
- Make sure you’re not getting ahead of yourself. Give yourself enough time for each task just in case things pop up! If anything, at least schedule some time for breaks. You deserve a second to stretch out your limbs or take a walk!
- Be flexible and carry white out! If you can’t finish an assignment in the amount of time you allotted, just add more time later in the day and move onto a new assignment for a bit. You can even move assignments around. Don’t let the schedule feel like it’s a do or die kind of deal; nothing's set in stone!
- Unsure of what to schedule when? This article on "How Successful People Schedule Their Day" is an absolute god send!
- Try your best to prioritize on project size and due date!
- Last tip: I like to use my Day Designer to timeblock my assignments! Check out #3 in my planner recommendations.
Notes, Notes, Notes Everywhere!
- If you’re forgetful like me, invest in a pack of sticky notes or download the Stickies app!
- There's no task too small or too big, only good and poor task management. My point is, make sure you're both high priority and back-burner assignments in mind. The worst thing is to completely forget about a task. Sticky notes are a great way to highlight things you want to remember.
- Carrying a notebook to every meeting doesn’t hurt! It’s always good to have a hard copy of meeting notes to look back on. It’s also a great way to write down those thoughts that just suddenly strike you! My trick? A cute notebook will make you more inclined to carry it around.
- Find your style of note taking. Be it a mapping, Cornell notes, or simply writing and highlighting, think about what kind of format is most visually appealing to you. That will usually be the best way for you to remember or read through notes.
A Planner Can Be Just The Task Template You Need
After thinking about what kind of notes work best for you, think about what kind of calendar layout works best. Some people can't live without their planner, while others just need a simple layout posted by their desk. Which kind of person are you? Try asking yourself a few of the questions below and take a gander of the respective resources!
- Do you like the full month layout? Go for a Rifle Paper Co. Calendar!
- A simple weekly layout where you can add notes for each day? Both Rifle Paper Co. and Sugar Paper offer lovely options.
- Or an appointment schedule look? Look to Day Designers.
- How about a Day Designer with the option to add even more detail to each week? Try the newest agenda they have to offer.
- Like to doodle? Follow your Passion (Planner)!
I'm obsessed with planners, so send any suggestions that I should add my way! As for photo credit, I linked back to the respective Instagram and Website pages for each of the brands. A lot of these planners and calendars are available at Anthropologie, Paper Source, Papyrus and other stores specialized in adorable stationary. For San Diego locals, visit Pigment in North Park or Dolcetti in Gaslamp!
Did you find Your Time and Task Management Niche?
Now, keep in mind that time management tasks aren't one-size-fits-all. If you don't succeed with one thing, don't be afraid to try try again with something new! Have your own mix of things? Spread the love, share insight in the comments below, or publish it on your very own!