Organization Tips that Really Work

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Buy + Browse: {1) Rifle Paper Co. Cities 2016 Wall Calendar, {2} Moleskine notebook, {3} Rifle Paper Co. Birch Floral Planner, {3} Gold Handle Scissors, {4} Kate Spade Stapler, {5} Kate Spade File Folders, {6}  Rifle Paper Co. Toile Planner,  Rifle Paper Co. Desk Calendar, {7} Pottery Barn File Cabinet, {8) Kate Spade Tape Dispenser, {9} Chevron Pencil Case, {10} Kate Spade 2016 Planner, {11} Hanging files

Although we are having our hottest week of the summer here in Philadelphia, there’s a certain shift when the first of September rolls around that can’t be ignored. The golden hour sunlight hints at fall and I can almost imagine leaves crunching underfoot. Although I have been out of school for a few years now, I think for most of us the experience of starting the new school year for so many of the formative years of our lives will always remain with us in some capacity. For those of us who always attended graduate school, “back to school” continued to be a part of our vernacular and life experience into adulthood. Given the many years I spent in school, I feel I nearly perfected what getting organized meant for me. I think getting organized is an extremely personal experience. In law school, for me it meant color coding my classes down to what highlighter I used and meticulously inputting my schedule into a day planner so I could leave my brain free to focus on studying. I know colleagues and friends who utilized completely different systems that worked equally well for them. However, I think at the core being organized requires certain practices be in place, even if how you go about them varies. Here are my tips below!

{1} Use a Planner. Whether it’s the calendar in your phone, a cute planner you bring with you wherever you go, a large desk calendar that you input everything into, or a plain notebook (I can’t say enough good things about Moleskins) that you write the dates into on a monthly basis with a page for each day, having one place where all of your obligations and plans live is crucial. If you aren’t sure about a date/time, put it on a sticky note and transfer it to the planner once it’s confirmed. Highlight what you have accomplished when you finish.

{2} Create a File System. Whether it’s a full on filing cabinet (you fancy grownup) or a small filing box, create folders with labels for hanging files out of the major paper producing areas of your life. For example, I have folders for Health, Financial, Dogs, Wedding, Blog, Home, Career, Travel, etc.

{3} Have a To Be Filed Folder. Let’s be realistic, the second you get an Explanation of Benefits from your health insurance company you probably aren’t going to run to your files to put it away. This is where the folder comes in. Over the course of the month throw important papers in there and set aside 30 minutes on a Sunday of each month to file those papers away.

{4} Bills. Input bill due dates into your planner system under {1} above so that you are never left with a surprise auto payment.

{5} Utilize a password vault. Having all your passwords securely stored on your phone allows you to access the sites you need without the whole reset password dance we all know all too well. I favor Dashlane (it’s free!) but I’ve also heard good things about Keeper ($9.99/year) and Password Box ($11.99/year).

{6} E-mail folders. Sensing a trend here? Major topics get a folder, if you want to get fancy you can create subfolders, too.

I hope this helps you dive into fall feeling organized and stress-free! How do you get organized? Any tips or tricks?

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