Let's Get Organized: Offline Edition

The last few weeks have been incredibly busy - between business trips, workshops, and meeting planning, it was incredibly important for me to be on top of things which inspired me to write this post on offline organizing. 
I wrote a post on organizing yourself on cyberspace but I think offline organizing can be a bit tricky - it consists of equal parts time management and discipline. Knowing when to get things done and following through sounds easy enough but I know from personal experience that this can be incredibly tough. Especially when you're just out of college and trying to break that procrastinating habit (anyone else like me?). Here are some tips and tricks that really helped me out over the past few years:
  • Get a calendar: I know everyone has an electronic calendar or a mobile calendar or a google calendar. If it helps you, great, but that usually doesn't cut it for me. There's something about seeing a due date written down in ink that makes it real for me. I use my Moleskine planner for my work-related activities, and my Kate Spade planner for my blog-related activities. 
  • Get a notebook: The first thing I do in the morning while having breakfast is to write a list of things I need to do. I start with the top three things that absolutely have to get done and can't be put off. After that, everything else I can think of. I usually don't finish everything on the list but I always make sure the top three get done. Whatever isn't done that day gets re-prioritized the next day. I like using my Moleskine grid notebook for this and draw check boxes next to the items.
  • Work for 5 minutes: Whenever I find myself having to complete a daunting task, I say to myself, "I'll work on this for 5 minutes," and just do it. Almost every single time, I end up finishing it up. I guess it's really difficult to get motivated to start a project but once you actually get started, youv'll find it's even harder to stop because you'll be on a roll. 
  • Color coding is your friend: I'm a visual person so if I'm presented with something in different colors and patterns, I will have an easier time processing it. It is for this reason I color code my planners and my notebooks. Due dates for my blog are written in red, work in blue, financial items in green, etc. Find a color coding system that works for you. 
  • Ditto the post-it notes: I've earned a bit of a reputation among my colleagues for being the girl with more post-its than she knows what to do with. I can't help it - they're awfully handy! Like I said, I'm a color-coder and post-its are an excellent way to keep me on-track in a not-so-permanent way.
What would you add/drop from my list? I'd love to read about your tips on organizing! 


  1. Great post, lady! An organized gal after my own heart! I live by my calendar, I swear.

    Le Stylo Rouge

  2. Thanks for sharing! Great tips!


  3. Great tips!! I'm still working out my own offline system, with a changing schedule on the horizon.

    Something About That

  4. Organizing is my thing too, I can't live without it!
    I also love working with color codings c: Anyway
    thanks for the tip! Xx

  5. Great tips! I have to actually write my to do list -- it doesn't mean anything to me on a computer!

  6. Dear Deborah,
    I like especially your tip with the 5 minutes - and I'm convinced it works! As you I'm a bit obsessed with planning, but I have to do that I do must of my stuff electronically, what works perfect for me. Only important things for me and/or our kids I worte down at home on big post its :)
    Happy Easter!
    xx from Germany/Bavaria, Rena
    International Giveaway: Zatchels Bag as Thank-You for the Supporter of my Hobby

  7. I always need a physical calendar too, it makes me remember things more and it's better to look at haha :) I love the work for 5 minutes idea, I'll have to try that out!

    Rebecca Coco

  8. I always promise to do these but I keep forgetting! Thanks for pointing these tricks out, I'll be sure to keep them in mind to keep myself better organized!

    New post on GIRL ABOUT TOWN BLOG

  9. Having a physical calendar and notebook make such a difference. I remember things so much better when I write them down as opposed to typing them. Thanks for the 5 minute tip :) I'm always terrible at starting tasks so hopefully this helps!


  10. I am terrible at organising! We have a big family calendar for appointments and things, but sometimes I find myself with a napping baby and no idea what to do next, too much to do and no plan for what to do with that time! So I'm trying to get a to-do list together so that I'm not wasting nap time doing something unimportant when there is something more urgent I've forgotten about haha!

    Hope you have a great Easter!

    Away From The Blue

  11. I'm always organized with my schedule! It's so important to keep it neat, otherwise I'll just end up wasting time or procrastinating. Great tips, color coding is always your best friend! <3


  12. I couldn't live without notebooks to organize everything!
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