• Editorial

Guide To Staying Organized - 3 Tips You Can Actually Stick To

Written by: Diane Jeon


As seen in the September 2018 Lazy Faire issue


You start the school year feeling prepared for your courses, jobs, and other commitments. You have the snazziest bullet journal, email notifications cleared out, and Google calendar updated to the minute. Then, after rolling pass syllabus week, opportunities and their associated stresses come flying out of nowhere and what seemed like an easy-peasy lemon-squeezy year becomes difficult-difficult lemon-difficult.


Sound familiar?


Truly, this is not uncommon among students, particularly ambitious “yes” individuals within our Business faculty. To help mitigate your risks of overburden and chaos, here are three tips for organization that may actually make this year, your year.


Find your tools.


And I don’t mean start using seven different platforms. Keep it simple, test things out, and choose one or two methods that work for you. These tools should keep your priorities and timelines in check. Need help choosing? Consider some of the tried options below:


Trello

Description: an online “Kanban” style system - or, a visual workflow platform that stores your tasks and projects in the form of cards and then arranges the cards by category.

Purpose: project management.


Pros:

  • Free

  • Is shareable

  • Can be used on desktop and mobile

  • Clusters priorities

  • Offers add-ons like Zapier that causes an action to occur automatically based on triggers you set

  • Offers Power Ups such as Calendar or Google Drive

Cons:

  • Can be limited in collaboration features

  • Can be difficult for non-visual learners

  • Can lose visibility as the number of tasks increases

  • Requires the user to have a process in mind already

Asana

Description: a cloud-based team project management software where “tasks” are created to monitor individual components of a wider project.

Purpose: task and project management on a group level.


Pros:

  • Free for groups up until 15 people

  • Intuitive and user-friendly

  • Can be used on mobile and offline

  • Offers project timeline features and calendar mode

  • Offers inbox feature to receive updates and comments on specific tasks

  • Can integrate with Gmail, Slack, Microsoft Outlook, Dropbox, Google Drive, Zapier, and more.

Cons:

  • Unable to view all projects and timelines in one place/on one page

  • Can be “too flexible” of an interface

  • Not intended for solely individual use

  • Sends many, many email updates


Notebook

Description: A small paper book used for recording memos, writing, and sketches

Purpose: depends on your imagination

Pros: only limited by your imagination

Con: also limited to the physical world


Find your motivation.


This step is usually where students falter. Losing motivation occurs around the second month of the school semester. We often forget that staying organized is a continual process. When motivation is low, so is the capacity to maintain timelines and tasks.


Prior to starting any project, it’s important to identify why you wanted to start it in the first place. After identifying it, write it down. Refer back to it during tribulations to remind yourself why you began.


This motivation-identification is necessary for school semesters as well. Why are you in school? Why are you in business? Try framing each semester as one out of your eight or nine stepping stones in finishing a degree that will propel you to your next step in life.


Find your grace.


You’re likely going to fail. It’s daunting for me to say this, but I don’t mean you’re going to crash and burn. However, it’s very possible that somewhere down the road, you will stumble or veer off track slightly in the onslaught of the new semester. And that’s okay. Recognizing that failure is part of the process and allowing for buffer time in your plans will set you up more seamless organization, growth, and true success.


Good luck this fall!

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