Organization Tools That Will Help You Stay on Track

Sunday, October 02, 2016
a coffee mug of pens/pencils never hurts either!
I’m no expert on organization. Most days I feel like a hot mess and I’m happy to get to bed time with all my limbs intact. However, a friend recently suggested I write an article about organization tools. I am writing this based on a compilation of suggestions from some of the most organized people I know. This is in no way me professing to be the most organized. The research for this article has helped me become more organized and my hope is some of the items and suggestions on this list will help you as well.

• Basic Supplies: it may sound too easy, but some zip lock bags, post it notes, binders, calendars, and highlighters can mean the difference between getting your child to basketball practice on time with snack in hand, or being the mom who forgets.

  • o Use the zip lock bags to separate crayons, make up, snacks, etc…and you’ll have grab n go snacks in your fridge, bandaids in your purse, and they work great for some baby wipes in your glove box. Even if you don’t have kiddos, you may spill your latte’ once in a while and be super happy you’ve got those baby wipes along to get you back on track before a hot date or client meeting.
  • o Post it notes on the kitchen counter will allow your family to leave notes about things they’ve used the last of. Use them to add a temporary note to your planner or calendar, and if time allows, there’s nothing wrong with writing a love note to a special someone.
  • o Binders are great for saving special projects, articles, instructions, and lists. If you don’t use binders, you may find yourself losing individual sheets of paper or accidentally throwing them away.
  • o Paper calendars are great visual reminders. Some people have large calendars and they include shopping lists, budgets, as well as activity schedules, and to do lists.
  • o Highlighters may be a great way to differentiate between the urgency of tasks or if you have a large group of people to keep organized, assigning each person a specific color can be helpful.

• Online Tools: having a calendar at your fingertips is a necessity in today’s technology age. Two suggestions that I keep hearing great things about are:

• Notes on Your Smartphone: You can easily save lists on your phone and in most cases they become email able, printable, share able, and easily accessible with or without WIFI or a cell signal (I bring this up because I can’t seem to get a decent cell signal or WIFI when I’m at the grocery store).

  • o Depending on your phone, phone plan, etc….some people mentioned a sharing feature between husband and wife where each has access to the notes and can edit them. This is handy for creating a shopping list.

Post-It Calendar(s)
On a personal note, a few years ago I found a great weekly calendar that I can customize for different weeks. Made by Post-It   and I can create a separate calendar for each blog tour, one for our family, one for our employees, and one for my personal projects and product/book reviews. These great calendars combine fun colors, post it notes, and a calendar all in one large calendar my entire family can easily see and follow.

What works for you? 
What have you tried that has NOT worked? 
Are there more tools out there you want to tell others about? 
Please share – we would love to hear from you!

Crystal is a church musician, babywearing mama, crunchy mama, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 9, Andre 8, Breccan 3, and Delphine 1), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff at:


Judy H said...

My planner/calendar! Don't leave home without it. A morning routine and an evening routine to start and end the day help too.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--Nothing has really worked for me yet. I've got a condition known as OR--organizationally resistant.

I am going to try "google keep" to see if that helps me keep track of meetings, etc.

(And if you ever need a way to keep research and other writerly things organized, is an easy, free way to do it. It creates a huge digital binder with tabs and sub-tabs.)

Margo Dill said...

You had me at the title. My word of the year is Organization. I've made great strides, but I still think I am on the two-year plan. :)

Margo Dill said...

I should add also that I use baskets for EVERYTHING. :) This means that sometimes I need to clean out the basket, but it is really working to at least make the house look neat and know WHERE I need to look for the school paper or the stamps or the bill, etc. I have a basket for mail that needs to be read, bills/tickets I've purchased, Katie's stuff, etc. So that works for me. Also I try to only go through each piece of mail once. I don't look at it and put it back in the to be read basket. It gets filed. A to-do list is also a must for organization and breaking big tasks up into small parts.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Great post, Crystal! Hubby and I use the grocery sharing app Our Groceries ( You can add as many lists as you like, so I have several grocery stores like Sprouts and Ralphs and other stores like Target and Home Depot on the list, so that when we're out shopping we can just check the lists and get what's needed. When you cross things off the lists it works on all connected phones.

Similar to Margo, I have a mail system and use these open mesh folders, which are kind of like baskets, for mail and bills. Hubby has his folder and I have mine. I sort mail and put his in his folder and it's up to him to go through it. ;)

I also depend on my Google Calendar. I would be lost without it!

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