Welcome! So glad you’ve made your way to the Schedule Organization blog post. Having an organized schedule is the third and final component of the “Organized Trifecta”. We talked about the first component, Mental Organization back in September, and the second, organized possessions, is the bulk of all the other topics. Schedule organization often gets overlooked because it’s not exactly what you physically see (like organized possessions), but it’s more of being proactive now so you don’t feel like a chicken with its head cut off or that you never really accomplished anything today. Let me first say, no matter how many things you did or did not check off your To-Do list today or whether or not the bathrooms got cleaned or the living room vacuumed, YOU ARE ENOUGH. You DID enough. You are a gift to this world just by being, so please do not let your schedule or To-Do List define you. (For more on To-Do lists, click here!)
The most important and number one rule with schedule organization is that you find a system that works best for you. Everyone is different so this is not a cookie cutter process. That being said, here are a few things to think about:
When Organizing your schedule (for the first time setting up a new system or evaluating your current system) the first step is to brain dump EVERYTHING. This may seem overwhelming at first, but focus on how nice it will be to have everything in one place. For each person you are responsible for or wanting to take their schedules into consideration, write out a list of events they have. Take note if these are recurring events or one time. Next, for each area of your life, list out each event, meeting or errand that goes into said topic.
Then assign a color to each person and area of your life. Prioritize each topic on your list and sort into daily, weekly, monthly, annually, etc the from most important to least important within the time frame. You will start to see here if there are areas that overlap. Is this overlap a one time thing, or do you need to make arrangements to move appointments/meetings around? Start filling in your calendar, keeping with the color coding, according to your prioritized list.
***TIP*** Form a habit to keep your planner with you or to make a note to add it to your planner immediately after a plan is made. If your planner is not in front of you, start the habit of saying, “That may work, but before I promise anything let me take a look at my schedule”. Add it to the reminders app and set a reminder alert to follow up with them. Under the Reminders App on my iPhone, I have a list for “Add to Planner”. If a plan is made with a friend, or I schedule an appointment and my planner isn’t with me, I add it to this list. Then, I take this list to my planner daily so I can see how it will fit in with the rest of my plans. Make a point to not promise yourself to too many things or people. This is a stress point for our schedules; scheduling and rescheduling over and over because you now see it interferes with other plans is just annoying and can be avoided.
Like I said, everyone’s schedules are different. Yours may look completely different (especially if you have a family!) but I will share my schedule organization with you. I have two components to my schedule organization.
The first is my inkWell Press Planner. If you’ve been following along with me you know that I am an advocate for inkWell. I am because it feels like it is tailored to me & my exact needs. I love the month view but having the daily/week view (one week per 2 page spread) has been nice to be able to zero in and focus on just that week. Each week I transfer the information from month view to week view. I did this for both business and personal since I got the planner in June, but recently switched to Asana for business. To shop inkWell Products, click here! When you purchase an inkWell product, it also comes with set-up videos from Tonya, the founder herself, showing you various ways to utilize all the planner’s features!! For a deeper look into inkWell Press planners and why I love mine so much, click here :)
Asana is my second planning/project management tool. It wasn’t that inkWell didn’t work for me for business, but I could tell I was limiting my growth and improvements by having paper & pen lists and processes. In needing to switch to electronic for business, I shopped around and landed on Asana. Megan Minns has a great AsanaHQ course that I signed up for, where she laid out Asana’s features, capabilities and even included templates to get you started. It’s been about a month since I fully switched to Asana for business, and while I still have a few kinks to work out to truly make it my own, it’s proving to be the best aid for my business in scheduling, project management and keeping the business organized.
Right now I only have to coordinate schedules with my husband, Nick. He likes electronic (Google Calendars) and we have good communication when we make plans or changes to our schedules, but we will continue to evaluate how our system is working for us and change if necessary.
If you’re coordinating a lot of schedules, you may need a different system. For a family, one of the parents may have a paper or electronic planner to keep the family schedule organized, but putting it into a Home Command Center layout might be a good idea so everyone is on the same page. If you are a business owner or need to organize schedules between team members, systems like Asana, Basecamp and Kalendi could be your answer.*
*Being a solopreneur I do not use any of these for team management, however they have come highly recommended to me from fellow entrepreneurs.*
Whatever your situation may be, it may take patience and perseverance, but there is a way to organize your schedule. If it’s not inkWell Press or Asana, that’s okay! Here are some other recommendations that I’ve tried myself or have come highly recommended.
Have additional questions? Email me & ask away! ☺ Happy Organizing!!
Emily has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University. There she learned how valuable organization can be in being productive. She chose to use this knowledge and help others achieve this productivity and optimization in their homes and small businesses. Read & Enjoy and as always, let us know if you have any questions!