For many of us, January is a time to reflect on the things in our lives that need improving. Start the year off with a clean slate and vow to get more organized at home and at the office in 2012.
Invest in a pretty day planner and notebook. Electronic calendars are great for setting reminders but nothing beats a day planner that you can slip into your purse of briefcase. Carry your day planner with you at all times. You can pull it out at meetings to record important deadlines or jot down your kid’s next dentist appointment in a flash. Notebooks are also great for jotting down grocery lists, “to do” lists, and important phone numbers.
Colorful sticky notes are not only visually appealing, but also help keep you organized. Coordinate different colors for different documents, easily find your place in a stack of papers, and flag items for coworkers.
A modern filing system, like this one from OfficeMax, keeps everything in the right place and saves on space. Place a collator or filing system on your desk for files that you reach for often. Label files so that you can quickly throw things into their corresponding category.
Keep a family calendar on the fridge or another high traffic area to keep the entire family in the loop. Leave your business arrangements off of this calendar. Stick to family appointments like the orthodontist and birthday parties.
Don’t forget your drawers! Use clear dividers to ensure that each item has its own place. This works for the family junk drawer and your desk drawers. Buy inexpensive boxes to store things like stationery, photographs, and old work projects so they’re easy to access but not cluttering up useful space.
If paper-free organization is your preference, there are plenty of free day planners to download from the App Store for your smartphone or tablet. Fun sites like Pugly Pixel offer plenty of freebies, from downloadable calendars to fonts and graphics for the more advanced techie.
The bottom line is, you don’t need to hire a professional or spend lots of money to see big rewards. Simple tricks that aren’t too pricey are definitely worth the investment. Getting organized will save you time in the end. With everything in its place you’ll never have to waste time searching for a misplaced document or rescheduling a missed appointment.