All the tools I use to organise my life.

I think my life is pretty busy. Sure I still find ample time to watch as much Netflix as possible and am an absolute queen at procrastinating but I have a lot on pretty much all the time and thanks to a postgraduate degree, usually something due. 

This isn’t a woe is me post. I love life being busy. I like it being full. Everything I do brings me vast amounts of joy and whilst it is sometimes tiring and overwhelming, I wouldn’t change it for the world. To be honest I think the chaos is what keeps me sane. 

It can be tricky remembering to do everything at the right time, ensuring I have things done in time, making sure I don’t cancel or double-book or wear myself out to the point of exhaustion so in the last few months I’ve crafted the means to organising my life which means it can be both busy and fucking delightful. 

It’s not perfect, it doesn’t always work, I still cry a lot and I’m always looking on how to improve it so if you have any recommendations for personal organisation, please send them my way. 

if it’s not in the calendar, it’s not happening. 

I love my iCal. And put simply, if something is not in my iCal, it is not happening. I love that it is synced between my phone and my laptop as I usually have one at hand at all times. Being able to see my week blocked out so clearly helps me plan in advance for everything: finances, meal plans, where I can chill out, when I can phone my mum, everything. 

I have mine organised into seven separate calendars: work, social, uni, two birds, life admin, uni (at home) and blog. Each has a different colour code so I can see where I’m spending my time and what needs prioritised. If all of the weekend is orange (social) then I need to find the time for some uni in there as well. 

My iCal is my life. Everything I’m doing is in there from university classes to my 9-5 internship days to time I’m going to spend on my blog to sessions booked in at the gym. I add in everything from coffee with friends to when I need take meter readings. 

Best for: seeing where you spend your time and never missing a thing. 

lists for everything. 

I’ve always loved a humble to do list and I’ve only recently made the move into digital list taking. I keep random lists on my Notes like everyone else but I’m now a converted Trello fan as well. The app syncs across my laptop and my phone, allowing me to always check in and add things when I need to. 

Trello allows you to have different boards which each contain different lists. I have boards for my postgrad, my blog and life as well as more fun boards like the food bucket list and travel bucket list I have with my friend and a mundane ‘necessities’ board. Trello also allows you to share boards with other people, meaning me and my flatmate can both access our flat necessities board and see if we need to buy anything for the flat. 

The way I split up my lists inside each board differs by board but I usually have a to do now and a done list in there somewhere. It is a handy way of keeping track of everything I need done and it allows you to add further notes, due dates, attachments and more. 

Best for: never forgetting a thing. 

a beast of an excel spreadsheet for finances. 

One thing that can stress me over the edge when life is hectic is having absolutely no handle on my finances and burning through my pay check like nobody’s business. Since coming back from Las Vegas and San Francisco suitably bankrupt in August, I made an excel spreadsheet for my finances with the help of my friend Amanda. 

The spreadsheet varies from month to month but I always include an income and expenses tracker; a budget breakdown, a list of direct debits, my expected income, the start and end totals for all my bank accounts and a wish list with a running total of what that would cost if I bought it all. 

I cannot stress enough how knowing where my money goes helps me feel about everything. I add to my income and expenses tracker pretty much every day and every time I make a purchase or receive money, it is noted in there. It has given me unreal peace of mind and I hope by 2020 I can be a boss ass bitch with money and save a lot more £££. 

Best for: managing your money (and your stress) like a boss. 

meal plan like never before.

A mundane boring task but I could not thrive without meal planning. Another excel spreadsheet, I have a continuous meal plan table where I delete and add things to all the time. I have the weekdays noted down with breakfast, lunch and dinner and delete something once I’ve ate it and move the date on. 

It allows me to plan out as far in the week as I can and I note down when I’ll be out or eating with others at home so I can use the food I buy accordingly. I also have four categories noted down below: to eat in the fridge, to buy, to eat in the freezer and to make.

This helps me keep a track of everything I’ve got that might go off, what I can utilise and what I need to buy/make in the week ahead. I’ve also noted down that I need cold lunches on Monday and Wednesday as I’m at uni and what day I’m planning to do a food shop on just to help me remember. 

Meal planning means I know what I’m eating when, helps me save money on food which is something I used to haemorrhage money on before and helps me cut down on food waste. 

Best for: saving money when it comes to food.

I still have paper diaries and calendars but have honestly substituted them for my iCal mostly, I do still use notebooks to make notes and I love a post-it as much as the next person but these four tools have changed the way I live my life and I bloody love it. 

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

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