I know how it is.
You start with a great system. Perhaps you get set up on Trello. Maybe you start bullet journaling. Whatever it is, it’s going to take a little maintenance to make sure you have a working system that you can look at any time you need to know what you need to do next.
I know, I know, organising your organising sounds silly, but whatever system you use, if you don’t routinely make sure it’s working for you, then a) you’re not being as efficient as you could be and b) it’s going to get in a mess.
I don’t want to make organising your business and life more complicated than it has to be, so this should each only take a few minutes.
A good time to do this one is when you are planning your week out. Which again, shouldn’t take you too long.
You can do these weekly, or you could do some of these just once a month, but I schedule them all in for every week, and then if I don’t want to do them that week, or don’t need to, then I, shhh…. Don’t do it.
1.Organise Your Lists or Boards
Whether you use notebooks or Trello, keeping on top of the various lists you need for your business will help things stay in ship shape.
These are the things that I cover when I organising my Trello lists, but yours will probably be different, and if you don’t use Trello you can still use a similar method by either going through your notebooks, or planners or other digital tools and applying a similar strategy.
– Dashboard – I check that anything that has been completed is move to the ‘done’ list and add any extra actionable points for business and personal life. This board also has emails that need a considered response and also events, so I check on those here too.
– Calendar – check for any dates that are coming up, that all the right things are in. Did you have anything else you forgot to add?
– Weekly plan board – checking that everything is falling on the right day for the week ahead,and that anything I have actually done is archived. Anything that doesn’t need to be done that week anymore, I move back to where it needs to go.
– Ideas board. Do you have any other quick ideas to add. Are there any ideas there that really don’t make sense anymore and you’re going to scrap? Get rid of them. Anything you want to do that week, move it to your to-do list or your weekly plan board.
I schedule each of mine into Trello as an individual card and then use the card repeater power-up to make sure it comes back the week after.
2. Getting your notes in a form that makes sense
You’re on a call and writing down notes.
You have a random product idea and write it down on a scrap piece of paper while you’re out.
You get an A3 sheet and plan out your quarter.
Great, you’re doing this stuff.
Now you want to make sure you get it into an actionable list.
If you use a digital system, then start by getting it all into the right areas.
Client notes from your call into an email, document or Trello card.
Product ideas onto an idea board, or a product development list or board.
And get your quarter plans into your planner or a project development board.
When you’ve done that you can get rid of all those scrappy bits of paper.
I don’t do this every week, as sometimes I don’t have any notes to transfer, so if you don’t this is one of those ones you just file, or only schedule in for once a month.
3. Email and message purge
An email over here, a text over there. With notifications and flagged and unread messages everywhere, it’s hard to concentrate. Attention residue is the name psychologists give to that problem we have of not being able to focus on something because our mind is still on something else. An overload of messages, in whatever form they come in, doesn’t help.
Go through each of these and…
…or add them to your to-do list.
A way to make this really easy to go is to use an application like Station to bring several of these together.
4. Organising Files & Folders
OK this one really might just be me, but speaking for myself, my files and folders get in an absolute state. I save stuff to desktop, my downloads folder is out of control and I still have 4000+ files that need organising back from when I moved everything over to Dropbox.
Don’t even get me started on screenshots.
So every Monday I schedule in 10 minutes of organising.
– Move everything from downloads to my Dropbox
– Move anything from desktop to Dropbox
– Move anything that is hanging around in the wrong place in
NOW, you could just be super organised and do this right when you save stuff, by changing files to the right names, and saving them in the right places.
But I guess what I’m showing you here is that I know we don’t always have time to do all of the ‘right’ things we should be doing, so instead, we sometimes have to patch.
And it’s why you’ll never see me judging the way someone organises, you do you boo. But also I’ll help show you some awesome stuff along the way.
Another great thing you can do is change where your screenshots go, and also rename them at the time of screenshotting, I’ve just recently started doing this and it’s a game changer! Here’s how you do it.
5. Weekly bookkeeping
This one is self-explanatory.
If you don’t have a bookkeeper, just this one little thing will help you out so much. Just five minutes a day, or half an hour a week, however long you need to keep on top of it.
I’m all for batching (grouping tasks together to save time) but when it comes to things like bookkeeping, if you are more likely to put it off because you hate doing it, then you’re better off doing little and often.
It will make everything a little less daunting when it comes to doing your tax return.
So download those CSV’s, reconcile your statements and collect your receipts.