I was working on my site re-design when I realized I was surrounded. I had at least 3 different notebooks, a folder plus a stack of papers. I felt a little overwhelmed. I felt like not working on my site anymore even though I had just discovered that a free download I was working on was pretty much almost written! But all those papers were in different places and I discovered I’d written some things two or three times. Talk about inefficient!
Feeling frustrated but energized by the amount of stuff surrounding me, I got up and created a separate notebook for my own stuff. I did have it in the same notebook where I kept my client notes. At the time I think it made sense to me because it was my website and I was keeping it with other websites but I always had to dig through their stuff to find mine and then dig through the other notebooks.
I didn’t want to overthink it. I didn’t want the organization to take over so much that I ended up not doing any work. I wanted to throw something together quickly. I’m personally obsessed with Levenger Circa as you can easily move papers around, create new notebooks and the paper is smooth and amazing. Staples has a great knock-off and I usually get the books there as they are more affordable, pretty and I don’t have to wait for them in the mail.
Since I had this already around, I scavenged a folder and a divider from another book with some extra discs. I got out some different colored paper and punched holes in it and labeled them with post-it notes. As you can see, nothing fancy – I wanted it done. I discovered I am also missing two discs which I was unhappy about. I allowed myself 3 minutes to look for them then stopped. That would be a time waster and the pages are holding together just fine.
It could be as simple as a folder or if you’re not a paper junkie like me, go digital. One Note is great and is available via the Microsoft cloud and you can create a notebook with sections. I’ve heard good things about Evernote as well. The point is you are making it a priority, you are separating it out and making it easier to get to everything that you’re working on for yourself.
The sections I created:
– Ideation: scribbles, notes, names of other people’s sites I liked or didn’t like
– Site Content: any copy I’d written that would actually go on the website
– Process Content: this is the flow of how I work with clients. For example, what I ask on the initial call, how I collect payments, etc. I broke mine down further into the two sections of my site (Never had a site or Need a redesign) since there was a lot involved for each of those.
Other sections could be services you need, people you’re working with, etc.
This was specifically for my site, which I highly recommend doing if you’re working on your own site but could be used for any aspect of your business. My coach has a binder just for her systems and processes. You could have a folder just for a workshop or event. Keeping everything in one place keeps you focused on what’s important – doing the work.
What about you – how do you organize? What have you done or used that worked for you?