Organization station

Not sure if you have picked up on this, but I am pretty obsessive, meticulous, controlling, etc (In other words – A pleasure to be around 🙂 ) – BUT I will be the first to admit that I do not have my crap together. However, I feel like I do have a decent grasp. Its taken a lot of trial and error, but I think I have put together a system of free tools to keep my life in motion.

I am a sucker for beautiful journals, snazzy agendas, and super cute to-do lists. I would tend to use them for a few weeks, then end up grabbing scraps of other paper, starting new lists, jotting notes on the back of something else, and eventually wrecking my entire process. The chevron patterns and polka dots were not enough to keep me on task!

A couple of other cons (for me at least) – What if I lost that single piece of paper? Or the entire notebook? It’s gone forever! There is also no way to search all of my previous notes (without flipping and skimming every page). The Internet has ruined me! I need a search bar ALWAYS.

I have tried many a free, online calendar and/or to-do list app. There are pros and cons to each. Recently I think I have landed in a sweet spot in personal things and at work. (I am well aware that there are fancier ways to organize your life. I was looking for free and easy. This is where I landed.)

Personally: Google’s Mail + Calendar + Tasks (w/ GTasks app)

  • Gmail is pretty obvi. It works nicely with Tasks though to set a task to respond to or read something in the future.
  • Calendar may be pretty obvious too. However, being a part of the Google world, it plays nice with Tasks.


  • Tasks would not work for me if it weren’t for the GTasks mobile app (which allows recurring tasks and alerts).
  • The missing piece for my personal organization is a OneNote like tool (ideally from Google) that talks with Tasks. If you have a recommendation – Holla @ me! My life would be complete.

Work-wise: Microsoft is my life (Outlook [Mail, Calendar, Tasks] + OneNote).

  • I’m pretty good at some GTD in my work life. I consistently process my inbox with the help of my calendar and tasks.
  • The real kicker for me here is that when I flag something in OneNote, it populates as a task in Outlook. [BOOM.] This may be super simple and you may scoff – but this was a game-changer for me.

In conjunction of my pretty basic usage of pretty basic tools, it also takes a commitment from me to not blow things off, to stick to my tasks lists, and remember to add things to the lists. I keep nothing in my brain – That’s a black hole where ideas and to-dos get lost forever! If now, I could only figure out what to do with all of the paper (bills, warranties, junk, etc) in my life!

How do you stay organized? Have you made a move to digital or still kickin’ it old-school?

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