every single dang day i wonder how i wasn't born a virgo. i have always loved planning, organization, and designing efficient systems for getting things done. i thought i'd make a masterpost of advice, tips, and links that have helped me to get my shit together throughout the years. an efficient day-to-day ritual and process allows you the freedom to relax and enjoy your happy moments without worrying about the next day's tasks. i hope these tips, tricks, and links help you as much as they've helped me! (ps: if something is available on amazon i'll use an affiliate link to it which means if you actually order something i get like $0.20 lol so please don't hate me for using them -- a girl's got to live).
i thought i'd first include a list of my favorite books about organization, productivity, and planning because i always like to start my posts with a little inspiration. pick these up at your local library or download them to your devices as a handy on-the-go reference.
the life changing magic of tidying up by marie kondo
the little book of hygge by meik wiking
a simplified life by emily ley
martha stewart's homekeeping handbook by martha stewart
the bread and butter of organization, in my opinion, is a good planner. my tried and true favorite is the passion planner by angelia trinidad. i use the compact, dated, sunday start planner. i linked you to the 2018 one (probably sold out), but they make an undated version and an academic version as well. i love this planner because it's bound and has tons of note pages in the back. passion planner is an awesome company run by a woman who happens to be a POC as well. if you're interested, this video by xandra robinson-burns is a great intro to the whole system. you can actually print out the pages for free from passion planner's website as well if you want a completely free system.
i also love using ring-bound planners. mostly because they make me feel like ashley olsen's character in new york minute. her planner in that movie is truly iconic and definitely stays on my forever moodboard. i recently started using a personal-sized filofax in saffiano leather (which isn't real btw) and i will definitely report back to you on it. there are tons of awesome planner videos on youtube as well as planner accounts on instagram if you want to get started in the planner community. i am more of a minimalist when it comes to planners (i don't use tons of stickers or colors) but it's fun to see how people plan out their days. one of my favorite planner/productivity channels on youtube is mary plethora.
digital productivity tools
once you have a basic organizational system in place, there are tons of tips and tools you can add in that can flow with your specific lifestyle. since i do so much work online, most of the tools i use can be found for free on the web. one of my favorites from college was the tomato timer. It's part of a concept called the Pomodoro technique, which aims to maximize productivity by using 25-minute timers to help you work without distractions for short bursts of time.
i also use a few apps for organization and planning. one is wunderlist, a to-do list app that you can organize into folders, sync across devices, and collaborate on with friends. i use this app to keep running long-term lists like books to read, story ideas, and other things that are long-term works-in-progress. i like having those types of things in a permanent place as opposed to in my planner because they'll stay with me even if i switch in and out of planners and notebooks.
one blog i love for planning tips is emma's studyblr on tumblr. her blog focuses primarily on school tips and tricks but is useful for just about anyone. i could spend hours browsing it. here's a list of her favorite chrome extensions for productivity, tips on how to stick with a schedule, and a masterpost of resources for students.
i keep all of my appointments in the calendar on my phone so that if i'm on the go i can quickly reference my commitments for the day. i use the apple calendar app for this. i like that it also gives you 10-15 minute reminders ahead of each item. i also use the clue app as a tracker for my monthly cycle so i don't need to include that info in my planner.
another recommendation i have is to make a work playlist. i prefer instrumentals but you might like ambient noise (rain, thunder, white noise), upbeat songs, or just plain old pop. Since I write, it's helpful for me to not have words going into my head as i'm trying to get words out of my head! this is the instrumental playlist i made and use pretty much anytime i'm working.
physical productivity tools
in addition to a planner, there are a few tools i always keep handy when i'm working. the first is a notebook. it doesn't really matter what type of notebook you use, but i usually prefer mine to be bound. i have been using this leuchtturm1917 notebook lately and i love it. i also always have post-its with me (the pastel ones if i can get them) as well as a small pencil case. my favorite pens are the black muji click pens and the uniball signo dx .38 pens (my favorite color is bordeaux black). tokyo pen shop is my favorite place to buy japanese pens online. if you didn't know, japanese pens are the best so get woke. i also use the zebra mildliner pastel highlighters. they're amazing and not scary yellow like most highlighters are. my faves are the mild gold and the mild gray.
something i also love to keep on hand is stationery. i love writing letters and sending thank-you notes and holiday cards. i usually buy stationery at tj maxx, home goods, or papyrus. there are tons of cute note cards on the market -- rifle paper co. makes beautiful floral prints. i also love using stickers in my notebooks and on cards. my favorites are from pear tea paperie on etsy. i usually keep at least one blank card in my planner just in case i need to do some last-minute thanking.
so there you have it! my favorite productivity and planning tools. do you have any game-changers that i didn't include here? i would love to hear from you in the comments.