I love to stay organized across every aspect of my life. Having organizational systems and methods helps me get so much more done, and easily. Sure, some days I get off track and can get flustered, but if I get back to my organizational tricks, I have fun and get so much accomplished. For me, being organized throughout the day helps my brain feel decluttered and opens me up to more creative thinking.
I’ve been through a lot of trial and error when it comes to staying organized. I’ve tried every planner there is out there, experimented with calendar techniques, and tested many project management tools. Some tools + techniques are better than others, and it definitely depends on the project/task (i.e., product launches should never be executed in a manual calendar!).
There are definitely some great digital tools out there, and we use them to help our team stay organized. However, when it comes to the day-in-day-out of managing your day, I’ve found that a true “analog” written plan helps me organize my day the best. After trying many, many daily planners, I finally developed my own version, which incorporates planning work + personal aspects of my day.
There are a few reasons I Iike using this Daily Planner, and specifically a written vs. digital version:
- Commit to memory: Writing by hand tends to boost your ability to retain information, comprehend new ideas, and be more productive.
- Tap into creativity: Hand writing increases neural activity in certain sections of the brain, unleashing creativity not easily accessed in any other way.
- Addresses how most of us actually live our days: Work + personal is more intertwined than ever and I love having one tool that captures it all
I’ve been perfecting this Daily Planner for the past couple of years and I would love to share it with you. You can download it here in a PDF version, as well as an Excel version if you’d like to further customize.
In addition to using my Daily Planner, I recently started using another system, which could be a new Marcher product…and would love to know what you think! Prior to the pandemic, I’d pop to meetings around town and carry my Allie clutch. It was ideal to keep everything in one place with you on-the-go: laptop, notebook, my Daily Plan, and a pencil. However, when I started leaving the house less (well never, really!), I wanted something to keep my Daily Plans and other important documents with me throughout the day. I was using a plastic folder for a while but um…it just wasn’t my style. I figured I could make something that would be similar to a plastic sleeve or folder but that was chic and durable.
So I came up with a leather portfolio/document holder idea and made the first prototype in the studio. It wasn’t half bad and figured I’d test it out for a while. I loved being able to keep everything in one place and always know where my important documents are. Here’s the first, rough prototype:
More recently, I wanted to see if it would be feasible to actual go into production with this style, so I made a second prototype that is a bit more refined…I also wanted to test out the feasibility of customization. Here’s how the second prototype turned out:
Also, I have been using a color coded paperclip system (I know, ultimate Type A) to keep the various documents together – using different colors for my Daily Plans, Sketches, Financials, Launch Calendar, etc. I wondered if I could come up with some fun leather color-coded paperclips (which would also use up scraps from our production!) and I started to play with some ideas. Below are a couple of ideas I’ve been playing with – a customized leather tag, leather tassel, and a leather flag. I think there is more work to do in terms of finessing this concept, but it’s been fun to experiment a bit and see if there is potential to make these paperclips into a viable product.
And I’d love to know what you think – would a folio/document envelope like this be a helpful product for you? Would it help keep you organized, particularly while you’re working from home? Would you like to see any design and/or feature changes? I would absolutely love to hear your feedback, please feel free to comment below. Also let me know if you have any thoughts on the leather tassel paperclips – is it organized nerdiness gone too far?
Looking forward to hearing your feedback!