I love taking down handwritten notes but sometimes they can get a little messy – papers here, papers there, “where did I write down that thing I need?”
This is why staying organized is super important. Not only does it help with just keeping everything in order but it also helps to increase productivity. Nobody wants to spend 10 minutes looking around for that one thing!
Throughout my time as a blogger and college student, I have come across numerous resources (most of them being free) that have helped me stay organized and increase productivity. Here are some of my favorites!
Like Gmail or Yahoo!, Zoho Mail is an email service. It is free, easy-to-use, and has some great organizational features.
My favorite feature is the color-coded calendar! It allows you to easily create and edit events, add details, and invite people to keep them in the loop. Some calendars can be a pain to make changes to but this one has a great drag and drop feature that makes editing a breeze!
Another part of ZohoMail that I love is that you can connect your domain to an email for free. It’s a bit of a process to get set up but having my readers email me at firstname.lastname@example.org is so much better and professional looking than my old gmail!
Other honorable mentions for Zoho are its “Notes” feature (which can also be color coded – yay!) and “Tasks” feature, which are like to-do lists.
This platform is great for keeping everything all in one place and beautifully organized. Did I mention the color coding?!
I have to admit, I always hated Excel. It was confusing to use and it just didn’t seem very exciting. It wasn’t until my internship at a PR firm last year that I was asked to create an ongoing list of project ideas. Naturally, I made the list on Microsoft Word but I was immediately corrected by my supervisor that it wasn’t acceptable and Excel is the way to go for something of that nature.
Initially, I was apprehensive but after I practiced with it a little more, I realized how amazing it is!
Recently, I wanted to create more comprehensive editorial and social media content calendars for myself. I did Google search upon Google search (I even hit up Pinterest) and couldn’t find any free calendar templates that fit my needs. So what does a blogger do when she can’t find a calendar right for her? She creates her own!
It definitely took some time to design and create the perfect calendar but already, I feel way more organized.
So, if you’re looking for that perfect list or calendar and can’t seem to find one from someone else, I highly recommend taking the deep dive into Excel and creating a custom one just for you!
One of the biggest ways to succeed on social media is to remain consistent with your posting. So when we’re talking about Pinterest, consistent re-pinning is a must. But logging on everyday to pin a bunch of things can feel tedious and like a waste of time.
That’s where BoardBooster comes in!
It’s pretty simple to set up. You connect your BoardBooster account to your Pinterest account and BB will then create duplicate boards of all your existing boards. These duplicates are made secret so no one accept you will see them.
Whenever it’s convenient for you, pin as many pins as you would like onto these duplicate secret boards. BB will then transfer these pins onto your public boards according to the days and times you set. How nifty!
Personally, I like to go in once a week and pin enough pins to last me until the next week. Since I have started using this resource, I have seen my Pinterest following and engagement increase significantly!
The best part is that it’s free up until you schedule 1000 re-pins. After the free period is over, it is $5 a month for 500 re-pins. That plan works for me but there are other plans if you require more.
It’s affordable, easy, and it does half the work for you! Awesome, right?
Graphic design is a critical component of any brand. It determines how people will see and initially feel about your business. If you’re not a professional graphic designer or if you don’t have the resources to hire one, then you’ll have to utilize a free resource that is easy to use and will produce professional looking graphics. Let me introduce you to Canva!
I have used my fair share of online graphic design sites and this one is the best by far. My favorite part is that it saves your previous designs to go back to in the future, which isn’t usually a free option on other sites. This helps to increase productivity because you won’t have to recreate a similar design over again or try to recreate specific colors.
Also, being able to see all of your designs in one place helps with developing your aesthetic and maintaining brand consistency.
I should also mention in the upgraded paid version, there are options for creating color palettes and keeping your brand’s logos and fonts on file. Cool, right?
So I know I said I don’t like to use notebooks and papers as my main organizational tools but I do like to use them for one thing: as a dumping ground for ideas!
I keep one large notebook that is dedicated to scribbles, notes, and ideas. It doesn’t have to be organized because I don’t put anything super important in it. It can be as messy as I want it to be – it’s like the junk drawer of my business!
Let yourself have one place where you can be messy; whether it’s in a notebook like me or in the notes section on your phone. It’s good to get a little messy sometimes 🙂
What resources do you love to increase productivity and stay organized? Is it a struggle for you to keep everything in order or can you not live without order? Let me know in the comments!