In one of my previous weekly wrap ups, I talked about making this post. I have finally found a system that largely works for me. I may have some little tweaks to perform but I’m content with the overall system. It encompasses my personal life such as appointments and trips, my university life including deadlines and file storage, my blogging life, the TV shows and movies I watch, and my reading.
If you’re not interested in organization or keeping track of your life, then I’m sorry, but you won’t like this post. If you do, I hope it can maybe help you find a system you like.
PART 1: MY AGENDA
I’ll start with the obvious: I use an agenda. As you can see, it’s bright blue and has an owl wearing glasses that look suspiciously like mine. I love this agenda because of its weekly outlay. Not only does it offer a lot of space to write in, it’s not divided by hours. I really hate it when an agenda is divided by hours. What if I have a deadline without a specific hour linked to it?
Be kind to my pictures, I’m such a novice at photography. An amateur, really. Gotta start somewhere, right?
I use this agenda to keep track of the following
- In blue, and on the left, I write the personal appointments I may have, trips I am taking and so on. Basically, everything I need to remember to do. I don’t always have something written there, as most of my days are spent in class (which I don’t write down).
- In red, and also on the left, I keep track of important university deadlines. For example, my exams are written in red. I also use this for deadlines of papers I need to write, assignments to hand in and important deadlines for my thesis.
- In black, and on the right, I keep track of the blog posts I have scheduled or published. As soon as I am sure of a post, I write it in. It makes it easy to see how many posts I have scheduled, how many go up in a week.
- In red, and on the right, I keep track of the workouts I did. Usually there is less red in the right column than I’d like there to be.
- I often keep a post-it note on there too. The post-it usually consists of a tentative to-do-list for the week. I don’t always fulfill it, but it gives me an idea of what I still have to do.
PART 2: DROPBOX
I use Dropbox for my files, but mainly my university ones. I have created a neat little system, as you can see. For my university files, it starts with the folder “University”. This is then further divided into years, such as “MBA”, which is then further divided into “Semester 1”, “Thesis”. You get my drift. This not only ensures that I can find anything immediately, it also allows me to access my files anywhere, even if I forgot my laptop. If I forgot to print a document I need or created, I can just log on.
It also ensures that if something happens to my laptop, I haven’t lost all my files. I can’t imagine losing my thesis progress.
P.S. I also keep a back up of everything, includes photos, on an external hard drive. Paranoid, you say? Prepared, I answer.
PART 3: EVERNOTE
Aaah, Evernote. Another organizational love of mine. I use it for many things. I use both the website and the app. Even the laptop app they have. It’s really useful, you can write things while offline and wait for it to sync up later.
Here, you can see the notebooks I’m currently using. In “Blog”, I have several lists, posts I’m working on and ideas I’m trying to work out. For example, it has a note called “Series I Finished” including every series I have finished (obviously), and I update it as I go along. I added the notebook “Reading Challenges” this year, because it allows me to better keep track of my progress in them. I also keep a lot of the recipes I adore in my “Recipes” notebook. I still have many to add though. When I am away or find myself without anything to do, I use the “Review” notebook to write reviews on books I’ve read. I especially use this when I am unable to actually log in on my blog, and work from there. I also have a notebook called “Various”, which includes notes like 22 things to do before I’m 22, Possible Quotes for Tattoo, and Workout Mood. Lastly, I have a notebook called “Wishlists”. I have a separate wishlist for many things, including Skincare, Wardrobe and Books.
I also use the Evernote Shortcuts. You can easily add a star to certain notes to add them to your shortcuts. This makes them very easy to access. I do this for the notes I use most, or want to keep an eye on. As you can see, it includes some of the reading challenges I’m participating in, my winter TBR, and my 2016 resolutions.
PART 4: MOVIES/TV SHOWS/BOOKS
I use 3 sites, one to keep track of each aspect. I wanted to use one platform at first, but found that a website I loved for its TV show aspect, maybe lacked in the movie one. So I kept digging, until I finally found a website for each.
Obviously, I use Goodreads to keep track of my reading. I use it to mark the books I want to read, the books I am reading, and the books I have read. I’m sure you all knew that already, but I wanted to mention it anyways. That’s not the only thing I use though.
I created an Excel file, which for now is called “Blog 2016”. It has several tabs. The one currently opened is called “Read in 2016”, where I keep track of every book I’ve read. I also have “Bought Hard Copies” for both 2015 and 2016, so I can not only keep track of my buying habits, but whether I actually read the books I buy too. Next we have “Movies Watched”, which I used prior to finding my perfect website. I also have a tab called “Review Copies” in which I note down the copies I receive for review, and whether I have read them, and lastly a tab called “Books to review from 2015”. I read several books in 2015 that I haven’t reviewed yet, so I wanted to keep an eye on those.
This was the last one I had to sort out for myself. I recently stumbled on a website called Letterboxd. It allows you to keep track of movies you want to watch, and those you have watched. You can add a date to the movies you’ve watched, a star-rating, a review and even whether it is a re-watch. You can also create lists, follow other people, and so on. It’s basically the Goodreads of movies, except that this actually allows for half-star ratings. My account name is Joliendela, if you want to follow me on the website to see what I’m watching!
And so we have come to the TV shows. For that, I use a website called Simkl.com. If I understand correctly, the website is still in beta. But it works really well, and you can use it without problem. You can add TV Shows as “Watching”, “Plan to Watch”, “Completed” or “Not Interested”. If you mark it as Watching, you can then set it to the last episode you’ve watched. It then shows you how many episodes you haven’t seen yet. You can mark the episodes as you watch along. This makes it really easy for me to see where I left off with a certain series. It also shows you a personal dashboard. Mine looks like this:
As you can see, it first shows you the two shows you’ve watched most recently. The red dot with the number in it in the right corners tells you how many episodes you have left to watch. Then it shows you the latest shows you haven’t watched yet. For example, if today a new episode of Supergirl came out, it would be added there. This way, you can see when it’s time for you to watch a new episode. And lastly, you have a list of shows airing next. You can see that it says New Girl, tomorrow 02:00 AM. The timing may seem weird to you, as it is set on my time here in Belgium. You can click on the posters to get you to the episodes. From there, it’s easy to mark the episode you’ve seen. Say for example a new episode of Criminal minds came out? I would click on it through latest shows you haven’t watched yet, and then click on the dot representing that episode.
Those are all the systems I use to organize my life! I have to say that I added Wunderlist to my apps recently, because I saw a post by Novel Dreams on using it for the blog post ideas you have. I didn’t include it in this list because I only started using it recently.
How do you like to organize? Do you think this is too much? I’ve been enjoying this system for a while now, so I wanted to update you all.