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Bossladies, unite. As a recent UPenn grad + entrepreneur, I feel like I’ve had my fair share of organizational needs. I’ve also had my fair share of complete organizational disasters and s***shows, and I’m here to bestow as much advice upon ya as you’ll possible take before clicking away to BuzzFeed. 😉 Seriously though, I so wish I would have better utilized all of the below during my four years in school. I think I would’ve saved myself about three anxiety attacks a semester, a thousand and one sailor words, and too many headaches to count. Here are what I’ve found to be the 9 essential organization tools for college and entrepreneurship:
- The Purposeful Planner. [Essential for: Organizing your LIFE]. Y’all. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until I turn blue – this is the best planner out there. I would know, because I’m a planner snob. Yup, a snob. I’m a planner snob who once had FIVE (yes, five) planners going at one time because no singular one had all of the details and functionality that I needed in my dream planner world. Then, this baby came along. (And before anyone asks, I am getting paid ZERO DOLLARS to say this. I’m just completely obsessed. Can you tell? 😉 ). I love the Daily version, because every single day gets its own page with must-do intentions, an hourly breakdown, an inspirational quote or Bible verse, Health goals, hydration checkboxes, a 15 minute task, brain dump, retail therapy, and menu. And the start of every month has a full monthly calendar and separate spaces for goals and notes and shopping lists and more. It. is. planner. bliss. #invest And it just relaunched for the 2016-2017 calendar year! They sell out though, so if you’re interested in trying one…you know what to do.
- Evernote. [Essential for: Organizing notes]. WHAT A GEM. Evernote is my saving grace as an entrepreneur. Both a website and app, Evernote lets you take notes in various online “notebooks” and saves like a Google doc would. I organize my client notes within respective online notebooks, and it’s an app on both my iPad and iPhone so no balls get dropped nor details missed! When it comes to organization tools for college, Evernote is the PERFECT solution to taking notes for class if you’re allowed to be digitally connected during lecture. Just keep a “notebook” for each class, and BOOM – no more heavy bags or backpacks with textbooks!
- Planoly. [Essential for: Organizing Instagram]. This. This is a new one. I used to use VSCO cam’s library function for planning out Instagram content (and talked all about it here). But then VSCO updated, and the library got all wonky, and it no longer serves that purpose. So, I did what any good entrepreneur (and collegiate) would do – I pivoted. Planoly is an app specifically designed for scheduling and planning out Instagram content – you can even rearrange photos by simply dragging and dropping them around the grid! Download it on the App Store.
- Mini neon Post-It’s. [Essential for: Organizing content and calendars]. All organization tools for college and entrepreneurship include color coding in some way amiright?? For anyone with an editorial calendar (calling all creatives!), this is clutch. Use the mini post-it’s on calendar blocks, color coded for respective days and/or projects. I have the content categories on CUR color-coded so that I can visually check the balance between business, style, inspirational, beauty, relationships, etc. Before then I would just write on the calendar, but by the end of the month I’d be left with just a mass of scribbles and intense arrowing…basically, a headache on paper. #nothankyou
- The Pomodoro Technique. [Essential for: Organizing your time]. I found this technique recently and am hooked. It’s designed to work WITH your time instead of against the clock. Set the timer for 25 minutes. Monitor how “strenuous” activity is by tracking the number of “pomodoros” (ie. how many 25 minute blocks) needed to finish it. Accurately estimate activity time, and use a timer to give yourself breaks at crucial points. Set a timetable according to your to-do’s to prioritize what you do, and watch your productivity soar!
- Utensil tray for pens and work tools. [Essential for: Organizing writing utensils]. I JUST picked up a $1.99 utensil tray from IKEA and MAN is it nifty. Instead of having a whole buncha cups and pouches for pens and pencils (especially since I’ve got a whole SLUE of ’em, from free promotional pens, to my favorite Pilot pens, to colored markers and random supplies), a utensil tray lets you easily lay them all out in an organized fashion for quick grabbing and writing.
- TheSkimm. [Essential for: Organizing the news]. I get one email every morning with all relevant news updates, summarized in one (sassy) place. I’m on the fence currently because the service is clearly politically slanted and not just unbiased reporting (SO hard to come by nowadays!), but it’s great for staying familiar.
- Magazine file boxes. [Essential for: Organizing notebooks and folders]. They’re a gorgeous way to stack notebooks and folders! I highly recommend. I was forever guilty of just laying books down on top of one another and then losing things amidst the stack! Having them all standing up where you can see each binding is so helpful. Plus, it keeps everything clean, organized, and in good shape. I have this one and lovelovelove!
- Resource binder. [Essential for: Organizing resources and important printables]. I started one of these around my junior year of college, and it was so handy dandy. I kept coming across really useful, interesting resources on everything from blogging to marketing, from launching an online course to growing an Instagram following. Because of that, I wanted to be able to have certain resources tangible and in one place for easy access, since my desktop is already full of folders and favorites galore. I picked up a 2 inch binder and now I print out the most relevant tidbits to include in my binder – which is categorized, of course.
What are your own essential organization tools for college and/or entrepreneurship?
P.S. Another must-have organization tool for college students and entrepreneurs alike? The right tech. While I’m a PC gal through and through, who could possibly pass up a gorgeous gold MacBook? Happp hump day!