(Over) Organizing My Life - Resources (part 1)
A couple years ago, I posted a post giving tips on how to more easily manage your time (https://www.theplanetuniverse.com/post/time-management-in-high-school-part-1
, https://www.theplanetuniverse.com/post/time-management-part-2). I wanted to expand on those posts by describing how I effectively use my time, minimize stress and maximize my well-being all at the same time. This is a series of blog posts and you can find the other parts of this series in the related posts below.
Disclaimer - What works for me won't work for everyone, so I suggest you ONLY take my methods as a source of inspiration.
In the past, I've experimented with all sorts of organizational tools, but often ended up using a plethora of resources to organize all my thoughts and notes. This method of organization was very inefficient and often just led to me feeling more stressed out and trying to keep everything in my head.
Today I'll be describing three of my favorite organizational/productivity products: Notion, a bullet journal, and Google Calendar/Calendar/Woven.
Notion is a completely customizable website and app that you can use for practically anything you want. It comes ready with templates for most things you would need (ex- a to-do list, habit tracker, class notes, etc). I personally love a template on https://linktr.ee/rijhaaa and I use the Neutral Notion Template for everything I need. After adding it to my Notion, I edited it to fit my personal needs.
Using Notion is like using an online version of a bullet journal: you have complete flexibility as to how you wish to format or use everything. It also has a very simple and clear interface, and not many restrictions as to what you can do with it.
I use the app on both my computer and phone, but the website, called notion.so, is available as well and works the same as the app does.
Before discovering Notion, I used a bullet journal to organize my thoughts, calendar, to-do lists, references, and practically everything. The biggest pro of a bullet journal is that you can do whatever you want with it and organize it in any way that works best for you (something not possible with a pre-designed planner).
As a relatively creative person, I loved organizing and designing the pages to fit my needs. It was a very effective and satisfying method of organizing my life.
However, there do exist some aspects to using a bullet journal that I didn't like as much. One being that the use of the pen made everything a little more stressful for me, since if I accidentally messed it up, there was no going back. Also I would have to carry around the journal and the required stationary everywhere I go in order to write down my thoughts before forgetting and update my pages as I finished tasks. These, along with other hinderances, made me a little lazy with following through with the bullet journal at times, making it ineffective. This is just a personal experience though, and it won't be the same experience for everyone, so I still recommend trying it.
When choosing a bullet journal, there aren't many restrictions and practically anything works as one. My only recommendation would be to try to get a dotted one if possible, as I found a dotted journal easier to use and design with.
For stationary, you can choose whatever you wish to use, whether this means highlighters, colored pencils, markers, brush pens, washi tape, etc. The only stationary that I'd say would be the most useful would be a good black pen. Although a pencil would work, it wouldn't be as effective as a pen would, and wouldn't last as long in the journal to look back on later as a pen would.
Although both Notion and a bullet journal would work as a calendar, I've found it much easier to use another calendar app along with it to organize my schedule. With several meetings everyday, it's difficult to completely rely on a journal to remind me of my meetings. Apps like Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Woven are great apps that are fast and easy to add events to your schedule, and that remind you of these events as well so you rarely have to stress about forgetting to go to something.
In addition, you can add your google calendar to Notion using a widget through indify.co.
It's incredibly difficult and stressful to try to keep everything about your life in your head. Using these resources can make it much easier to keep up with tasks, events, and time-management on a day to day basis.