Which one of these people are you:
Person number one: You ask them where the remote control is, they point at a pair of stockings on the kitchen countertop- the remote is under the stockings. What?! You ask them for cash to tip the pizza guy, they grab a few dollars from beneath the cushions of the couch they are sitting on. If you are one of those people, good for you. I love you. I have nothing against you. We should totally hang out. But we cannot, should not, ever, ever, live together.
Person number two: They either always know, or wish they always knew, where their keys are, every time they need them. They are either organized (in the conventional sense), or try to be organized, and they would like to stay organized. I belong to this group. If you think you are one of us, read on. We will see how, for people like us, every space and step of the practice of organization is tied to each other. Then I will show you how I am using a collaboration platform (which you also might be using at work!) to help organize my life. But first: Everything starts with the bed.
Tell me about your bed
I had this wonderful roommate. A really sweet person, smart, with a great sense of humour. We got along well, I loved our time together, even though I have forgotten most of the memories together. Hey, it was years ago! There is one thing I never forget, though. I still remember how she was surprised at, and impressed by, my making my bed every morning, even when I was rushing to work or school. I did not even have an actual bed back then (again, it was years ago!), but I had a futon- you know, one of those sofas that turn into a bed. Turning it back into a sofa every morning meant not only pushing the furniture back and replacing it closer to the wall. It also meant to put the bed cover, the duvet, the pillows and all, back where they belonged. They belonged, that is, until the night came and I made the sofa into a bed again.
See, to me, making the bed was NOT ONLY about the bed itself. It was about how I chose to start my day. It was like one of the Life Changing Habits you can do every day. These acts are easy, make you feel good, and once they become habits, you don’t even have to make a choice of doing them. It’s like unconscious mind and your still sleepy body hold hands, and do these things automatically, without bothering your conscious mind which is making other plans for the day.
When I organize things, things are not overwhelming anymore. I can focus on what really matters. When everything has their little place out of my vision, what should actually occupy my mind can take the center stage. Ah, life is good.
What about your desk?
Is your desk organized? If not, would you want it to be? When you do tidy things up
(thing. noun. plural noun: things. the clutter, the paper clips, the tax documents,
the cereal bowl from the morning,
the coffee cup from the day before,
the to-do list,
two books you have been meaning to have a look at, during your breaks (we all know you’re scrolling through Instagram or online shopping, during your breaks),
pens and pencils, and sharpeners (even though it has been ages since you last used a pencil).
and so on, and so forth)
When you tidy up all those things, how long does your desk stay organized? Do you think you would be more productive, and/or calmer, and/or happier, and/or more professional-looking (which, in turn, might help bring more productivity and calm and even more happiness), if you did have an organized desk? I do not mean a boring, bureaucracy-boring, lifeless kind of organized. But something like this, maybe?
Or it can be more minimalistic, but still not boring!
Just recently, we did a Spring Cleaning- the whole thing: Declutter, donations, more declutter (meaning, throwing away hundreds of old papers. I don’t even know how they got in our flat in the first place!), and the actual cleaning. Then I burnt sage, lit a candle, meditated…Ah, gosh, I cannot even tell you how relieving the whole thing was. Not only the aftermath, but even the excruciating act of cleaning was enough to start a sense of accomplishment. A beginning. The spring, you know? I organized the bathroom, the spice cabinet, the baking cabinet…I mean, we do not have the largest kitchen in the world, so I empathize with those who cannot build their dream kitchen yet, but hang in there! We’ll get there! Besides, a tiny but organized cabinet is better than a tiny and disorganized one!
Now to the tool I am bragging about
I am pretty sure most of you have heard or even used Trello. Trello is a web-based project management application. I have read that people use it for real estate management, software project management, web design, even school bulletin boards, and lesson planning. But I had not heard one person in my own network to even mention this platform when I discovered it. And once I discovered it, my goodness. It made organization much easier, and when everything is in their place, nothing is overwhelming.
Here is how I use Trello
These are most of my “boards”.
I have here not only work but also life in general. As you would expect, when you click on the boards, you see a more detailed picture. What you see once you click on a blog are lists. So here is what I have been organizing developments about the blog:
As you see, I have categorized the lists as To Do, In progress, Completed and so on. Once I start working on a post which was originally listed under the “To Do” Category, I move that “Card” to the “In Progress” List. When I publish that post, I then transfer it to the “Completed” List. You get to name the Blogs, the Lists, the Cards. What is more, you can add pictures, explanations, even checklists to these Cards. Let me give you a few examples.
So these are some of my recipes:
And then let’s click on my husband’s favourite ice cream (which I titled “Dave’s first love” . Ha.)
If this was a “to do” list, I could add a due date; if it involved ingredients to get from the grocery store, I would add a checklist and so on.
Another example, this time with an image attached.
If you follow me on Instagram, especially my stories, you will know that I have a thing for crystals (another blog post?). And I like to keep a list (but of course!) of the crystals I buy/receive; their characteristics, where I have got hem from and so on.
I like to add their picture just in case I get confused between which stone or crystal had purchased from where. You never know when you might need what information! As you can see, one of my crystals, Citrine, was purchased from New Moon Beginnings (I highly recommend). Besides being gorgeous, this crystal helps balance emotions and hormones; it helps during changes, and bring playfulness and confidence to one’s life.
So yes, this is pretty much it. Let me know if you have used Trello, and how! But more importantly, do let me know if you can recommend our readers another app/software/platform we can use to organize, list and be merry!