You've got big plans this year. You're going to take it up a notch at the office. You're going to volunteer. You're going to start your own business. I hear you, sister! That's why Fridays in January will be devoted to jump starting 2015 here on TBF. We're going to talk to a lot of incredible local women about tips and tricks for kicking our goals into high gear - and of course, I'd love to hear from you about your plans and ideas!
Before you launch on any new endeavor, there is a very important first step: getting organized. We can all relate to that overwhelming list of "to-do's" - we've got to get a handle on what we are doing now if we want to add something new to the mix! There are many tools, both electronic and hard-copy, to help get coordinated. I keep my day-to-day calendar (meetings, phone calls, appointments, etc...) in my Outlook/iPhone so I can instantly make sure I am where I need to be. But, being a visual person, I like plotting out my projects on paper. I keep a hard copy editorial calendar for TBF, along with meeting notes and action items. I'm a big fan of the AT-A-GLANCE Collection, which offers a number of chic, clever products perfect for the stylish professional (check out this planner and wall calendar, complete with handy pockets). If you like their products, AT-A-GLANCE is currently offering TBF readers free shipping on their Collection products through this link (and check out details on their Instagram contest below)!
I talked to a number of busy, stylish women here in Boston about how they stay organized. From your closet, to your corporate gig, to personal projects, they have some great suggestions:
Courtney Barry, Merchandising Brand Manager at Shoebuy
(and high heel enthusiast!)
Start off the year with a functional and clean closet. While we can't all have the dream closet of a Real Housewife, we can at least try to emulate it! Displaying your items is key. We all are rushed in the morning and grab whatever is easiest. Use velvet/non-slip hangers, especially for stacking pants (a bigger space saver). Ikea is also your friend and cubes are perfect to separate out socks/hosiery/bras. Be kind to your shoes as well – these are so often strewn on the floor of a closet, which can damage your footwear. Cubbies for your shoes are a great way to keep them healthy and also make for easy display and decision-making when putting together an outfit. Once you’re organized you can easily pair together fresh looks and “shop” from your own closet.
Rachael Byers, Founder and Designer of Rachael Ryen Jewelry
(and planning a destination wedding!)
Create a “project plan” in Microsoft Excel with columns for the task, due dates, contact information, and what the status of the task is. Blame it on my corporate days, but this really works. It also allows you to visualize how much you’re taking on which helps you to delegate to anyone around you willing to help! Make sure to pad the due dates as nothing ever goes as planned (even when you have a plan)!
Renata Certo-Ware, Copywriter at Rue La La
(and Fashion Anthropologist at scorpiondisco.com!)
I’ve always been a list lady – as a kid, I had extensive fashion lists, including page and style numbers of things I wanted, organized by catalog: Delia’s (Ed. Note: R.I.P. Delia's), Alloy, J. Crew… you get the idea. Now, I keep my blog, freelance assignments, and personal life organized by keeping a running "to do" list on my phone, organized by day (and sometimes by time of day: morning, afternoon, evening), for about a week out. Nothing gives me as much satisfaction as deleting a completed project from the list!
For work [Rue La La], my organization tools are hard-copied. I have a manila folder for “Current Projects” and “Upcoming Projects”, plus one for “Completed Projects” that I constantly reference. Then, I use a weekly planner to write assignment due dates by day. Enter: The satisfaction of ticking something off, in pen. That’s one thing I don’t get from my digital "to do" list! (Ed Note: The theory is that your brain gets a dopamine spike when you accomplish a project, and crossing it off your list may be the "trigger" for that spike. Anybody know the actual studies / science on this?)
Jamie Kohn, Senior Copywriter / Brand Strategist
(and a mom!)
I keep it together by planning ahead - but taking things one day at a time. I live for my iPhone notes and calendar and would be lost if I didn’t have both at my fingertips night and day. The last thing I do every night is check my calendar for the following day and make sure I’ve given myself time to get from one place to the next. I always work in a few hours to spend with my energetic 7 year old, and at least an hour for myself to take a nice, long, super fast walk. As a working, single mom, my sanity just about depends on it!
Michele Moore Duhen, Senior Account Manager with a global PR agency
(and BARREtoned instructor!)
I am one of those people who will easily double book myself, so I live by my Outlook calendar. I literally schedule every appointment, meeting, call, event, and birthday on my work email. It syncs with my iPhone and sends me reminders for everything. It's an easy way to stay on top of what I'm doing and where I need to be.
Ashley Waters, Senior Account Executive at PAN Communications
(and planning a wedding, from 350 miles away!)
Only tackle one thing at a time. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed if you think of all the dozens and dozens of things still on your "to do" list, and you will be so worked up and stressed that you won’t actually get anything done. Instead just focus on the one item you are working on in the moment, and don’t think about anything else until it’s completed. Whether that’s writing a press release, finding a photographer, or just doing laundry! You can only do one thing at a time anyway, so you may as well do it right, focus on it completely, then cross it off your list and move onto the next item.
Feeling ready to get organized? Get free shipping on AT-A-GLANCE collection items here. In addition, check out the AT-A-GLANCE instagram contest for a chance to win a $100 visa gift card and over $200 in AT-A-GLANCE Collection products. Simply post your "New Year look" - the outfits that represents your 2015 style on your personal Instagram and tag #myAAG and #entry by January 31, 2015*!
Be sure to check out the other posts in TBF's Jump Start 2015 series:
Up Your Game at the Office
Start Your Own Business