Tips and Tricks for Staying Organized – Day to Day and Email Organization

Tips and Tricks for Staying Organized – Day to Day and Email Organization – by Libby Lee

As a woman who has worked 2-4 jobs simultaneously her entire life, I have had to come up with ways to keep organized in order to stay on track and not let items get lost in the shuffle. I’m always on the go and I find myself continuously shifting and adjusting. Additionally working remotely has me relying on self-motivation, attention to detail, and a variety of tools.  Below are some tips and tricks that are a must-do for me.

  • Invest in a good planner. There are so many planner options out there you might have to shop around to find the one that suits your style the best.  I personally like one that fits in my purse so that I can always have it with me. Additionally, when I think about a planner purchase, I consider a planner large enough and with ample space to make long notes, create lists, mark when bills are due or paid, have a month at a glance calendar. I never leave home without my planner…it is my lifeline!
  • Find a notebook where you can make lists, take notes from calls, jot down ideas for presentations, assignments, or anything you don’t want to forget. A notebook in addition to a planner is so helpful! Having a notebook with you will always ensure that you can go back and cross things off when they are completed. This is a great way to allow you to double and triple-check that you accomplished everything you needed to. I barely remember to comb my hair or eat on busy days! Life gets busy so you may think you will remember but if 2 weeks go by will you know what was asked of you or if you completed it?  I know for sure I would have no idea.  
  • Prioritize your day/week/month. I like to sit down each week and look at my agenda. I see what I have coming up the next week and I organize what I am going to “Try” to accomplish on what day. Of course, this will always just be a plan of attack and won’t necessarily happen but there is always room for adjustment.  If you have your week written out there is less room for you to forget things and a greater chance of you getting more accomplished than if you don’t write anything down.  For me personally, motivation and feeling accomplished all come down to me planning my week and staying on top of things.

Emails are one of the most challenging things to keep on top of and keep organized.  Trust me I know – I have 5 email boxes that I currently have to maintain and it does become a challenging task.  Emails however are the most important part of most jobs so it is critical that you find a way to stay on top of a neverending email loop. Here are some tips that have helped me when it comes to email maintenance:

  1. Scan over ALL of your emails each morning and at the end of the day.  See what is in there so you know which one you want to tackle first.  This is very helpful if you get lots of emails each day.  You can go through and weed out all the ones that don’t need replies such as junk emails, calendar meeting invites, etc.
  2. Respond to ALL emails as a courtesy and acknowledgment that you have received the email and are either working on it or thanking the sender.  This is just an act of goodwill and helps maintain strong working connections.
  3. Once you have completed the email move them to well-organized folders.  These folders can be set up however it is easiest for you to keep track of them.  I personally have lots of folders set up in my accounts. I make them specific that way if I need to go back and look for an older email it’s easy to find. 
  4. Platforms like Gmail offer a snooze function.  It’s a great reminder to help keep you on track. I use the snooze function as a reminder to follow up on emails.  If you feel like you are drowning with so many incoming emails this snooze feature is perfect because snoozing the email to a time that convenient will bring items back to your attention when you want it to. 
  5. DO NOT let your inbox keep building to thousands of emails. This is unhelpful and I  consider it ineffectual. You easily find yourself falling behind, miss important emails and information, deadlines, invites, etc. For myself, I set a consistent goal of clearing my inbox to no more than 50 emails at a time.  After every email that I feel is adequately complete, I will either file, archive, or snooze until I’m satisfied that it’s fully complete. This system has helped me to stay current and more productive throughout my days! 
  6. Properly titled email subject lines are a lifesaver! Your subject line should be clearly titled. A well-titled email helps you and the receiver understand the purpose of the email and it’s easier to search and file.

I follow all the above-mentioned tips and use all of the above resources and tools in my daily life. The efficient organization keeps my stress level down, allows for happier work collaboration/relationships, and looks good to bosses and peers.  Show people you are invested and proud of what you do! If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to email or call me! Libby at Libby@metropolismanagement.com