10 Good Ways to Stay Organized

As a mom of 3 toddlers, living in a tiny house, trying to launch a writing career, I know how hard it can be to stay on top of things. I mean it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you need to do in your own life, not to mention everything that goes with promoting your story. Here are 10 good ways to stay organized and stay sane. While some of these are geared towards writers most are tips that can help anyone be productive and get things done.

Evidence of the Chaos My Kids Create

1. Set Up a Bullet Journal

My bullet journal is my life. I honestly can’t survive a day without it. I mean it. In my bullet journal I keep track of my writing career, my kids, my bills, and even my thoughts and inspirations.

My Bullet Journal ❤

If I’m doing R4R with someone I write it down in my bullet journal. When I get blog ideas I write them down in my bullet journal. It helps make sure I get things done.

I personally haven’t purchased the official “bullet journal”. I set mine up with an old journal I hadn’t used in years, but I do see the benefit in purchasing one if it’s something you can afford. You can get some tips on setting up your own bullet journal here.

2. Plan Your Day

My schedule is rigid. I plan everything I do. I know when I need to feed my kids, when I’m going to give each child some quality 1:1 time, and even when I’m going to finally sit down and write. I have my schedule written in my bullet journal so I can always go back and look at what I should be doing when.

Of course things don’t always go according to plan, but having a plan to begin with is a good place to start. Maybe you won’t get to everything you planned every day, but at least you know what you should be doing and when.

3. Plan Your Content

At the moment my focus is on Instagram, this blog, my Patreon account, and my story. I know what kind of content I’m going to post when and how I’m going to promote it.

I have some content planned out for weeks. Other things I just write as I go. Sometimes I might change what I’m doing on a particular day if I see a need in the community or my kids are being super cute. Be you! Your content schedule can be as detailed or bare bones as you want. My general outline is:

  • Monday –
    • Blog – Content Tips
    • Instagram – Fun Stuff
  • Tuesday
    • Blog – Writer Resources
    • Instagram – Writer Promotion
  • Wednesday
    • Blog – Characters
    • Instagram – Characters
  • Thursday
    • Blog – Digital Resources
    • Instagram – My Life
  • Friday
    • Blog – Story Reviews
    • Instagram – Share Reviews
    • Episode – Post new chapter (that’s right…I post my story before I promote it. Why? So I can plan time to have family and friends review it and check for errors before people run to it)
  • Saturday
    • Blog – Story Updates
    • Instagram – Sneak Peeks
    • Patreon – Story Updates
  • Sunday
    • Blog – DAY OFF
    • Instagram – Whatever I want

4. Set Deadlines and KEEP THEM

This is so important. When you’re working on your own it’s so easy to be like meh….not today. This is fine when you’re just getting started, but eventually you’re going to have people who are expecting more content. Don’t let them down! Think they don’t notice? True fans notice. I’m talking to you CallMeKevin….I saw you take a day off. I missed you.

Here are some example deadlines I use:

  1. Finish all R4Rs within 3 days
  2. Post to blog by 1pm
  3. Post new Chapters weekly

5. Organize Your Workspace

Did I mention I live in a tiny house? My workspace is in the living room. Sometimes that means listening to whatever my husband is playing on the TV. Sometimes that means having babies pulling on my dress and crying. Sometimes my 4 year old wants to tell me about something that probably never happened.

How do I stay sane? My workspace is set up in a way that I know where to find what I need when I need it. I know where my pens are (the giant coffee cup and yes I throw out ones that don’t work!) My bullet journal is always on my left open to the page that reminds me what I’m working on when little distractions come up. My phone and mouse chargers are behind my laptop. I know where to find what I need when I need it.

My Workspace

I also have my digital workspace organized. I have all my folders set up where I want them. When I download things I move them right away. I have my bookmarks bar enabled so I can get to the links I want without having to type. I have what I need where I need it.

6. Get Support

Not everyone in my life is in my corner when it comes to writing, but that’s okay. My mom and dad will probably never read my story. They might not even watch the movie if that ever happens (I can dream). However, I do have one person I KNOW I can count on…my sister. She previews my drafts, reads chapters, gives feedback, and encourages me to keep writing.

My husband is another source of support. He pesters me constantly by asking if I’ve posted, how many views I have, etc. Yeah, it’s annoying, but I love it. I want to have something new to share with him when he asks which pushes me to keep working hard.

7. Ask an AI for Help

Google is my best friend. He told me so. He lets me know when to put the kids to bed. He has a beautiful morning routine set up for me. He even helps put my kids to sleep! When the come out with a Google robot I’ll probably marry him (just kidding…don’t take me so seriously husband).

If you don’t have Google, use Siri or Alexa or whoever you have. Have them set timers and alarms for you. It’s so helpful when you lose track of time.

8. Use Apps

There are so many apps that you can use to help you out. I have a visual timer app so I can glance at my phone and know how much time is left until Google sends me to my next errand.

I use the free version of Later to schedule Instagram posts so I can write them when they’re on my mind, but share them when I want. If you use this link (or the image below) to sign up we both get 10 more free posts, but no pressure. It’s okay if you want to use other apps like Hootsuite instead (I get it the owl is cute).

Later

There are so many apps out there that can help you with inspiration, reminders, organization, and editing. A quick search can help you find the best apps to help you.

9. Have Fun

I plan my fun. Yeah that sounds lame. Really lame, but necessary. If I don’t plan time to watch Locke and Key with my husband or Toilet-Bound Hanako Kun with my niece there’s a good chance I’ll just work until I fall asleep at my desk.

With the world the way it is right now self care is SO important. You need to take care of yourself and part of that is taking some time to play mindless phone games, binge-watch shows, and hang out with important people. Even if you’re having fun writing it’s still good to take some time to walk away and do something else.

10. RELAX

I have a four year old. That means I had to watch the movie Encanto at least 12 times already. It’s definitely her fault….I had nothing to do with it…nope. I may or may not have connected on a deep level to Luisa’s song on a deep level. I work myself into the ground because I want to get everything done, but I can’t get everything done because I worked myself into the ground.

Everyone has their own way of relaxing: hiking, breathing, exercise, or hanging out at the mall. I won’t tell you what will work for you, but I will recommend that it be vastly different from what you do all day. If you’re a yoga instructor doing yoga may not be the best relaxation for you. If you spend all day in front of a screen, watching a movie is probably just going to overstimulate you. Find something that works for you.

I get the Calm app for free through Kaiser. I also use the free version of Abide. There’s also a great app called Nature Sounds that’s free on Google. When I feel the pressure going grip, grip, grip and it won’t let go I lock myself in my room, put on my headphones and turn on one of those apps. My husband won’t destroy our kids if I leave him alone with them for 15 minutes….probably.

Want more writing help? Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I share resources and tips. Use the form below to subscribe or follow me on Instagram @trinityunderdog.