VIRGINIA LUCAS HART

5 Things That Will Help You Get Organized

advice, books, organizationVirginia HartComment

I was in Staples the other day and witnessed a flurry of back-to-school shopping that put the biggest smile on my face. I even helped a girl choose which pens to purchase during a moment of indecision. (If you follow me on Snapchat and witnessed my awkward spiel on the best pens, you know I'm a huge nerd on the topic.) Although I'm no longer in school, this time of year will always represent an opportunity for a fresh start. In order to take advantage of a new beginning, however, I believe we must set aside time to get things in order, adjust any habits that need adjusting, and actually press the reset button instead of waiting for it to reset automatically -- it won't. I derive a sense of contentment and peace from feeling organized, and I've learned that having and using the right tools to facilitate the process is very important.

Below are five organizational tools that I've either been using for a while or to which I've been recently introduced ↓

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1. If there's one thing we learned from Carrie Bradshaw - ya know, aside from the importance of girlfriends and cute shoes - it's to back up our computers. I use this external hard-drive and try and back up once every two weeks, sometimes more. I keep all files for clients for one year (sometimes longer for friends and family) and then I get rid of anything that I don't think I'll use again. I've also started using Dropbox to save and share a lot of things. I really love that it syncs with Carousel which backs up the photos on my phone. When you know that important files are both saved and easily accessible, it makes life a lot easier. (image via)

2. Part of my crazy method in feeling organized is mapping out a plan, and getting things transferred from my head to paper. Jumbo post-its are my jam for this. I use them for to-do lists, scratch pads for calligraphy, to sketch out ideas, and to write / draw freely to clear my head. I'm all about the neon, too. (images via)

3. I know I've mentioned this before, but Meg Biram's GSD (get shit done) notepad collection is incredibly helpful to break down your list into actionable items, fill out a calendar the best way for you (so many options out there are cluttered with quotes and other nonsense) whether that's divvying up times of day, individual people in your fam, or even planning meals. And I use her focus post-its when I need to prioritize three main things I want to accomplish in a day which is helpful when I'm feeling particularly scattered. (image via)

4. I spent a few days with my cousins recently which was such a treat. One of them commutes from his fraternity house at Stanford to code at a tech company in San Francisco. (#smartcookie) Although I'm somewhat tech averse with my affinity for all things paper, I definitely still rely on my phone and online calendar for certain tasks and reminders. So when I asked him what apps I needed, he told me about Trello. I love that I can easily drag things from one column to another, based on their stage of completion (seeing things on the "done" list is so gratifying!), and that I can share the lists with others for easy project management. It's kind of similar to Wunderlist, which I've mentioned in the past, so I'm in the process of figuring out which one I like the most. (image via)

5. If you're going to take any of my advice, please let it be to READ THIS BOOK. I started implementing the KonMari method this past weekend and I know this is cheesy to say, given the title and all, but it's already changing my life. There's a reason millions of copies have sold! Although I was a little peeved that "stationery" was misspelled three times in the book (c'mon, editors!), this is my must-read suggestion for the remaining weeks of summer if you haven't already done so. Mom, I mailed you my copy this morning ;) (image via)