Cathryn started us off with an overview of the apps she uses for her organization system: Kanbanchi and Habitica (formerly HabitRPG). I recently picked up Kanbanchi after reading Cathryn’s article. In the past, I’ve relied on a combination of Google Calendar, the To-Do List on my Mac products, and handwritten lists and post-it notes. But it still wasn’t quite right. I liked the interface of Kanbanchi, so I set it up, then let it sit untouched for a week. At some point, it occurred to me to structure it as a weekly planner to substitute my handwritten notes and lists, and it has been an excellent solution! With this set-up, as well as the easy to manipulate Kanbanchi interface, I can create a weekly to-do list that is easy to shuffle around according to whatever random things inevitably pop up during the week. I am not restricted to an hourly schedule like I was with a calendar, and I don’t have endless lists. This is the best part of using Kanbanchi as a weekly planner. I visually see what I do accomplish in a week. As I click the done box, I get to see, “Wow, I got all this done today in addition to my full-time job!”
The paralyzing anxiety that came from endless paper lists is significantly thwarted now, and that is a huge relief, because despite organization’s promises of productive and easier lives, organization can also be incredibly anxiety-inducing and only increase our sense of overwhelmedness. Catie explored this in her piece about “finding the balance between anxious and functional.” Her aim is for a “rough organizational system” as opposed to a “perfect system.” Katriel also emphasized the importance of finding a system that works for you in her article: “One Size Does Not Fit All: Choose Your Own Organization.” And there’s always embracing the disorder so long as you “don’t see it.”
Of course, sometimes what you need to motivate yourself (besides being a freelancer and lacking the structure of 9-5 workplace) is sparkly stickers. And cute office supplies are always a bonus. If WWAC had a physical office, you can bet it would be filled with fun and sparkly office supplies.
As you work out your own organization system or tweak your current system, keep in mind what you do accomplish. For example, I recently met up with my old roommate for drinks. We did the usual, checking in on one another’s lives. She was there when I started my current job and then when I started my position as the Lifestyle Editor for WWAC. She knows how much I care about my work. After I gave her an update, she told me how she admired my tenacity and determination. This was amazing affirmation from someone whose devotion to her own highly demanding professional life is astounding. I admire her for the exact same thing, yet she was amazed when I told her that. Just a reminder that we often notice and are impressed by the accomplishments of others (as we should be), but not ourselves.
One of the things I have been doing to help myself see what I do accomplish is a “rememberlutions jar.” I got the idea from a Buzzfeed article at the end of last year. The purpose of the rememberlutions jar is to write down your accomplishments and proudest moments on a small piece of paper or sticky note and jam it in your jar. At the end of the year, you look through your rememberlutions and instead of bemoaning the New Year’s Eve resolutions that you didn’t follow through with, you see what you did do, and you will be mightily impressed at what you did do. Half the time, I don’t even remember to fill the jar, but it is still significantly stuffed, and I look forward to going through it at the end of the year.
For next month, we don’t have a planned theme other than “Ermagersh, I love fall!” If you have anything you would like to see more of in the lifestyle section, please let us know in the comments section below!