Keeping Track Of...
I admit, I love organization. I love finding, improving, adjusting to more optimal systems of structures and systems. My former roommates have all experienced my furniture-moving to find a better layout, which incidentally didn't always work for us (... but then also translated to more excitement because then I could try new configurations). But that anecdote for me, is the perfect analogy with organization: find the system with which you can feel at home. Here are mine, but that doesn't mean they work for everyone. And if you have ones that work for you: please share in the comments~
DATES & FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES
I am an avid fan of GoogleCalendar. It lets me color-code my different types of events, which has helped me separate my work-home life. I can easily move plans around, invite others, and events adjust for timezones (which I can also easily disable depending). But I'm actually an avid fan of GoogleCalendar for a completely different reason: it helps me plan for the future. Not the one-week- or one-month-out in the future, but the two-to-three-years-out future.
As a doctoral student, I signed up to be a part of many listservs and joined a lot of organizations. As a result, I have had an influx of information come my way: programs to apply to, fellowships to consider, publication calls, etc. Most of them, especially in my early years of the program, were not relevant. But I needed to keep them somewhere because eventually, they would be. So, when these resources and opportunities floated my way, I would set a calendar event and set it for the following year with the event title: "Check Back On..." Then, as the year would go by, I'd notice these dates from past-me and keep setting reminders for future-me too.
For website story time, that's actually part of the reason why I made the Due Dates page (which I revamped and updated earlier today). Keeping track of dates there, has helped me with my own timelines and things to consider. And it's also helped with one of my downsides with GoogleCalendar. Because I have so many different reminders, searching for events is incredibly difficult, which hampers my abilities to share the wealth of knowledge that comes my way (which is the other part of why I made the Due Dates page).
You can skip this if you've already read my posts about bullet journaling. As a recap, you can learn about my system here and check out my templates here. And more importantly, you can read how I adopted a different way to check off my tasks with project plans and reflections on creating a focused/prioritized daily task list. If you want to create one, here's a post to get you started. And to re-emphasize: I'm able to stay organized on big projects because I make a project plan (like a birds-eye view) and then I break down tasks into smaller tasks. I put the milestone tasks (the ones on my project plan) into my calendar. I will inevitably wind up moving task deadlines back, but even having them on my calendar and on my radar helps me move forward.
RESOURCES AND ARTICLES
Despite my organizational skills, I still find myself with tons of folders and bookmarked websites, physical and electronic post-it notes. And sometimes the chaos is fine. I admittedly, procrasti-organize to avoid writing: so some things need to left alone so I can get thru the day. That being said: technology is your friend and for the love of everything, use citation tracker systems. (Full disclosure: I don't. I wish I already had been but I'll likely make the transition this upcoming year).
For articles and links, I have a ton of folders (both on my computer and on my browser) that are based on content interests. I won't go in depth here (but feel free to contact if you're interested). Instead, I wanted to share some other pivotal folders that have helped me stay organized:
In the past, I've used platforms like Trello to keep track of resources and articles. But... between using these folders/bookmarks and posting on this site (which is my other platform to stay organized), I realized I was creating more work. This is again, a lesson is letting systems work for you. However, Trello is phenomenal for team collaborations, so I imagine as I transition to faculty life, I might have a collaborative Trello board with my students... who knows. That's the beauty of it all: there's always potential and freedom to try~
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This page includes tips, advice, and ideas put together by yours truly (hence the "me"). For more, check out "OUT-SOURCED" for curated resources that I find helpful, or scroll down for my WRITING BOOKSHELF. If you're looking for guides, check out TEMPLATES.
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