Time to Get Organized!

7:09 AM

timetogetorganized - www.lifewiththepea.com

I have pretty much always been a queen (ok, maybe just a princess) of organization. My demotion has more to do with the fact that I am perpetually surrounded by men who like to a.) touch things, and b.) move things from their "place" - whether it be at work, at home, or wherever (sorry guys); it always seems that my tidiness and neatness take a back seat to the habits of others, but it's high time I get myself back on the good end of this habit!

Growing up my OCD saw no limits. My notebooks were meticulously covered in brown paper or clear contact to prevent creases, nicks, or smudges; my clothing was neatly and uniformly folded and separated by color and/or style; and heaven forbid something happened to one of my marble notebooks that caused it to become not-so-neat as I would literally buy a new copybook and rewrite everything inside to keep the flow neat, clean, and flawless. My mother was pretty much cursed with the same neurotic personality so either I, too, inherited it or simply years of do and re-do brainwashed me like a brief foray in the military. I have become so consumed with neatness that I have recently found myself actually making more of a mess: I will try to tackle a project and literally become overburdened by it that I give up, leaving what I started with in an absolute mess (my yarn basket is a perfect example). THUS MY NEED BOOKS AND BINDERS AND PENS...and an occasional Excel Sheet.

Time to Get Organized: www.lifewiththepea.com

I decided to start the month off by taking a look at the methods of organization that really work for me. I have tried a number of calendar programs and alarms and alerts but I find that good old fashioned pen and paper just feel so much better to me. There are a unlimited possibilities when you use your imagination as opposed to conforming to something prescribed by Google or some other company online. I'm forced to use a data management program at work and although I love how it puts everything for a case in one tidy and easily accessible place, I still find myself functioning better with to do lists and post it notes when it comes to my actual work. After reading some other blogger's posts on organization, I decided that what I needed was a new day planner. I headed out to my local Paper Source shop (which is like a little piece of quiet, sophisticated, organized heaven) in search for a pretty little planner that I could use for keeping track of some orders, appointments, and even my blog posts. Just entering the shop created an overwhelming urge to touch and smell everything. (Come on, paper smells amazing!) The planners were 30% off, and, Ermahgerd! Bicycles! Of, course I gravitated to the one with the pretty little bikes on it, and even though it wasn't quite the width I was aiming for (because my little post it notes now need to be trimmed to fit), it was cute and the price was right.

Time to Get Organized: www.lifewiththepea.com

The idea with the post it actually came from my research from other bloggers and I am finding it to be a good idea when it comes to brainstorming because you can move them around if you need to, making the commitment of tattooing it into your journal a lot less intimidating, especially for people like me with "neatness" issues. I like being able to jot down my ideas for blog and deciding when I want to publish them but not being committed to it. If the rest of life we only that simple...

I also checked out Target this weekend and found so many adorable note books and a mini calendar that I want to incorporate into my routine...AND THEY WERE ONLY $1!!! I love their little dollar section, bout you have to get there quick because all the good stuff goes fast.

In addition to my attempts to organize my time and checklists, I have also been trying to keep track of my expenses when it comes to my shop as well as the blog. It's always great seeing money come in, but you don't really realize how much is being spent just funding the materials, shipping, and other little expenses like PayPal fees, hosting fees for your blog, Flickr subscriptions, and the such. For instance, I didn't remember that my Flickr membership was about to come out and then, BOOM!, another $25 got eaten from my monthly profits in January, making it a little less profitable than I had originally intended.

I had used Microsoft Excel pretty much everyday at my old job to help monitor and track the utility costs and usages for each line and each account for all 17 buildings (which meant a lot of blocks, lines, and pretty charts comparing usage trends and costs), so I knew that creating a pretty little excel chart to monitor my costs and expenses would be a piece of cake (mmmm, cake). Some people like to use Quickbooks instead, but I like that customization I can make with excel, such as adding photos of my listings and hyperlinking my receipts into the speadsheet. I am also able to create a "sheet" for each month and monitor all of my Etsy, custom order, blog information, and costs for the month on each sheet and add a formula to compare months and monitor annual profit and loss. Neato mosquito! Right?

Time to Get Organized: www.lifewiththepea.com

For anyone not familiar with Excel, please do not be intimidated! YouTube has some amazing tutorials for the faint of heart and I guarantee that within a few tries at managing a sheet you can have formulas and basic customization down! Also, because Excel is on my work computer, my laptop, AND can be stored and easily edited in my Google Docs, it makes it a whole lot easier to add an order or cost in on the go. There are also free versions of Excel online if your computer did not come with it already installed and, as I said, Google Docs has their own online spreadsheet that you can use to create or modify sheets.

I still need to find a more foolproof way to monitor and keep track of my custom orders NOT through Etsy or some other web based mean, so until then I guess I'll stick with my Google Keep notes.

What kind of methods do you prefer to stay organized?

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