5.07.2013

Keeping Organized

I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute to a couple of OT Month pieces. One was on Abby's awesome pediatric OT blog and the other was for AOTA. In these, I shared some of the organizational tips that I use to try to keep life together. Here is a more elaborate and visual demonstration of some of the best.

My dad teaches high school seniors and as part of his unit on college prep always advises that the kids keep 2 calendars- one for the whole semester and another for the coming 4 weeks. I found this magnetic dry erase calendar at Sam's Club back in 2003 (?) for about $8 and have been using it religiously ever since. I only have to update a week at a time and get to use all the different color markers for coordination. It lives on the fridge and helps keep everything straight.

My high-tech method for the calendar is using Google Calendar, which I'm sure comes as no surprise to anyone who knows of my Google product allegiance. I love that it's integrated with my phone and google account on the cloud. Also, it's easy for my husband and I to add things to each other's calendars so we stay updated, and I can add additional calendars (WVU sports!) so I have other events automatically on my schedule. 

I love these accordion files for organizing all my different papers. I have 3 that I use for different collections of stuff. This one is labeled to keep track of my continuing education for the past five years (required in case of audit in my state), my various licenses, and papers needed for my early intervention renewals.

I got this finance organizer at the dollar store to keep track of my receipts so that I actually had them come tax time. I didn't write in the amounts because I want to reuse it and keep track of all my finances on a computer spreadsheet. You could also use a small coupon file for this same purpose.


In a super-useful variation of the accordion file, this one is broken down for all the days of the month. Especially beneficial when I was in the school system last year as I could place several copies of the relevant evaluation, a prior written notice, and a blank sheet for notes clipped together on the day for the IEP meeting. When I would get an email asking me to screen a child, I could throw the screening papers in the folder on the day I would next be in the school. Very handy when you have multiple sites to coordinate. I got this idea from the book Getting Things Done, which is the only productivity book that I've ever read and very useful.

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Speaking of Getting Things Done, one of my favorite apps is Due Today which is based on the methods outlined in the book. You can check out my interview with Stephanie Yamkovenko on the AOTA website to see all the reasons I love this app (one of only a mere handful that I have actually paid for). On the shot, you can see that I have different priority colors, due dates, overarching projects (lots to do in the "baby" category, obvs), contexts, etc. I don't have any notes for these but they are helpful too. Subtasks also help to break up the large pieces and figure out what to do first- you can see that I need to get a cream colored shirt but only if the coral skirt fits. 

Do you have any great methods to stay organized that work well for your business or family? Feel free to share in the comments!

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