Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Most Useful Tools For Getting Sh*t Done

Wednesday, December 07, 2016 with 4 comments
Girlxoxo, Estella's Revenge, & Traveling With T have teamed up to bring us the December blogger event, #AMonthOfFaves2016, in which daily writing prompts are provided (M-F) as a way for bloggers to share their experiences over the past year. It's a great way to re-cap our thoughts on 2016, so I decided to join in on the fun!

Today's prompt is all about the tools that help us the most when trying to get things done. Now, I'm not gonna lie - I do struggle with both maintaining focus (I'm very easily distracted) and procrastination, so I need all the help I can get. Here are a few things that have helped me stay organized:

Honestly, any life planner will probably do, but my planner of choice is the Erin Condren Life Planner, which I will never stop gushing about. I have NEVER found an electronic calendar that I've actually followed, so I need to have something tangible to look at. And yes, I track pretty much everything on it: bills, work deadlines, habits, time-of-the-month, etc.

Writing things down helps me commit things to memory better, and decorating does, too (plus, it's fun!). I've found that there have been certain events that I needed to recall by memory, and I was able to do so because I would remember "Oh! This happened during the week I decorated with a Frozen theme. I remember it happened on Friday because that's where I put the Elsa sticker!" Nerdy? Yes. But I love it, and it helps me (and trust me, I basically have the memory of a goldfish, so this has made a huge difference in my life).

Plus, I love the layout of the EC, and how high quality it is. I got the chance to meet Erin Condren and hear her speak at a convention earlier this year, and I really loved her, so I'm more than happy to continue supporting her business by buying her products - I feel the planners are well worth the $55+ price tag, since I use them daily. If the price is a bit high for you, however, there are some decent planners available at Target.

A couple other planners that I've tried out and like are the KitLife Planner and the Day Designer. I recommend that you research which planner and layout works best for you (there are a TON of helpful reviews to be found through Google), as I know that everyone's planning style is different.

Are there any book bloggers out there that don't use this site? I don't know where I'd be without Goodreads - even before I started blogging, I'd use it for everything. Not only can you track what books you've read or are currently reading, but you can also: 
  • update which page you're on (very useful if you're reading a long library book & have to return it before you can finish because it's on hold)
  • save your favorite quotes by either 'liking' them or adding them to the database
  • find out what your friends are reading
  • get curated recommendations based on your previous ratings of books (their recommendation system is the best I've ever seen - I constantly find amazing books through it)
...I could go on and on, but I'll just stop here. I LOVE Goodreads!

*Note if you're looking for a similar website to track TV shows & movies that you watch, then I recommend Trakt. Since I'll watch things on multiple platforms (TV, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.) it really helps to track everything on one site. I mostly use it for shows, so that I remember where I left off.

Ok, so I really only use this for work, but it has been an absolute life-saver for me. I love you you can sort things easily by creating rules to send things to specific folders you create. I also love that you can flag things and mark deadlines, as well as create color-coded categories to mark your emails under (some categories I use are: Print This, Follow-Up On This, Remember This, etc.). Plus, it's the best to navigate, and there are no ads whatsoever to deal with. I may have to start using this at home... 

A few other things that have saved me are Pilot G-2s, which are amazing pens that have never let me down; an endless supply of sticky notes, which I have with me everywhere in case I need to jot something down quickly; and theSkimm, which is a daily email that quickly highlights the news headlines for me in an easy-to-digest way, so that I stay informed despite my hectic schedule (it's free, but they have an amazing app called SkimmAhead that you can subscribe to for $2.99/month if you'd like to integrate their curated calendar of events with your iOS calendar, which I've found to be both fun and beneficial). 

So, are there any tools you'd recommend that I haven't mentioned? I'm always on the lookout for new things to try out, so please let me know in the comments if there's something you'd like to share!


  1. I totally forgot to mention Goodreads - but seriously, it's all I use to track my books.

    Tanya Patrice

  2. I love GR! Sometimes it's a little bit of a distraction, but it helps me get in the bookish mood when I'm unmotivated.

  3. I love this post! I was using my Happy Planner a lot in 2015 and looooved it! Then I had baby #2 at the end of '15 and got out of the habit of using it. I miss using it. It did help me remember things and feel more accomplished. I should try to carve out some time for it again. And yes, Goodreads is so important!

    1. Happy Planners are nice - plus, Michaels & Hobby Lobby now sell sticker books that are also by Create 365, and have tons of functional stickers to help jazz up your planning. I hope you get the chance to get back into it - there are some great Facebook planner groups out there that I recommend you try out, if so (just search "planner" or "happy planner" under FB groups, and I'm sure you'll find some!). Good luck!


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