Organization is something I feel like I’m always trying to obtain, especially as a creative. I’m one of those people who definitely has the appearance of being organized (the color-coded planner, the fact that I own a planner, etc), but as a creative, I’m also prone to creative streaks where organization isn’t as important. But it is important.
Organization is so important for a variety of reasons, but I truly believe it’s a key factor in being successful in being a creative entrepreneur.
Between keeping track of things for my day job, notes on blog posts, and planning a ten book series, I need organization to keep my sanity. It doesn’t happen in my head, I know that. So today, I want to talk about why you need tools to stay organized, and a few of my favorites.
Especially when you have multiple creative projects at once, you need to able to stay organized to keep it all straight. Think about how much information you may have to have available at any point. Information from your day job, information from your side-hustling gig. It’s just not possible.
Don’t get discouraged, it’s totally okay! But the ability to find the information you need easily is why organization is key to success. Another key part of being organized is knowing where to look – I’ve personally started turning more and more toward digital organization because of search features. Over the next few weeks, I’ll break down more of the processes of how I use each tool (maybe not Evernote since I talk about that so much, though)/
The main tool I’m using for organizing is, of course, Evernote. I pay for premium, and premium comes with some really impressive search features. In the past few months, I’ve taken the time to restructure my Evernote account, leaning away from notebooks and using more tags. My scanner (the Doxie Go Wi-Fi) also imports into Evernote.
I can have notes, images, scans from handwritten notes, everything I need is in there. The phone app makes it so easy to add notes on the go. Just yesterday, when I was a Half-Priced Books (greatest bookstore ever, ya’ll), I had an idea for a blog post. Had I waited until I managed to get home, I would have never remembered that idea.
Another tool I consistently use is Todoist. I also pay for premium for this because of mobile notifications. I’ve learned that if I don’t have a due date on my tasks, they’ll probably be forgotten, which defeats the point of being organized, right?
As I continue to look for a job, I’m using Trello boards to track my job applications and save them from multiple jobs sites.
The last major tool that I use is Dropbox. Earlier this year, I bought a new MacBook Pro (my other one was old enough to have a CD drive), but I also gave up half the storage space on my new one. With as many files as I receive and download from work, I knew I needed a place to dump them all. So I upgraded to premium. The Dropbox folder on my computer is basically my documents folder, but I love that I can access all the folders and files anywhere – including my phone. Selective sync means I can keep the files I need on my computer, but the ones I don’t can just chill out in the cloud.
It doesn’t matter how you organize (you organize your way), but in order to be successful at life and side-hustling, you need to have some form of organization.
How do you organize your digital files as a creative?