If there’s one thing to be said about this industry, it’s that public relations is not a profession for an unorganized person (or the fainthearted, but perhaps that’s deserving of its own blog post). Handling multiple client accounts, adhering to project deadlines and balancing a personal life can make it difficult to keep things from falling through the cracks for most people, but not for this team of professional multitaskers. Below are the tips and tricks we use to stay organized — and keep our sanity — on a daily basis.
1. Planners, or whatever “calendar” works best for you. Whether it’s your phone, iPad or an “old school” planner (which my amazing Erin Condren life planner has been often-called), use whatever calendar works best for you and, more importantly, use it religiously. Being able to visualize upcoming events and deadlines in advance allows you to plan ahead and not overschedule yourself.
2. Color-coding. Whether it’s using colored pens to note upcoming deadlines in a planner, highlighting action items in meeting notes, or using fun-colored sticky notes to mark sections in reports, color-coding is a great way to reference your flagged information more efficiently and improve productivity. After all, people remember 80 percent of the things they see and do.
Word to the wise: Don’t overdo it. The last thing you want is your meeting minutes or to-do list to look like an exploded bag of Skittles. Highlight and use color with intent; if you use these tools too frequently, the things worth noting won’t stick out among your grocery list and margin doodles.
3. To-do lists. Take a few minutes each morning to write a to-do list of the things you have to do for the day, and keep that list where you’ll see it as a constant reminder of what you need to accomplish. Making lists will help you prioritize projects, keep track of new and existing tasks, and ultimately manage your time better. We love our to-do lists so much that we’ll often add things we did that weren’t on our list, just so we can have the satisfaction of crossing them off!
So there you have it — three easy tips for staying organized. With all the free time you’ll have because of these tips, you may even have a chance to finally decorate your cubicle. What are some of your favorite organization tips? We’re always looking for new ideas!