This is a guest post written by the fabulous educator + blogger, Daniela Kent from trenddteacher.com. You can find her on IG and Twitter @trenddteacher and learn more about her at the end of this post.
I’m a teacher.
I get EXCITED about school supplies. Like, really excited.
Journals, gel pens, clips, post-it notes, folders-- new, clean notebooks, flat and without any blemishes, just waiting for a pen to grace the pages with color and productivity…. Those seemingly inconsequential items usher in the promise of organized goal setting and dream catching. My heart is racing just thinking about it all.
As a teacher and a mother of two little boys (5 and almost 2 years), I am up at 4 a.m. daily and truly don’t stop until about 11:30 p.m. I jam pack my days and try to live a full life. In order to do all that I need to do, I have to pull it all together with a system that works for me. That system consists of technology and you guessed it: school supplies!
I have a deep love for technology, but nothing beats a good to-do list, written by hand. There’s something about writing it down that really cements the task in your mind. You need to do this. And that. Don’t forget! And oh, the feeling of accomplishment that you get when crossing tasks off the list! Sometimes, if I don’t feel productive by 10 a.m., I write “wake up” only to cross it off. It gives me the momentum I need to proceed [down the list].
My system is a hybrid of digital and analog methods of organization. First, I have a journal where in which I write my daily tasks and doodles. Following very traditional bullet journaling methods, I write tasks and cross them off. I like to draw quadrants that are designated for the tasks I need to carry out in those respective locations: school, home, exercise, and fun/ideas/planning ahead.
I also rely heavily on Google and my Apple iPhone: Google Keep, Calendar, Classroom, Gmail, Tasks, regularly save my life. This is where my alarms and reminders come into play. As a Google certified educator, I love the customization that Google allows—much like my bullet journals, I can color code and delete tasks when done. As a parent, I don’t think I could survive without a “family” calendar that goes to my phone, my husband’s phone, as well as my mom’s phone (she watches our boys during the day).
Each Sunday, I look at the week ahead: what do I have going on? Do I need additional childcare? Are meals planned and prepped? How can I best delegate pickup/drop-offs with my husband? I need that mental preparation to give me visibility of the week. After that visual, I begin to mark my bullet journal (affectionately, “bujo”) with all weekdays and their pre-scheduled tasks. That way, if things go sideways, and they often do, you know exactly where you will have to shuffle your time to allow for adjustment.
Ben Franklin’s adage “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” certainly rings true in my life, especially with all that I have going on. What are your favorite strategies for organization? I’d love to hear them.
All the best,