Planners have to be organized. It’s a non-negotiable. There are vendors to juggle, payments to make, stakeholders to answer to. With nonstop schedules, it’s easy to lose control of organization and do what you have to do to get everything done. There’s no better time to hit the reset button and get organized. But how do you get organized? There are some amazing tricks and tools out there that can help you get organized and stay organized.
Put Everything in Your Calendar and Block of Time to WorkYour calendar is your lifeline. It not only tells you when you’re busy but others in the office. Put everything on your calendar. Color coding meetings based on event or topic can help. If it’s normal for you to be in meetings all day, every day, block some time off on your calendar to get work done. Even setting thirty minutes aside to send emails can help you stay on top of your task list.
Take All Notes in One PlaceIt’s easy to bounce from computer to notebook to phone, but if you want to ensure that you never lose the notes you take, then take them in one place. The best place for notes is somewhere that accessible wherever you are. If that’s a notes file on your phone or a doc that lives in the cloud, choose a place and stick to it. If you love handwritten notes, carry your notebook with you wherever you go.
Organize All of Your Folders – Email and FilesWhen you run multiple events throughout the year, file organization is key. Set up folders at the start of every event. By taking the time to set up a file structure, you’ll be able to find documents more quickly later on. As the event unfolds, don’t get lazy. Always, sort everything into the correct folders.
Set Reminders to Check-In on and Start ProjectsEmail is wonderful, even more so because it’s trackable, but it’s easy to lose track of a conversation when someone doesn’t reply. When you send out emails, always set a deadline for a response. Then, set a reminder for yourself to check-in on that date. That way, if the person you reached out to forgets to respond, you won’t realize too late that you never got a response.
Use A Fun ToolSometimes, organization can be fun and there are a lot of tools out there to help. First, do a little research and find a tool that helps you be the best you. There are tools for those that are more visual, detail focused, calendar oriented, and more.
Take Stock at the Beginning of Each WeekFirst thing on Monday or whatever day marks the first day of your week, take stock of what’s to come. Then, create a running list of to dos for the day, week, month and even year. Reassess your list at the start of each week. As a result, you'll be more focused.
Learn to Love ProcessWorking on your own, it’s easy to do things your way. But, as your team grows, the process will be your savior. If there is one way to do something, you’ll be able to make sure it was done and know that it was completed the correct way. When the process breaks down, the system falls apart. For that reason, update process as needed and make sure to train others on your process.
Wrap Up Projects When They EndThe final push at the end of a project can leave your documents saved to your desktop, emails flying around, and updates made but not saved to a shared file. Take time at the end of each project to wrap it up. Make sure everything is in the right folder and that you have any notes you might need if you do the project again next year.
It’s All About What Works for YouOrganization is personal. You don’t think the same way your coworkers do, and that’s a good thing! Think about how you like to organize information and create a system that works for you. Likewise, never be afraid to scrap the system if it isn’t working and start again. Every day is a new start.
There are other ways to stay organized when planning meetings and events. Check out our eBook for more information. You can also read our Event Planning Guide for the best event planning tips.