By Anne B
Hey, hey Ramblers! Who’s getting excited and ready to go back to school?? Not me, that’s for sure. To be honest, I didn’t even look up when my Fall semester starts until today. Boy was I surprised when I found out that classes start the first week of September. I knew that classes would start in September, but I was really hoping it would be mid-September cause I can already tell it is going to be one hectic semester: from school to work at the lab to MCAT classes and medical school preparation to my other side jobs to anything that falls under the adulting umbrella, which let’s be honest, is everything. On top of that, I’ll also have to find the time and motivation to exercise, eat healthily, and maintain and create new relationships. Phew, I really don’t know how I’m going to make it through this semester. But, starting today, I’m going to spend the next two weeks GYSTing (get your shit together-ing) so that I can take on the rest of the year by the horns!
Now, the first thing I’m going to do (technically, I’ve been doing this for the past couple weeks) in order to set my head straight and keep it from going around in circles with all the hecticness, is a deep clean: mentally, physically, materially, and digitally.
Basically, I’m going to deep clean my apartment, get rid of any unnecessary items whether physical or digital, do some sort of detox for my body to clear out any bad juju, and do a little deep clean of anything bringing negativity into my life cause nobody ain’t got time for that.
A Binder for Adulting Stuff
Once I’m done decluttering all my papers, cards, and other miscellaneous items, I’m going to lay everything out Marie Kondo style and organize everything into the least amount of binders/folders/files possible.
I was watching Kalyn Nicholson’s back-to-GYST video the other day and loved her binder idea! So I grabbed a binder, some divider tabs, and some big paper envelopes (to make some DIY sustainable binder pouches) and recreated it. I have five tabs: documents, work/school, personal, taxes, and receipts. Documents is for any important documents like visas, contracts, social security, etc. Work/ school includes any documents that are school or work-related. Personal includes documents that don’t fit into the other tabs, little mementos like cards, tickets, other little souvenirs I can fit in a binder pouch, and so on. Taxes includes any documents/ receipts I will need for when I do my 2019 taxes. Finally, the receipts section includes any receipts I need to keep for warranty purposes, possible returns, expensive purchases, and so on.
I just started this binder last weekend, so honestly, the tabs might change as time goes on. I might add or remove some categories, or decide that a binder isn’t the right system for me. Some people prefer file folders, a filing cabinet, or accordion folders. If you want to do something like this, I recommend not labeling everything with Sharpie just yet. Instead, use something erasable or a sticky note until you know you want to keep the system you’ve created.
There’s already so many things I have to remember. If I had to remember all of my passwords and which ones go with which sites, I’d probably go crazy. Until now, I used 1Password and Google’s password manager to store my usernames and passwords. I recently just switched my passwords from 1Password to Dashlane, however, so that I can have access to my password list on my phone and computer for free. I still use Google’s password manager.
Versatile Productivity Apps
When you look up productivity apps, there are thousands and thousands of them. All of them promising to make you a more efficient, productive person. Currently, I’m one of those people that has all my schedules, notes, reminders, and lists spread out on several different apps and notebooks. I’ve been using two online calendars (Google for personal/ work reasons and Outlook for work), Keep to write lists and notes, Minimal ToDo for recurring reminders and other to-do items (for some reason my Keep app screws up any monthly recurring reminders I have), 5 e-mail accounts, a physical planner, a productivity notepad, and so much other stuff that I can’t remember (surprise, surprise). AKA my organization is a hot mess at the moment.
So, in the next two weeks, I really need to GYST and get all of my productivity-related items in as few platforms as possible. I just downloaded Evernote and Any.do. I’m really hoping that between these two apps, I’ll be able to organize my schedule, notes, digital documents, reminders, lists, and so on. Originally, I was just going to use Evernote, but then I realized it doesn’t do recurring reminders. In case you’re curious, I have recurring reminders for paying bills, skipping the month for JustFab, watering my plants, and changing filters or other maintenance things.
Planner + Note-Taker
In this digital age, I realize having a physical planner and note-taker isn’t completely necessary, but I just have a lot of trouble giving up my physical planner and note taker. I like being able to carry around a planner and jotting down things as my day goes on at work. I also like being able to see my whole month and week in physical form.
The note-taker could be part of your planner (especially if you have a bullet journal), but right now I just use a big notepad that can be filled out. It has multiple sections: today, tomorrow, eventually, exercise, caffeine, water, song of the day, and meal planner. I know this could be kind of wasteful if you don’t use up the whole page, so I usually use one page for multiple days, or until it is completely filled out with writing, and just change the date at the top.
This isn’t really a new, ingenious idea and you can find ideas for emergency or on-the-go pouches everywhere online. So, I’ll just say what’s in mine just in case there is something you haven’t seen before:
In order to have fewer items in general and to keep from switching your stuff from a work bag to a school bag to another kind of bag, I recommend finding your perfect bag that you can use for everything.
I just got rid of my work shoulder bag, my sports bag, and three other differently sized backpacks/ weekend bags. I replaced all of those with one backpack that I’m planning on using for work, school, kickboxing/ gym, weekend/ short trips, and so on. I still have a suitcase for long travels, my camera bag, and my Dakine backpack for skiing and hiking, but I definitely cleared some space by trading those other bags on Bunz. I could have gone one step further and gotten a more athletic backpack so that it would also replace my Dakine, but honestly, I wanted a stylish backpack that didn’t look like a hiking backpack. Plus, I love my Dakine and I wasn’t ready to let it go quite yet. I’ve only had my new backpack for a week, but I am loving it! I’ll try to write a review after I’ve had a chance to use it for everything I listed.
You don’t have to go to that extreme, but I definitely recommend having just a few, versatile bags. This will free up some time that otherwise would be spent on switching things from one bag to another. It will also reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something important, like your wallet or public transportation card, in your other bag. Totally not speaking from personal experience….
Anyways, you all can probably see that my life is a bit of a hectic mess at the moment and that I 150% need to GYST. So, I will bid you adieu and go get started right away because I don’t have much time left until classes start again.
To those starting school right now or next week, I wish you the best of luck!
Have an amazing semester and Ramble On!