Back-to-School Organization Entrepreneur Style

By Patti Minglin

If you’re like me, the beginning of a new school year feels like New Year’s Day—it’s a time when all of our notebooks are clear, our pencils are sharp and our possibilities are endless.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep that feeling all year long?  But, just like our kids, when our schedules get busy and our task lists get long, we have the tendency to get off course—and those clear notebooks are suddenly cluttered with notes, those sharp pencils get dull and the endless possibilities turn into endless challenges.

Here are some of my tips for keeping things organized and productive all year long:

Share Your Calendars:  I have 3 children, a husband and a virtual work team.  That’s a lot of schedules to keep organized which is why I suggest you move to an electronic calendar system that allows you to share with others.  There are numerous options out there—CoziHatchedIt and even Google Calendar.  Find one that works for you and share with your teams.  This way, they can add their own events and appointments and can keep track of your availability.

Make A List:  Once a week, take a few moments to sit down and look at what tasks need to be completed for the following week.  For me, this has become my Sunday afternoon ritual—a quick look at the week’s calendar and a mind dump of all the tasks needed to be done in order for the week to be a success.  I then put dates on each task and assign tasks to others if needed.  This allows me to start every Monday with a clear list of what needs to be accomplished that week, who is responsible for doing it and when I can anticipate it being completed.

Manage Your Social Media:  While social media is a great personal and professional tool, you should not be spending the majority of your time managing your networks.  Carve out a specific time of day where you will update statuses, check on feeds and post images—no more than 15 minutes should be needed, but if you feel you need more, spread the time out throughout the entire day (i.e. morning, noon and end of day).  Managing multiple social media accounts for your clients?  Begin using a social media management tool such as Hootsuite where you can schedule posts and follow multiple accounts from one screen.

Color Code Your Folders:  Buy multiple colors of folders and use one color for specific areas of your work/personal life.  For example, all of my clients have blue folders, my internal work projects (financials, company marketing, etc.) are all purple, my family is red and my volunteer work lives in yellow.  So, even if my desk is a mess, I can quickly find a folder just by knowing what area of my life I need.

What tips do you have for staying organized?


pattimAbout the Author
Patti Minglin is a sales and marketing expert with substantial experience in marketing to women and marketing to moms. She is a product of the publishing industry having spent more than 17 years in senior executive positions in circulation, advertising, marketing and new product development.  Patti served as the Associate Publisher- Advertising/Marketing for Chicago Parent and launched Go Girl Communications, a sales and marketing consultancy, in the spring of 2011.