10 Ways to Get Organized and Remember Those Important Tasks

Woman with post-it note

It’s one thing to get organized – it’s completely another to stay that way.

My goal to get organized and keep it that way has become an ongoing, evolving hobby of sorts. My biggest challenge is always the details: Getting the most important tasks done, while making sure the little things don’t pile to a point where hyperventilating is inevitable. Leaving yourself reminders for the little things will help declutter your mind in a big way.

Here are 10 ways to get organized and remember to stop forgetting:

1. Make a note immediately.
You have your trusty to-do list to get you through the day – but what about things that happen during the day you now need to account for? Get into the habit of making a note about it immediately: Whether you need to get in touch with a client, grab something for your daughter after work, or set up an appointment, making a note right away will help you keep up with those little surprises.

2. Setup triggers.
One of the biggest lifesavers for me has been setting up triggers: Completing one action that triggers me to complete the next one, etc. It’s a great way to build habits, get organized, and stop forgetting what you want to accomplish that day. For example, waking up could be your trigger to wash your face, which could become a trigger to brush your teeth. Changing out of your pajamas could become your trigger to change into your yoga gear (and you know, yoga it up). Connect each action to another, and you’ll be less likely to forget what you hope to achieve.

3. Utilize your phone’s lock screen.
How often do you check your phone to see what time it is? Use your phone’s lock screen as a place to stash reminders. For example, if you keep forgetting something your son’s nagging you for, take a picture of his “I wish I was adopted” face and make it your lock screen. (I do this, except with my cat. If animals could win Oscars…)

4. Distribute wipe-off markers.
Keep a wipe-off marker in your bathroom, kitchen – anywhere you wouldn’t normally find paper but might need to write something down. I actually use Crayola markers to satisfy my inner six-year-old.

5. Set an alarm.
If you need to leave your home or office at a certain time, return a phone call or attempt to beat traffic, setting an alarm is one of the best ways to remain on task and punctual.

6. Set a reminder.
Setup reminders on your cell phone for ongoing things you either want to make a habit of, or are constantly forgetting – especially if there’s a deadline attached (like garbage day).

7. Do it now.
If it’s something that takes ten minutes or less and is appropriate to do right away, get it off your mind immediately so you can get back to your day.

8. Automate it.
Automate your bill payments. Make your next eye appointment while you’re still at the doctor’s office. For pesky-yet-ongoing home maintenance, beauty or food purchases, have an online store like Amazon automatically ship your items when you’d normally run out. My mind feels so empty now that I barely have any shopping to keep track of (wait, that came out wrong).

9. Use Memstash.
What if you’re at work and need to make a personal note? Say hello to Memstash. Simply highlight a block of text in your browser, and Memstash will send you an e-mail or SMS several times throughout the week, helping you commit it to memory.

10. Download your mind.
While you’ve been focusing on the larger, more important tasks, your mind eventually swarms with the little details of your life you’ve been having to put off: Getting that stain off your fave sweater, replacing the coffee mug your cat broke, grabbing a coffee with your BFF. Take ten to get organized and write down every “little thing” that’s been stressing you out – you’ll finally be able to put them on the books and breathe out.

What are your favorite ways to get organized (and stay organized)?

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Image: Amy

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).