I often feel like a walking paradox because I thrive on spontaneity, but the thing that really keeps me going is organization. It’s not even that I simply love being organized (which I do), but I need to be organized. As a creative person, there’s a lot going on in this head of mine, and organization is the glue that keeps it all together.
After many years of browsing endlessly through Staples and Indigo, I’ve developed a pretty good system for myself. If you’re looking for some inspiration to spice up your current method of organization, or you desperately need some order into your life, here are five organizational tools I love using as a creative.
5 organizational tools I love using as a creative
ban.do day planner
Though most of my organizational tools are app based, I cannot and will not ever let go of my Ban.do planner. It is the perfect agenda, with ample room to write out your day-to-day tasks, extra pages at the start of each month to plan out your goals, and stickers to bring extra sunshine to your organization. I have never loved a planner more, and it’s always a happy day when I get to buy my next one.
While I’m trying to bring more of my many to-do lists to the digital side (cleaning out my to-do list notebooks has been an alarming feat), I still love the feeling of writing down what’s ahead for my day.
evernote + penultimate
What I love about Penultimate is that it’s iPad specific and works with the Apple pencil; I wanted the ease of handwriting with the neatness and organization of using a digital note taking system. The app allows you create different folders (I have mine separated by work tasks and creative projects), and comes with a number of digital templates for your notes, like a checklist or lined “paper.”
Penultimate connects to Evernote, which is highly regarded as the ultimate note-keeping app. I don’t use Evernote everyday, but it comes in handy when I need to search through my notes quickly. The cool thing is that even if you handwrite your notes, Evernote can recognize and search through your handwriting.
While you can only use Penultimate with an iPad, you can access those notes via the Evernote app on your phone, or in a web browser. I can jot down notes from a meeting, search for it in Evernote, and email the link to a colleague.
iphone notes app
I don’t know why I just recently (ish) started using the full potential of my iPhone Notes app, but it’s a game changer. I’ve created folders for literally everything in my life – Coffee On Sunday, my photography business, workouts, travel planning, recipes, home projects. Anything.
What I love about the Notes app is that you can pull different types of media into a note. For example, when I’m preparing for a client photoshoot, I’ll create a note where I’ll jot down any ideas I have, include inspiration photos, and make note of any other details I need to remember. Then, I can email that note to my client. It’s easy to keep everything in one place, and I can access it in a browser or on my laptop, too.
smugmug for photos
Not to sound dramatic, but SmugMug has changed my life. As a photographer, it’s the best tool I’ve used to share galleries with my clients. But even in my personal life, I use this app every single day. The interface is user friendly, it’s easy to organize photos by folder, and there’s even a feature where you can automatically back up your phone photos. You can download photos individually on your phone or computer, or export them into a zip file.
One of my favourite ways to use SmugMug is by creating galleries. There are some beautiful layout options to choose from. You can simply send a shareable link to family and friends so they can browse and download the photos too (I save my parent’s travel photos for them and then just send them the link!) You can set a password to view the gallery if you’re worried about privacy.
There is a cost to SmugMug, but it is well under $100 a year for unlimited storage.
You might be “yeah, duh”-ing me right now, but I think Google Drive is totally worth mentioning. I seriously fell in love with it when I was wedding planning and wanted to keep scans, spreadsheets, inspo photos, and contracts in one place, be able to share it with Alex, and have it handy at any given moment. I use it to organize my goals for COS, my photography projects, and anything else I can think of since it’s literally a catch-all for every kind of document. It’s also where I do all my brainstorming; I love opening up a new Google slide and laying out all my ideas and inspiration photos.
There you have it – the five organizational tools I love using as a creative! These keep me organized and give me peace of mind, too. What do you use to stay organized day-to-day?
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