Tips For Staying More Organized in 2018

With a new year comes lots of new years resolutions and goals. Loose weight, go to the gym more, ditch the sugar, be on time….the list goes on. 

One of the most requested posts I got from you guys was all about time management and organization. In the new year, a lot of you are making it a priority to stay more structured, manage your time better and overall just live a more organized life. 

Now let me just start with, I’m no expert on this topic. Some days my life is hectic, I forget appointments, my posts don’t get up on time and my to-do list doesn’t get done…no one is perfect! But, I do have some great tips and tricks that have helped me multi-task running a full time blog, while working as a nurse at the hospital part time and supporting a team of over 50 stylish Stella & Dot ladies. (And yes, I know. I’m about to bring a baby into that mix! Call me crazy!)
Anyways, I thought I would share my top five tips and what has worked for me on here!
Let’s get started!

1.) Create A Space
This was a game changer for me. Getting a desk where I could organize and keep all of my important papers, brand contracts and reports was amazing. If I have a piece of paper that’s important, I file it in my desk and I always know where it is. Creating a space also gives you more motivation to sit down and actually work. Now, not everyone can have a desk, I get that. (Ours is currently under our stairs nook because the nursery took over our office, but hey, it works!) Don’t have room for a desk? Create a space somewhere else in your house where all of your important stuff is. That way, you aren’t constantly putting things everywhere throughout your house, losing them and spending time searching for them.

2.) Make To-Do Lists
How would I ever get anything done without my to-do lists?! Now, there are those people that can remember EVERYTHING (jealous!) and can create a list in their head…I am not one of those people. If I need to get something done, I HAVE to write it down to remind myself or I will completely forget. Since my phone is almost always with me, I’m constantly using the “note” app on my iphone throughout the day updating it with what needs to be done, thoughts or ideas that come to my head for the blog, things I need for the grocery store, etc. If I write it down as soon as I think of it, it gets done.
I’m also a huge sticky note lover. At any given time, I’ll have 4-8 sticky notes all over my desk or in my planner with little tasks or things to remember. Hey, it works!

3.) Time Block
This is important. With all of the social media these days, you can easily spend over an hour “browsing Instagram or Facebook” doing absolutely nothing. Talk about wasting time. I really try my best to time block my day. For example, when I sit down to work for 2 hours in the morning, I dedicate 30 minutes to each task at hand, letting me get at least four important things done right off the bat in my day. My family laughed at me when I asked for this timer block for Christmas as my little brother’s response wast “why wouldn’t you just use the timer on your phone?!” Good point bro. BUT I love that this one just sits on my desk and you can set it for different time intervals. It’s totally helped me be more productive!

4.) Get A Planner
Couldn’t LIVE without this. I’ve tried to do a digital calendar but in the long run, I’m one of those gals that NEEDS a paper planner. Now, once again, this might not be for you. You might be able to keep everything planned out on your phone. I need to have a paper planner where I can write down tasks, to-dos and my schedule for each day. It really helps me stay more organized! I got one of these planners this year and really love it! It has some fun stickers in the front, a section on each page for notes and times out your day in time intervals. It’s also important to me that the planner can fit in most of my bags so that I can carry it with me! (The exact planner I got is this one here which is currently sold out online BUT I just saw it yesterday in my local Target so you might still be able to find one there).

5.) Plan Ahead
Planning ahead is KEY. I’ll take about 10 minutes every day to look at my schedule for the week and month, making sure I have everything in order. It really just helps me stay in the loop with my schedule and I’m able to look ahead to the next day and make a game plan. For example, at the end of the day on Wednesday, I’ll sit down for a minute and look over my to-do list for Thursday. That way, when I wake up on Thursday, I already have a sense of what needs to get done first and I lead a more productive and structured day.
If I don’t do that, I’ll find myself watching tv, scrolling the internet, doing chores, etc and then next thing I know, half of my day is gone. Planning ahead is key for a more productive day.

Now, these are just some things that have worked for me and I know that they aren’t going to work for everyone. Maybe you don’t have the space for a desk. Find another location, create a space somewhere else.
Maybe you need to get out of your house to work and get things done. That’s fine, just schedule it so that it actually gets done. Go to Starbucks every Tuesday from 10-noon. Make it a routine.
Maybe you have a new baby. Make a to-do list when they nap and as soon as they go down, start marking some chores and tasks off your list.

You get the point.
In the long run, you have to find what works for YOU.
It takes effort and time to be organized but once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier!

I would LOVE to hear any tips or tricks you have to stay organized! Leave me your wisdom below!

Thanks for stopping by & reading!

P.S. My laptop skin & phone case are both from CaseApp and you can get 20% off your online order with code “ASHDONIELLE20”



  1. Jennifer
    January 17, 2018 / 1:15 am

    I make a list the night before in my planner, so when I wake up the “guess work” of what I need to accomplish that day is done. It also helps me move things from day to day that I didn’t get finished. My planner sits on the console table by the coffee stand, so I can overview my plans while I wake up with my coffee!

    • Ashley
      January 17, 2018 / 6:08 am

      Yes! That's exactly what I do too and it's so helpful! Thanks for reading!

  2. Kari Sandquist
    January 17, 2018 / 1:36 am

    This was great! I’m with you on using a paper and pen for my planner and sticky notes! I find also meal planning helps my organization at night so we don’t come home and have to decide what we’re making. It always helps me feel better about going home at night 🙂

  3. Ashley
    January 17, 2018 / 6:09 am

    Heck yes….meal planning is the BEST! I feel the same way! <3

  4. Gina Van Loon
    January 20, 2018 / 8:53 pm

    I brought her Baby Book so I (or Brent!) could write down some of our first thoughts, saved the Newspaper headlines from the day, etc. I also brought my own pillow – this was nice because we ended up there for 3 nights…and lastly I brought dry shampoo (maybe I am high maintenance? 😉

    • Gina Van Loon
      January 21, 2018 / 12:03 am

      This definitely went on the wrong post!! LOL

  5. Gina Van Loon
    January 20, 2018 / 8:53 pm

    I brought her Baby Book so I (or Brent!) could write down some of our first thoughts, saved the Newspaper headlines from the day, etc. I also brought my own pillow – this was nice because we ended up there for 3 nights…and lastly I brought dry shampoo (maybe I am high maintenance? 😉

  6. Gina Van Loon
    January 20, 2018 / 8:55 pm

    I brought her baby book so we could write down some first thoughts, etc. I also brought my own pillow which worked out because we were there for 3 nights! Lastly, I brought dry shampoo…but maybe I am crazy? 😉

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