When I was 10, the #1 gift at the top of my Christmas list was a fucking planner—if that’s not type A, I honestly don’t know what is. For as long as I can remember, I would make my chores a game—like how fast can I empty the dishwasher—and in doing that I discovered many many shortcuts and various ways to streamline things. Streamlining tasks and finding ways to increase my productivity became a lifestyle for me.
I also know now that I’m a Virgo SN so I really should try to let go of some of these perfectionism vibes and embrace more of that Pisces NN flowy and intuitive vibe—but it’s also not my comfort zone. The watery vibes are the vibes I need to learn how to integrate, so if you’re heavy on that water sign energy, please let me know so I can learn.
This post is all about sharing what I’ve learned regarding productivity and streamlining processes for those of you who would like to learn to integrate more of that earth energy. If you’re a type A, productivity buff you’re also going to thoroughly enjoy this.
Maybe not everything. I personally really enjoy having one single calendar for ALL my meetings—anything that affects my TIME will go in here. That includes appointments both personal and business, school early release days and days off, my continuing education credit webinars, kids extracurriculars, family events—anything that requires me to be at a certain place at a certain time.
Some people like to have 2 different calendars for business and personal but for me it’s more about time vs a specific task bucket. If I have meetings on two different calendars, that means I’d have to look in two different spots. That ain’t gonna work.
Why I love it: Google Calendar is so versatile! I can have it on my phone—I can even have it as a little widget so I can see at a glance what my commitments are for the day, the week, and the month… and the year (cue Friend’s theme song… I’ll be thereee for youuuuuuu). It’s also great for recording things on the go. If ever I’m at the doc or at the grocery store or at a family event—come to think of it, if I’m anywhere, I always have access to view my schedule and create new events. I also love that I can have separate calendars. That gives the vibe of two separate calendars for personal and business since I can turn them off and on with endless views, but it’s still all in one place if ever I need to see it all together!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some paper planning, but for me personally, I need serious flexibility and accessibility. Paper planning just doesn’t give me portability and flexibility—and it’s more time consuming so eventually (begrudgingly, no less) I had to make the switch and honestly, it’s amazing.
When you’re in the middle of something or away from your main planner, and you’re reminded of something that needs to get done, you need a way for that task to get onto your main to do list/planner. When items like this stay in our busy minds, we easily forget them. But when we have a process for getting these to dos into an inbox, they get scheduled and they get done.
There are a few different types of inboxes that I personally use. One is for general tasks that need to get done in the next few days, week, month, or even year ( …. I’ll be theeerreee.. ok I’ll stop)—these to go into my main inbox. And then I have tasks that are time sensitive—these go into a reminders app so I can be reminded at the time it needs to get done.
Why I love them: ClickUp is the ultimate task management game changer. I used to be an avid paper planner and then an avid ipad digital-paper planner (just look at my old planner IG here), but then I found ClickUp. This app is amazing because of its flexibility. I can also send tasks via email which is great for portability—one of my non-negotiables when it comes to planning. I check my ClickUp inbox on all workdays and I schedule them out so this is a perfect way for me to get all my tasks in one inbox to be sorted later. They’re out of my mind and into my ‘planner’ so I can stop trying to remember tasks and instead focus on being more present—the task has been taken care of.
I love Apple Reminders for its simplicity. When there’s a task that needs to be completed at a certain time or before the next workday when I’ll look at my ClickUp inbox, it goes in my reminders app. I often use this app for recurring items as well. I don’t have any fancy lists (though I used to and I can’t promise that I won’t in the future), it just serves as a simple reminder. Any time sensitive task goes into my reminders so that I won’t forget. Again, the task is taken care of and I can be more present in whatever it was that I was doing before the task entered my mind.
Similar to the reason why I prefer to have one calendar, I also strongly believe in having one place for all to dos—as in, all of them. Tasks you’ll do today, this week, this month, and even this yeeeaarrrr (I’ll be there forrr youuuuu lol). I love this method because even the big projects or the tasks that I want to do “someday” have somewhere to go. I review them and look at them often since it’s in my main ‘inbox’ that I review daily. Having one to-do list for both personal tasks and business tasks means that everything gets scheduled and everything gets done.
Why I love it: One of the cool things about Clickup is the tags that you can make. I have a column that has timing categories: This week, This month, This quarter, This year, and Someday. I review these categories periodically to move them around and schedule them as needed. I also love Clickup because I can have different views—so, I have my “inbox” where I have tasks that need to be scheduled, and these tasks are segregated by timeline (this week/month/year). But then so as not to clutter my actual what-needs-to-get-done-today tasks, I also have a “today” view where I can easily at a glance see my priorities for the day as well as a 7 day view where I can see and move around the tasks for the upcoming week.
This is a game changer. If you’re the head manager of all the things in the house, you need help. A honey-do list, while it may sound somewhat old fashioned, is quite literally the best way to get help without having to nag. No one likes nagging—the nagger is annoyed because they are having to ask for help on the same task repeatedly, and the naggie is annoyed because they’re tired of being asked to do the same thing repeatedly with increasing demand/frustration in the tone. If you have a partner or even a child who has implemented some of these on-the-go planning methods for tasks (see #2), then this isn’t really required. But if you manage a household where you find yourself nagging, this is an excellent solution.
Why I love it: The fridge: a spot where we stand refilling our water, staring into space; where we stop by multiple times a day. Putting a few things I’d like help with around the house during the week on this list for my husband to do when he gets a chance works for both of us—and that’s ultimately the key.
How often do you make goals, plans, and intentions just to never look at them again?! Sure you might make a vision board or add them on your phone lock screen—but essentially, those are somewhat public places and our goals, desires, and affirmations are often private. What I love to do is add my current annual and monthly goals/intentions on my to do list!
Why I love them: We already know why I love Clickup! Essentially, I’ve created tasks that list out my annual and monthly goals and priorities. These tasks recur daily so that I can review them and acknowledge them. As far as Google Keep, I love it for affirmations. I love that it reminds me on my phone but it’s not as persistent as an Apple reminder. I can easily read them and move on and they don’t get mixed in with my actual reminders that I need to pay very close attention to since they essentially are my time sensitive tasks.
Ever had a moment where you’re like oh, let me grab that—aaaaand I have no idea where ‘that’ is. Whether it’s a good idea you had, quick notes you took on a phone call, or any other references, having them all in one spot is so extremely helpful. This is especially helpful if you’re an online business owner. We have so many links, so many ideas, so much content to post. This place can serve as a catch-all location for all of these things.
Why I love it: Notion is like Clickup—unlimited flexibility to set things up in the way that makes the most sense to you. I just moved all of my apple notes, my content brain dump, my reference links, notes from courses that I sell, my ideas, literally any reference into Notion—in fact, I wrote all my recent blog posts inside of Notion before moving them onto my website. I absolutely love how customizable it is and how creative people get with the use of emojis and colors. It’s next level aesthetically pleasing on top of being portable, accessible, and flexible—all of my planning requirements. I definitely want to record a walkthrough of my Notion and throw it on YouTube because I was personally inspired by so many people on YouTube who shared their layouts that I’d love to do the same!
Journaling is so therapeutic for us in so many ways. It can help us with improving our mindset and achieving our goals, it helps when we’re upset, and it helps us when we’re grateful. Journaling can also be a great memory-keeping tool.
As of right now I believe this app only works with apple products—eek. But I’m sure there’s something comparable for PC/Androids.
Why I love it: It’s easy and accessible. Whether I’m in a bad mood and need to vent to basically no one really, it’s a great outlet to get my feelings out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped myself from venting on social media or sending a long rant-y text because I was able to process my frustration through journaling on the spot vs saying something I don’t mean or blowing up an issue on social media. Don’t get me wrong, I still do plenty of vent sessions on social, I just get to be more intentional and discerning as to what I’m venting about. I also created templates and every day I use this app to set my intentions, reaffirm my current affirmations, and document what I accomplished that day as well as what I was grateful for. Recently, I started doing a monthly memory entry on this app where I can write about fun times during the month & even add pictures and videos. I also really love that you can make separate journals. I have a journal for “my life” which is random free journaling as I feel called, a journal for “Tarot/Astrology” where I document my tarot card pulls as well as any new moon/full moon or astrological season intentions and reviews. I used to have a journal for content brain dumps but I moved that to Notion. I just ultimately love the customizable flexibility and of course, the portability of this app. I can use it on all my devices and it syncs beautifully. Can’t beat a good sync.
At the end of the day, when you’re trying to streamline your life, the key pieces are going to be flexibility because we know everything is always changing, and accessibility/ease of use because, like, why make things difficult. When processes become too complex, we become overwhelmed and it’s harder to sustain the process so eventually, we just stop. And in the mean time, we feel chaos.
I always aim to live by balance—integrating both the yin and the yang, the feminine and the masculine. We need the systems and structures but we also need those systems to be flexible, adaptable, and ultimately feel good.