Home - September 26, 2016

Home Office Reveal + How I Stay Organized

brightontheday home office reveal, minted gallery wall, white lacquer parsons desk, brighton keller office, chic bright and white office, how to organize your life, organization tips and habits to being more productive

After redecorating my bedroom a few months ago, I couldn’t wait to get started on decorating the office! I knew I wanted a gallery wall in the office since I didn’t end up doing one in my new bedroom (I had one in my old bedroom) As such, I went to town on figuring out what we wanted the vibe to be for the gallery wall. In the past, when creating gallery walls, I’ve sourced all the artwork & designs myself and then framed them all individually. But to be honest, it’s always been such a hassle, so I wanted something easier and more streamlined this time – more of a one-stop-shop if you will.

Anyway, Lisel (my assistant/lifesaver/photographer/BFF/all-the-things) suggest I check out Minted because she’d used them to create her wedding invitations and saw that they also specialized in framing and she’d even heard of a few people who had created entire gallery walls (from start to finish) through their website and raved about how easy it all was. And after checking it out and spending a few hours carousing the website, I was hooked! And within 2 days, I had my entire gallery walls planned out and ordered; it was seriously the easiest thing ever! And so here we have it – my gallery wall reveal :)

brightontheday home office reveal gallery wall with minted
brightontheday home office, desk space inspiration, minted gallery wall, white west elm parsons desk, chanel coffee table book, marble laptop cover
brightontheday home office reveal gallery wall with minted
brightontheday home office reveal gallery wall with minted

Minted ‘Going For A Swim’ Print // Minted ‘Flora II’ Print // Minted ‘Free To Bee Me’ Print // Minted ‘Deserai’ Print // Minted ‘Sum Total’ Art // Minted ‘Pink Agave’ Print // Minted ‘Rosé S’il Vous Plaît

How I Stay Organized + Apps To Organize Your Life

The struggle to stay organized is real, isn’t it?! I’m very much a planner  (well, most of the time) and try to be super organized,but a lot of the time I find myself all over the place. Or I sit down to get organized and then end up coming up with 20 new blog post ideas, or finding articles to read, cat videos to watch…basically sidetracked. I have noticed a strong pull to stay more organized as I get older and as my big picture goals for this blog come into play, and am committed to keep the organization improving. It feels so good to be organized, and I always find that spending time to get everything together is very much worth it.

Whether it’s work or my personal life, I’ve found that simplifying is key to staying organized. It’s nearly impossible to stay on top of things when you have too much stuff or too much to do. I try to go through my desk, closet, car, etc. every couple weeks to simply declutter then organize. This quick practice makes life SO much easier but I’m dealing with less stuff.

I Use Lots of Technology (aka APPS) to Stay Organized

First up, there are TONS of amazing apps out there to help you stay organized and maximize your productivity. I’m a major app junkee and am always looking to see what’s new and what all the technies are buzzin’ about each month. Obviously, the apps you use (and the ones that’ll actually help) are going to be very dependent on your specific job and lifestyle.

There are a few apps that I’m super loyal to and and am constantly shifting between throughout my work day. I thought it might be fun to name a few and how/why I they help me stay organized.

  • Google Drive – I use Google docs for a lot of the brain dumping when it comes to blogging. I love that you can have a calendar – this is where my editorial calendar is – along side tabs for notes, ideas, whatever. I try(!) to plan out my editorial calendar a month at a time, then edit where I need to, but this is something I’m really trying to improve still. Taking time at the beginning of each month to plan out your career calendar is a HUGE help.
  • IFFT (If This, Then That)  – if you haven’t discovered this app yet, you’re missing out in so many ways for both your personal life AND work life y’all. This app is a game changer. It’s hard to explain since it’s capabilities are ENDLESS but basically it’s a way for different applications you use to talk to eachother. Their slog is “put the internet to work for you” and that’s exactly what it is. So if you’re not using this one, you’ve got to go check it out and see how it can help you in your personal life AND at work.
  • EVERNOTE – I don’t use this one as often I should, but I know that a lot of people rant and rave about this one. I use it from time to time whenever I don’t want to use Google Docs for whatever reason (I don’t have Microsoft Office FYI and I don’t like Apple’s word processor). I like it has it’s own word processing and tools and that I’m able to use it offline (since most all my work is stored in the drive, it’s nice to use Evernote while traveling or when I don’t know if I’ll have internet access).
  • ASANA – I’m a HUGE fan of this one and use it every single day. It took me awhile to find a project management system that worked best for me. In fact, it took me about a year; I tried out SO MANY of these types of applications before figuring out what worked best for me. To name a few, I tried out OmniTask, Teux Deux, Trello, Wunderlist, and Todo-ist before I found Asana and fell in love. I will say though, it takes a bit of time to make one of these systems work for you, but once you figure it out, it’s a game changer!
  • TOGGL – I love using this self-timer app to track how much time I’m spending on certain tasks – it helps to know that I’m ‘on the clock’ and keeps me from getting distracted. Also, having the information on the backend (how long things actually take me) helps for time management and expectations for future projects.
  • SOOO many more! When it comes to blogging specifically (rather than work in general), I feel like I have a whole other group of apps I use to stay organized in that arena of life (Asana & Drive being at the very top of that list!), so let me know if you want me to dedicate a post to that because it for sure deserves it’s own blog post
brightontheday home office reveal, minted gallery wall, white lacquer parsons desk, brighton keller office, chic bright and white office, how to organize your life, organization tips and habits to being more productive

marble macbook sticker cover // gold zebra trey // Topshop black off the shoulder top (wearing size US2) // Chanel coffee table book

Organization Tips & Practices to Keep Me On Task

In addition to using the above tools/apps, there are a few practices I’ve learned to implement that help me stay productive, efficient, and on task. Working from home – yet alone for yourself – can make staying focused difficult. But these tips and habits have helped me stay on task – hopefully they’ll prove helpful for you to get more done and better organize your life too :)

  • Accountability – It may sound simple and a little obvious, but accountability has been big for me. Being held accountable – either by follow up emails, reminders, a contract, self-imposed deadlines, etc. – is sometimes the only way I actually get things done. My team often needs to know what we’re posting that week, what I need to shoot—whatever—so finding someone that can hold you accountable is key. I’m definitely more likely to stay on top of things when I know someone is relying on me, so I like to set dates for when I’ll get back to people.
  • Time-Chunking – I also like to dedicate days or hours during the day to certain work tasks so I can dedicate my attention to one or two things rather than having 784 tabs open in my brain (even though I still do that too sometimes lol). So if I need to shoot outfits, I love to get in that mode and shoot a few looks in one day. The next day I might be in a full planning mode, or writing, or finances, etc. I find that keeping my brain in one mode makes it a lot easier to focus and preserve energy. And as hard as it is, I really try and single task. Finishing one task before the other keeps me MUCH more organized than starting and stopping all over the place. I use this mentality for my personal life too! PS: I love this article on time chunking if you want to read more about how it helps your productivity.
  • 5 minute rule: I learned this rule a while back and it pretty much changed the way I live. You’re supposed to spend 5 minutes at the end of every day (work or personal) to do a quick clean up. Put the stuff on your desk away, take the laundry out of the washer, put the things that piled up on the bed away. It’s especially helpful for bed so that you don’t wake up to tasks right way.
  • Having a designated place for items – keys, phone, etc. – is crucial. We all know how much time we’ve wasted looking for our stuff, so this really helps. I also keep a big basket by my bedroom door – or front door – which is where I put everything that needs to be take out. I grab the basket when I head to my car to run errands or out to the trash, whatever. Also, when I have a designated place for everything, it’s easier to keep things tidy. I try to put things back immediately after I finish using it and I’ve found that if the thing has a “home”, I’m more likely to put it back. If I try something on, I’ll hang it back up. I don’t always do it, but things are always more tidy when I do!
  • Prioritize at the beginning of each day – I ask myself at the very least what MUST I get done today and is there anyone relying on me? I try to commit to doing those things first so that I’m not scrambling at the last minute to get it done and then not able to do my best. Thinking about the things I MUST get done each day also helps me keep a clear perspective to focus on the most important things – especially when other people are waiting on me. I’d say this is one of my biggest struggles though because for some reason, everything seems equally important when I think of what I need to get done, so prioritizing is really difficult for me. But since I’ve been more intentional about doing it, it’s felt so good to meet people’s expectations and actually deliver on my commitments and obligations in a timely manner.
brightontheday home office reveal gallery wall with minted

Outfit Details: TOP: Topshop black off the shoulder top (wearing size US2) // DENIM: Articles of Society (fit TTS) // SHOES: c/o Sam Edelman Helaine Heel in Black // EARRINGS: c/o Baublebar ‘Flamenco’ Drops in Periwinkle // NAILS: c/o Essie in “Waltz” // Desk Details: West Elm Parsons Desk // Acrylic Ghost Chair // Acrylic Stapler // Gold Scissors // Diptyque Candle

At the end of the day, for me it’s all about planning and taking the time to stay organized. Without that, none of the tips or apps do much good. I like to plan PLANNING into days here and there so that I can fully assess and organize.

What are your favorite ways to stay organized?