This article was co-authored by Alicia Oglesby and by wikiHow staff writer, Sophia Latorre. Alicia Oglesby is a Professional School Counselor and the Director of School and College Counseling at Bishop McNamara High School outside of Washington DC. With over ten years of experience in counseling, Alicia specializes in academic advising, social-emotional skills, and career counseling. Alicia holds a BS in Psychology from Howard University and a Master’s in Clinical Counseling and Applied Psychology from Chestnut Hill College. She also studied Race and Mental Health at Virginia Tech. Alicia holds Professional School Counseling Certifications in both Washington DC and Pennsylvania. She has created a college counseling program in its entirety and developed five programs focused on application workshops, parent information workshops, essay writing collaborative, peer-reviewed application activities, and financial aid literacy events.
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Maintaining a day planner for school can help you complete all of your assignments on time. Once you’ve chosen the type of planner you want, create sections for each subject and fill in all the information you already have. Each day you can look at what’s on the agenda and add any new information. Color-coding your planner and making sure to add all types of events and obligations will help you stay on top of all your tasks.
School board meetings may run long, low-priority items can take precedence over more pressing topics or a lack of organization can inhibit productivity. Without proper planning and preparation through a well-organized agenda, board meetings can easily become derailed. Utilizing an agenda that functions as a tool of efficiency will make the most of your school board meeting. To create an effective agenda, you must take a few steps. These steps will be greatly impacted by whether or not your board follows the standard order of business (parliamentary procedure, like Robert’s Rules of Order).
1. Decide on the meeting structure
Before creating the agenda, address the main topics the board needs to prioritize at this meeting. This is a fundamental step to ensure that the meeting is efficient and productive. Maintain a list of topics that need to be covered by priority (pressing topics should be covered first). When low-priority items take precedence over more urgent issues, the meeting can run long and lose its effectiveness. There may be nothing more frustrating and draining than an exhaustive meeting where nothing pressing is actually addressed or accomplished.
Some agendas may list a start time for the meeting as a whole or for individual agenda items. Votes may be accepted to modify an agenda, but having suggested time parameters can allow for greater delegation and efficiency. Listing the meeting time or time limits for specific agenda items will give ample time for presenters to find ways to consolidate their oral reports. Just because a meeting is lengthy does not mean it is productive. Creating time limits for the agenda items or the meeting as a whole will help focus the group on the actual topics at hand, cultivating efficiency and productivity.
2. Topics will be presented by other administrators
Not only does this take some responsibility off the chair, but it creates ownership and buy-in for others. This also allows for more thorough data to be presented on the topic when administrators can assist with collecting research and information. Delegation of tasks and topics can be listed through the board portal. The portal can also allow for presenters to distribute links, documents and other pertinent information to their topic.
3. Confirm meeting details
BoardDocs has the capability to confirm and share meeting details, like date, time and location. In compliance with sunshine laws, all public meetings must be posted publicly (although it may vary by state regarding how long in advance the meeting details must be posted). Utilizing board portal software makes it easy to share and access meeting agendas and other pertinent information.
4. Begin to outline the agenda
After creating this foundation, you can begin to organize the agenda items in an easy-to-follow format. It is helpful to share the agenda through the board portal in advance of the meeting to allow other presenting members to make adequate preparations. Try to maintain consistency in the organization of meeting agendas so that participants know what to expect in the format (although the format also greatly depends on whether or not the meeting follows a parliamentary procedure). The agenda may follow a similar framework as outlined below.
- Open the meeting. When the meeting is ready to begin (board members are present, a quorum is met), then the presiding board member will open the meeting. This is the point when most boards will also have ceremonial items, such as the Pledge of Allegiance, recognition of students or visitors, and/or public comment.
- Approve minutes from the previous meeting. The draft minutes from the previous meeting should be made available to all present parties for review and approval. This is an opportunity to make any corrections to the previous minutes. The presiding board member should ask if there are any objections to the approval of the minutes before final approval. Having to distribute and read minutes during the meeting can waste time. Utilizing a board portal will allow easy access for previous meeting minutes to be reviewed before the upcoming meeting. Ask members to come to the meeting having reviewed the previous meeting’s minutes and with any notes or corrections to be made.
- Reports from administration, boards and/or committees. The presiding officer should find out prior to preparing the agenda who has a report to share at the meeting. This allows individuals and committees to collect information and prepare reports. Not calling for reports from everyone during the meeting is another practice that will save meeting time. Oral reports should be kept short and include basic pertinent information. Comprehensive reports may be shared through the board portal for the board to review. This not only saves time during the meeting, but provides access to the more detailed pieces of projects and maintains a written record for the board to refer back to.
- Unfinished business. This agenda item may vary by state (in some states, every agenda item must be addressed and there cannot be any unfinished business). Some items may be tabled by the board for the following meeting. Utilizing a board portal, the board can maintain a list of unfinished business items that members and committees may review. Sharing this list through the board portal keeps the board informed regarding the status of any unfinished items.
- New business. New business is typically only used for board members to bring up items to place on a future agenda. These items would always be listed in advance and never introduced at a meeting. For most states, the public should always be made aware of new business items. It is important to check your local procedures or statutes regarding how new business may be presented. Using the board portal to submit any information related to the topic will keep board members and the public informed.
- Close the meeting. The presiding officer can remind others of the next meeting or events, review any assigned tasks or business, and then adjourn the meeting. This is also an ideal time to thank other participating members for their efforts.
5. Remember that preparation is key
Send out all meeting-related information prior to the meeting. This may be asking specific administrators to present on a topic, sharing the allotted time for certain agenda items, reminding others of the meeting date/time/location and sharing the agenda outline. Providing this information in advance allows presenters time to distribute links, data and other research prior to the meeting for review; and, again, shows value regarding the time and energy of the participants. Utilize the board portal to save time in distributing information and materials. Do not underestimate the power of preparing an agenda for your board meeting. The presiding officer can develop and apply an efficient and structured agenda to govern a meeting that produces results.
The ultimate guide on how to use a daily planner to stay organized. PLUS: Cute daily planners for college, color-coding your agenda.
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I know it’s only July, but it’s never too early to start getting prepared for the fall semester!
One of the best ways to stay organized when classes are in session is by keeping up with a planner.
I’m a huge fan of writing everything down – from homework and papers to meetings and events – and I wouldn’t be able to keep track of everything without documenting it in an agenda.
If you’re gearing up for a fall, don’t worry – I’ve put together a guide that will help you stay organized with your agenda no matter what your semester holds.
Table of Contents
Choose Your Agenda
Whoever said organization was boring obviously never met these cute agendas! Choose an planner that will fit your needs – if you’re focused on classes, try an academic agenda that is designed with students in mind.
I’m a fan of Lilly Pulitzer agendas for this very reason. Their “Large” and “Jumbo” agendas come loaded with tabs, pockets, and even stickers to keep you organized and colorful with your class schedule. I always invest a little more in planners just because I know it’ll be my BFF for the next year – kidding… slightly.
While it’s fine to just write things down as they come up, go an extra step and color code it. This is a great tool to use for your agenda if you find yourself mixing things up between clubs and classes.
Simply create a key that will help you sort all the areas of your semester. Organize by class, event, or even assignment type! I chose to color code my agenda for this year by area – I have a color for my schoolwork, one for my sorority events, another for my blogging, and then an area for miscellaneous notes.
Whatever you choose, try to limit the coding to about 4-5 sections so things don’t get too confusing. Write the key in a note inside your agenda or tape a piece of paper so that you’ll remember your coding.
Top Tools for Color Coding:
There are a number of ways to color code, so choose the one that works best for you! I know a lot of people that stick with colored pencils because of the variety, but I’m not a fan of constantly having to resharpen them.
I use colored pens and flags to mark the super important things – like that huge research paper or group presentation. Highlighting is great for this, too. Correction tape I find necessary – rescheduling is inevitable and I hate to scribble out things, so the correction tape keeps it nice and neat.
Write It Down!
A planner is what you make of it – so use it! Go ahead and look up the academic calendar for your school and write down the dates listed – add/drop periods, first day of classes, and so on. It might seem strange writing things down six months in advance, but these dates arrive sooner than you think. It’s better to be aware of them ahead of time than two days before!
Also, keep a habit of writing things down as soon as you’re told about them – this eliminates room for error or surprise papers due the next day. If you don’t have access to your agenda at the moment, make a note on your phone or notebook and transfer it to your agenda when you get a chance. As soon as you get your syllabi for class, be sure to write all of the dates down, too! It might be a little tedious but it will be worth it, trust me.
What do you think?
Do you like to keep an agenda? How do you organize it? Would you use any of the tips above? Would you like to see more posts like this in the future? Let me know in a comment below!
Webopedia’s student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework.
Wakey-wakey! Time to head to class, right after a hearty breakfast of standard campus smorgasbord. Webopedia scoured the Web for the best student planner apps to help you get through another day of learning. The apps listed below will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework.
1. Schedule Classes and Assignments with myHomework Student Planner (iOS & Android)
Class schedules are busy and have an annoying habit of changing from semester to semester. Keeping track of where to be at any given time is a challenge. The myHomework Student Planner offers a class scheduling feature and will help student track individual assignments. You’ll also find the homework widget to track assignments from the home screen a rather handy feature.
2. ClassManager Will Prioritize Assignments and Track Course Details (iOS)
Writing all your assignments on a sticky note is one way to keep track of what’s due when right until that note gets lost forever behind the couch or deep in the bowels of your closet. Replace your sticky notes with ClassManager to enter all your assignments and to prioritize items. If you’re new on campus, you’ll use the tool to enter a building name and room number for each class you take plus the ability to record the professor’s name.
3. Get Points for Organizing with the Homework App (iOS)
This agenda app offers several organizing tools and lets you color code items. Adding in a timetable and teachers is easy. If you like the idea of being rewarded for getting tasks done on time — other than getting a good grad — the Homework App has partnered with Perk Points, a third party app where one can exchange the points they earn for gift cards and such. This iOS app has a companion app to work with Apple Watch, too.
4. Use IStudiez Pro to track Homework, grades and more (iOS)
The worryingly-spelled iStudiez Pro combines a tracking schedule, homework, and grades. It syncs data with both your iOS and Mac OS versions of the app and supports Windows 7-10, too. Quick overviews of your daily schedule and tasks makes getting though your day a breeze, while the Assignments tab manages upcoming events and deadlines. The syncing of data across devices means you’ll never miss a notification.
5. Need a Reminder About Incomplete Assignments? Try MyStudyLife (iOS & Android)
Cross-platform apps purport to work seamlessly across all platforms. From schedules, assignments, revision, and exams, MyStudyLife has it covered on all of your devices. The agenda app will notify you of incomplete tasks and is accessible even when Professor Frink has cruelly unplugged the router and you find yourself offline.
6. A Clean and Simple Student Agenda (Android)
Marketed as being developed by students, Student Agenda for Android touts its simplicity and clean look. The objective of the app developers is not only to organize tasks and perform duties within deadlines but also to encourage a healthy balance of academic and personal life. The words “calmness” and “less stress” appear in the app description, which sounds great after navigating crowded hallways and noisy lunchrooms.
7. Edit, Follow and List with Easy School Planner (Android)
Offering a simple and intuitive interface, Easy School Planner permits students to edit and follow education tasks with ease. To start, the app asks one to create a list of tasks and school subjects. Then, it’s easy to drag and drop these items into the appropriate day on your calendar. The super-organized student can color code items as well.
8. Track Assignments, Grades and More with Assignment Planner Pro (Android)
Most student planner apps keep track of assignments, homework, and projects, tasks which this app does very well. However, in addition to the planning features, this app also track grades and GPA as the semester progresses. With this, your jaw won’t hit the floor when grades are handed out at the end of term. Assignment Planner Pro lets students enter projects and coursework, then track them through to completion. Reminders and notifications make sure no assignment falls by the wayside.
This article was originally published on October 27, 2015
We’ve all been there at some point. Somehow, that assignment due date just slipped up on us without our noticing.
That is why organizational skills are so important to school performance. Who can afford to score a big fat “0” on a paper, just because we got lazy and didn’t pay attention to the due date? Who wants to get an “F” because we forgot to put our completed project in our book bag the night before it was due?
Poor organization skills can reduce your final scores by a whole letter grade. That’s why you should learn to use a day planner the right way.
Tips for Using a Planner
- Pick the right planner. Take your time when choosing a pocket planner. Find one that fits inside a special pocket or pouch in your book bag if you can. Avoid planners with locks or zippers that will only annoy you. Little things like that will become a hassle and create bad habits.
- Name your planner. Yes, give it a name. Why? You’re less likely to neglect something with a name and a strong identity. When you name an object you give it more of a presence in your life. Call it something goofy or something sentimental—it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to tell anybody if you don’t want to!
- Make the planner a part of your daily routine. Carry it with you at all times and remember to check it every morning and every night.
- Fill in your assignment due dates as soon as you learn them. Get in the habit of writing in your planner while you’re still in the classroom. Write the assignment on the page of the due date and put a reminder message a few days before the due date. Don’t put it off!
- Learn to use backward planning. When you write a due date in your planner, go back a day or a week and give yourself a reminder that the due date is approaching.
- Use a color-coding system. Keep some colored stickers on hand and use those for reminders that a due date or other important event is approaching. For instance, use a yellow caution sticker to serve as a warning two days before your research paper is due.
- Put everything in your planner. You must remember that anything that takes up time, like a date or a ball game, will keep you from working on an assignment. If you don’t put these things in your planner as time out, you may not realize how limited your homework time really is. This leads to cramming and all-nighters.
- Use flags. You can buy sticky-note flags and use them as tabs to indicate the end of a term or the due date of a large project. This is a great visual tool that serves as a constant reminder of an imminent due date.
- Don’t discard old pages. You will always have important information in your planner that you’ll need to see again at a later date. Old phone numbers, reading assignments—you’ll want to remember those things later on. It’s wise to keep a large envelope or folder for old planner pages.
- Go ahead and congratulate yourself ahead of time. On the day after a big project is due, put in a reward appointment, like a trip to the mall or a meal out with friends. This can serve as a positive reinforcement.
Things to Include in Your Planner
It is important to block off anything that consumes your time, in order to avoid conflict and crisis. Don’t forget:
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated June 28, 2022 | Published October 7, 2019
Updated June 28, 2022
Published October 7, 2019
Copy to Clipboard
When leading a business meeting, you might be responsible for managing a large number of people and tasks. An effective meeting agenda can help you make sure you discuss all the necessary material, keep the meeting on topic and ensure that your group uses time efficiently.
In this article, we’ll cover how to create a meeting agenda that will help you effectively lead any meeting.
What is a meeting agenda?
A meeting agenda is a list of topics or activities you want to cover during your meeting. The main purpose of the agenda is to give participants a clear outline of what should happen in the meeting, who will lead each task and how long each step should take. Having this information before and during the meeting should ensure that it proceeds efficiently and productively.
How to write a meeting agenda
Whether you have a short, one-hour meeting or one that lasts a full day, you can use these steps to help you write an agenda:
1. Identify the meeting’s goal
When you start with your goal, you can make sure the purpose of the meeting is clear and every task you want to cover is related to your objective. Make sure to set an achievable goal to keep your meeting as focused as possible. For example, a meeting goal to approve the company’s monthly advertising budget is more attainable than a goal to improve spending overall.
2. Ask participants for input
If you want to keep your participants engaged during the meeting, ask for their input beforehand so you can be sure the meeting fulfills their needs. You can ask them to suggest what topics they would like covered or what questions they have. Once you have a list of ideas from the participants, you can review them and decide which items you’ll ultimately include.
3. List the questions you want to address
Once you know your meeting’s objective and have some ideas about the topics you want to cover, list the questions you need to answer during the meeting. Some meeting agendas simply list a topic as a phrase, for example: “ rental equipment. ” However, you can clarify each agenda item’s purpose by phrasing discussion points as questions. For example, you could write, “ Under what conditions should we consider renting equipment instead of buying it? ” These prompts can ensure you are inviting discussion and gathering all of the information you need for each agenda topic.
4. Identify the purpose of each task
Every task you complete during your meeting should have a purpose. Typically, the three main purposes are to share information, seek input or make a decision. As you’re going through your agenda, make note of the purpose of each task. This step will help meeting participants know when you want their input and when it’s time to make a decision.
5. Estimate the amount of time to spend on each topic
Next, estimate how much time you plan to spend on each task. This part of the agenda ensures you have enough time to cover all of the topics you have planned for your meeting. It also helps participants adjust their comments and questions to fit within the timeframe.
You can optimize your timeframe by giving more time to items you anticipate taking longer to discuss or scheduling items of higher importance earlier in the discussion to ensure vital topics are covered. If you have many people coming to your meeting, you may even limit time on certain topics to streamline the conversation, encourage a quick decision if needed and keep the meeting on schedule.
6. Identify who leads each topic
Occasionally, someone other than the meeting leader will lead the discussion on the topic. If you plan on having other people mediate topics during your meeting, you can identify them under their respective topics. This step helps keep the meeting running smoothly and ensures that everyone is prepared for their responsibilities.
7. End each meeting with a review
Leaving time to end each meeting with a review can help participants better understand what decisions they made and what information they discussed so they can take any necessary steps after the meeting. During this review, you and your meeting participants should also consider what went well during the meeting and what needs improvement. By taking a few minutes to consider these questions, you can make sure your next meeting is even more effective.
Meeting agenda template
Here’s an outline that you can tailor to nearly any type of meeting:
1. Agenda item one description
2. Agenda item two description
3. Agenda item three description
i. Additional remarks
ii. Additional remarks
4. Agenda item four description
5. Agenda item five description
i. Additional remarks
ii. Additional remarks
iii. Additional remarks
6. End of meeting review
a. What did we do well in this meeting?
b. What should we do differently next meeting?
Meeting agenda example
You can use the following sample meeting schedule when crafting your own agenda:
Date: Aug. 1, 2019
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Conference Room A
Goals: Review the marketing campaigns from last year, identify seasonal slumps in product demand, brainstorm ways to increase demand during these slumps and make sure we’re prepared for the next marketing campaign.
1. Review marketing campaigns from last year.
Time: 15 minutes
Purpose: Share information
Leader: Jamal Adams
a. Present the marketing campaigns from last year.
b. Review the sales numbers after each campaign.
c. Identify which campaigns seemed to have the biggest impact.
2. How do we best manage the fluctuating demand for our product?
Time: 30 minutes
Leader: Blair Hanline
a. Review sales numbers from the last four quarters.
b. Identify any trends in sales numbers.
c. Brainstorm ideas on how to increase sales during those slumps.
3. Preparing for the next marketing campaign
Time: 15 minutes
Leader: Blair Hanline
a. What do we need to prepare for the next marketing campaign?
i. Review the attached marketing campaign materials.
ii. Identify tasks for each team member.
b. How will we track the effectiveness of this campaign?
c. Review sales goals for this campaign.
4. End of meeting review
Time: 5 minutes
Leader: Jamal Adams
a. What did we do well in this meeting?
b. What should we do differently next meeting?
Over spring break, I was able to visit my sister, Mrs. Brack, and see her classroom. I love seeing other people’s classrooms and how they are organized. She is not only a fabulous math teacher but crafty and organized. I thought I would share 5 Teacher Organization Tips for Middle School. Some of these totally apply to any middle school classroom, but a few are specific to organization for a math teacher.
Daily Agenda Board
I personally utilized a weekly agenda board in which I made a grid because of my three different preps. I had days of the week on top and the different classes down the side. I would jot down the topic and homework in each box.
Mrs. Brack only teaches one prep, so she has created this fabulous daily agenda board to keep organized. It is super easy to set up with Scotch Expressions tape or any type of colorful painters tape. The homework, agenda, and big idea portion will change each day depending on the objective and lesson, while the weekly goals and opening routine remain the same. You can get these board labels and opening routine posters here. Update: To see my updated classroom, check out my classroom tour.
I love the weekly goals area because it can be content specific or not. These goals can be everything from “85% mastery on the unit test” to “all students working on the warm up when the bell rings”.
The opening routine is another organization tip that I think is so genius! Don’t we all have a desired expectation for how students enter the class and begin working immediately. That is a teacher’s dream come true. There would be no more students at the pencil sharpener or wandering the classroom. She posted these expectations and is able to quickly refer to them without even saying a word…beautiful.
“Take the most direct route to your seat” is a game changer for me. How many times do you have students wandering the room “on their way to their seat”?
File Folder on Classroom Door
I loved standing at the door and greeting my students. It was multi-purpose: I got to build rapport with them, ask about football games and club events, see who came in together, and what each person’s attitude was for the day, plus I was able to monitor the hallways as instructed. I was fortunate to have a table near the entry and taught students to pick up any materials as they entered. In my sister’s case, her classroom is tiny. She installed a metal hanging folder to her door. She used two nails, but command hooks would be less invasive. She places any handouts for the day in the hanging pocket. A win-win, being able to greet the students and have them pick up materials in a small space.
Binder Clips for Hanging Forms
One of my favorite school supplies is the LARGE binder clip. It is big enough to hold an enormous amount of papers, easy enough to spot on a messy desk, and in general, gives off the impression, “don’t touch this”. .
Mrs. Brack took her most frequently used forms, copied them on colored paper, and used a binder clip and push pin to hang them in an easy-to-reach location. Common forms might include: hall passes, tutorial passes, classroom incentive slips, detention slips, etc.
Desk Caddy at Document Camera
The document camera area can be such a mess with the various supplies and papers to keep organized. We used this simple desk caddy from Mardel’s and plastic cups to keep everything together.
In case you can’t see it all, here is what we deemed essential for having within reach:
- projector remote – incredibly valuable, easy to misplace
- stamps and/or stickers – walk around the class and provide positive feedback, even middle school students love stamps
- Post-it notes – the possibilities are endless
- calculator – quick math, some might prefer the trusty TI-83 plus
- small ruler – to use when graphing or drawing number lines
- polyhedron die – these come with numbers up to 30, perfect for calling on students by rolling the die
- markers and/or flair pens – use for color coding any math process
- timer – keep class moving by timing everything
- fraction equivalency chart – this likely depends on your grade level, but is a useful visual
- student popsicle sticks – great for calling on students at random
I love how these are super easy to set up and make use of items you likely have lying around the classroom. If not, Amazon Prime will come to the rescue. I’m not sure what I would do without free two-day shipping.
What other great teacher organization tips do you have? I love seeing others teachers’ classrooms and discovering new ideas that work! Leave a comment with your ideas.
Ever heard that some productivity gurus say to scrap the traditional to-do list? Yeah, that’s just not an option for the vast majority of the working world. In fact, most of us take the opposite approach, putting all of our to-dos onto one massive list, which then just serves as a reminder of how much we’re not getting done.
The good news is that there are many other options for structuring your to-do list in a way that maximizes your efficiency. Whether you’re looking for a total productivity overhaul or just want to spice up your agenda, one of these options could be just what you need to rip through that list.
1. The Weekly To-Do List
A good friend of mine swears by this to-do list method—she organizes agenda items by what needs to get done during the week. Sure, she might have one or two agenda items marked off for a single day, but everything else for the week is thrown in on the same list.
Why it Works
Your levels of productivity ebb and flow throughout the week, and your to-do list should reflect that. You might feel sluggish on Monday and then ready to rule the world on Tuesday. When your to-do list is flexible, you might knock out one or two important items one day and then five on another. By the end of the work week, you’ll feel like you earned your weekend.
2. The Important To-Do List
Creating a to-do list is just the first step; prioritizing the items on that to-do list is a whole different beast.
One of the easiest ways to figure out what needs to get done first is to use a very handy tool called the Eisenhower Method (Alex Honeysett has a great write-up of how this works here). By using a simple table to separate items into varying levels of importance and urgency, you’ll be able to see what really needs to get done.
Why it Works
The Eisenhower Method is great if you’re getting through part of your to-do list—but realizing you’re doing all the easy agenda items instead of what actually needs to get to be completed. Would you rather spend time planning your upcoming vacation instead of typing out the monthly report for tomorrow’s meeting? Yes, but one is much more important (and urgent) than the other.
3. The Themed To-Do List
This is something I started doing after reading this tip from Twitter co-founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey. Dorsey once ran both companies at the same time (crazy, right?), and his secret to staying productive was pretty simple: Give each day of the week a “theme,” and then structure your daily to-do lists around that.
For example, I purposely put a lot of administrative tasks on Fridays, since it’s the end of the week and I’m ready for some mindless tasks by then. In contrast, Tuesdays are strictly for working on projects with no outside distractions, so all of my to-dos that day are oriented toward those initiatives.
Why it Works
Giving themes to your days can make them much less monotonous than if you go through the same exact routine every day. Also, if there are some things you absolutely dread doing, assigning them to a specific day can get rid of that stress (and also increase your chances of actually getting them done).
Do you organize your to-do list in an entirely different way? Let me know on Twitter!
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It’s time to get organized! By learning how to make a planner for school on Adobe InDesign, you can customize it in whatever way works best for you and your schedule. School is in session—and that means routines, homework, activities, and to-do lists. While you could buy a planner at your favorite office supply store to keep track of all of this information, it’s sometimes nice to customize one yourself. When creating your own, you can decide how much space you give yourself to write for various categories. Plus, you can plan the way that works best for you, whether that is monthly, weekly, or daily. Building a planner is fairly easy in Adobe InDesign. This tutorial will show you how to create your own yearly planner from scratch. However, if you only want to plan for one week or one month, you can always print off a couple pages from this tutorial instead of completing the entire thing. Now, let’s begin! How to Make Your Own Planner
- Plan the planner! Chances are, you’ve probably used a calendar, planner, or to-do list in the past. Think about what formats you like. Most planners are organized chronologically, with month views and then daily views. However, you can design it however you would like! Do you find it helpful to see the month at a glance? You might want to make some calendar pages. Do you like having a full page for each day, so you can write massive lists of tasks, or do you prefer to see the full week on one page to better prioritize deadlines? When designing your planner, you can choose between monthly, weekly, and daily organizational methods—or use all three!
Also consider how you’d like to organize the pages. Do you want a page for each class you are taking, or a page for an increment of time (day, week, month)? Do you want extra space for any sports or clubs you’re in? Extra space to make quick notes? Since this is your own planner, you can add any additional features that come to mind! You can add a special page to keep track of your friends’ birthdays. You can make space to write an inspirational quote every week. You can keep track of how many hours of sleep you get, how many hours you spend on your phone, or how much time you spend with friends and family. The possibilities are nearly endless! Check out bullet journaling or “bujo” on Pinterest and Instagram for more inspiration on ways to organize a planner—and fun pages to add.
- Set up your InDesign document. Once you’ve decided how you want to design your school planner, it’s time to build. Open InDesign and create a document with the number of pages you have decided to create. (For a standard planner, with a cover page, back cover, one page for each month, and one page for each week, you’d need 66 pages.) If you’re printing your planner at home using normal paper, you can use the standard print dimensions of a 9.5×11 sheet of paper. If you want to make larger pages and keep them in a binder or folder, you can design one page on each sheet of paper. However, if you want it to feel small and fold into a book-like shape, try setting up the document “landscape style” and designing two “pages” on each sheet of paper.
- Add page numbers (and any other consistent elements) to the master. Master pages allow you to add one thing to every single page in your document. To access the master, go into the “page” window (if it doesn’t show up by default, go to Window > Page). Double-click on the page preview, as shown. Double-click on the small pages to open the master and double-click the larger, numbered pages to return to your document.
If you had started designing, you might notice that the page turns white. Your design isn’t gone; you’ve just opened the master! On this new white page, you can design whatever you want—and it will show up on every single page of your document. If you set up your document using “facing pages,” you’ll have a different master for the right and left sides of a page spread. On the master, draw a text box in one of the corners. Go to Type > Insert Special Character > Markers > Current Page Number. This will add the correct page number to every page of your document. On the master, it will show up as “A” or “B.” You can change the font and size of this before exiting the master. (Confused? Learn more about master pages here.) If there are any other elements that you would like to remain consistent on all pages, like your name or perhaps a colored bar across the bottom or top, you can add those here as well. Then, to return to your document and start designing the rest of your planner, double-click on the large, numbered pages in the page window.
- Build your page using rectangles and text boxes.
Not sure where to start? These pages act as simple calendars with room for notes at the bottom.
Using the shape tools, you can create boxes to neatly organize your text in the planner. You might want to open the “align” window to help line up and evenly space your shapes. You can also draw text boxes to add numbers and labels. I even changed the color of the page as well, but if you want to print this at home and save ink, opt for white backgrounds.
- Copy page layouts using “paste in place.” If you’ve already gone through the trouble of building a beautiful to-do list or calendar, you don’t have to start over on the next page. Copy your layout and paste it using “paste in place” (command+option+shift+V on a mac, ctrl+option+shift+V on a PC). You can also select all of the elements, hold down the alt/option key, and drag them to quickly make a copy. (By holding down shift, you can keep them on the same axis as well.)
- Print your finished planner. Most pharmacies and office supply stores offer to make spiral-bound notebooks and other prints from your files. However, you can often print off your pages just as easily at home for free. Secure them together with staples or use a three-hole punch to add them to an empty binder. You can print your planner and store the pages in a spare binder.
Adobe offers templates online for common projects like calendars and business cards. Learn where to find templates and how to implement them here. Are you a current student? See how you can save over 60%.
Looking to make your Parent Teacher Organization’s meetings the best they can be? Whether you’re a newly-elected officer or a PTO veteran here’s how to plan a successful PTO meeting and take your meetings to the next level.
Meetings only serve one purpose and most meetings fail to serve that singular purpose. Do you know the purpose of a successful meeting? To make decisions. If you focus your meetings to that one end goal, you’ll run better, more successful PTO meetings than most organizations around the globe.
The Meeting Specifics
People don’t love meetings. Typically that comes from two major complaints. The first, nothing was accomplished or the meeting wasn’t necessary. Now, we know that’s because many meetings fail to accomplish the one purpose of a meeting. The second, it’s too long. If you want to up your meeting game shoot for a 60-minute cut off. Meetings that move past the 60-minute mark start to nosedive in engagement and productivity.
Make your meetings as short and purposeful as possible. Meeting consistency is great, but meaningless meetings are not. Just after new officer elections is a great time for your group to vote on the best day of the week and time for meetings. Once you know the day and time, lock in your venue as soon as possible.
If you’re looking to boost meeting attendance a good tactic is to bundle your meeting with another school event. It’s a key tactic for successful PTO meetings. Parents are more likely to come to your meeting if they’re already at the school for another reason.
Don’t suffer procrastination. You can start planning for your next successful PTO meeting as soon as your current meeting is over. Good prep work will make your meetings smooth sailing. Before the next meeting make sure you have your meeting specifics arranged, an agenda, and you’ve notified people presenting or giving a report during the next meeting.
Successful PTO Meeting Agenda
The first step to your next successful PTO meeting is to make an agenda. Your agenda should be a list of the business items for the meeting and estimate time frames for each. Remember, we want to keep your meetings within 60 minutes, so partitioning time is key. Here’s a sample of the items that should be on your agenda.
- Meeting Start
- Approve Prior Meeting Minutes
- Guest Presentation/School Update (Principal, V. Principal, Faculty Representative)
- Treasurer Report
- Committee Reports
- Old Business Items
- New Business & Ideas
- Meeting End
Disseminate the agenda in your meeting reminders. Also, have them printed and ready for attendees to pick up at the meeting.
Presentations & Reports
For a successful PTO meeting, make sure to notify participants you expect to make meeting presentations/reports so they can prepare. Communicate specific content and time expectations to fit your meeting agenda. Make them aware of any presentation equipment available for use during the meeting (PA, projector, etc.).
Get the School on Your Side
Inform your principal and school staff of the meeting specifics so they’re ready and prepared. Invite school staff and faculty to participate in the meeting. Some staff are just waiting to be asked to give a presentation. Because it concerns their job and workplace, you may learn something new about your agenda items. Make sure to get the specifics on event setup and breakdown. And have your group clean up after the meeting. Nobody likes a slob!
Publicize Meeting Details
People can’t come to your meeting if they don’t know about it! Broadcast multiple notifications to your group. For successful PTO meetings always use multiple means of communication because people communicate differently. Examples of ways to reach your group include email, social media, text, newsletter, school calendar, announcement during school events, and notes/stickers sent home with students.
Your communication should detail the specifics of your next meeting.
- Who are you and your organization?
- What are you doing? Meeting
- When is it? Day, time, and duration
- Where is it? Location, room and parking instructions
- Why? Agenda
- Extras: Childcare options, light refreshments, etc.
You also need to send out your meeting details more than once. Consider sending out notices two weeks in advance, one week in advance, the day before, and a same-day reminder.
Successful PTO Meeting Setup
If you want your meeting to start on time and make attendees confident in your leadership, successful PTO meeting setup is key. You will need some place for attendees to sit and a few tables. Your school may provide the setup or you will need volunteers and access to chairs and tables to set up your meeting. Make sure you also have access to any audio-visual equipment necessary for the meeting.
Assign volunteers to greeter duty. This person(s) should stand at the door and greet attendees as they arrive. Greeters hand out agendas and name tags, point people to the refreshments, and inform people of the restroom and childcare locations.
It can help to make yourself a successful PTO meeting setup checklist. Here are some list items you might include:
- Tables (Presentation/Secretary/Refreshments)
- Refreshments plus cups, plates, napkins, and utensils
- Agenda hardcopies
- Bylaws hardcopies (dispute resolution)
- Name tags and pens
- AV equipment
Keep Your Successful PTO Meeting on the Clock
It’s important to keep forward momentum in your meeting. And the first step is respecting everyone’s time, even yours. That means you start on time, even if attendees are still filtering through the doors. It also means you end on time. If you promise an hour-long meeting, deliver a one hour meeting. You will keep more people interested in your meetings if they never worry about a one-hour meeting turning into a two-hour meeting.
Plan for Chitchat
Your group meeting is the perfect place for parents to visit with each other and catch up. Build social time into your schedule for before or after the meeting. That way the busy people trying to squeeze your meeting into their schedule aren’t waylaid by the social butterflies swapping the latest gossip. And be available during this time to address parent concerns.
Post Successful PTO Meeting Dispatch
There’s one last thing you need to do after your meeting to make sure it’s a success. Within 48 hours of the meeting you should send out a post-meeting dispatch. The dispatch should include the meeting minutes for review, what needs to be accomplished based on the meeting, and who is in charge of making those things happen. Reach out to confirm the responsible parties are aware of their duties.
Follow this guide on how to plan successful PTO meetings and your group will soon be running like a well-oiled machine. You’ve taken on an important role in your student’s educational success. And while it may seem daunting, with these tactics you can act with confidence.
Happy Hot Summer, Everyone! I hope you are managing to stay cooler than I am here in Texas. I can’t guarantee working air conditioning, but I can give you a post full of tips for having an organized first week as a school counselor. We are going to get your counseling office and program set up for the beginning of the school year.
If you are like me, the sight of a disorganized office is overwhelming. This, combined with the thought of setting up my entire counseling program, can sap all my inspiration and motivation for the rest of the day! To keep us all calm and forward-moving, here are 10 tips for how to have an organized first week as a school counselor . Your program will be in order by the time everyone returns, guaranteed!
Set up your counseling office
3 – 6 hours. Unpack all materials and set up your counseling office or classroom. Don’t spend more than a day on this, even if you are breaking in a new office/classroom because it will all change as the year progresses anyway. Just put everything you have in a place so that you feel somewhat comfortable in your space.
Summer break phone and email messages
30 minutes – 1 hour. Change out your summer break phone/email message and return any phone messages you acquired while hanging out at the beach.
Return summer emails
2 hours. Check work email and take care of those over-the-summer emails and any others you just couldn’t deal with during the last few days of the 2016-17 school year.
Create your to-do list
1 hour to a half day. Put together your TO DO list and write the tasks in your planner or Outlook Calendar or Smartphone or whatever you use. This way, you will know when to do them and actually remember to do each task. This will take 1-2 hours if you are continuing from the TO DO list you started for this new school year at the end of 2016-17. If you didn’t start your 2017-18 TO DO list last year and you have to make it from scratch- block out a half day.
Meet with your counseling colleague(s)
2 -3 hours. Plan and coordinate your activities for the first two weeks of school. Set a weekly or monthly planning time to continue meeting regularly through the school year.
Set up the waiting area
2 hours. Set up your waiting room/suite/lobby if you have one. If you have an awesome student helper who can come to the school and do this for you, enlist their help! In our counseling office, we have amazing office aides/peer mentors that we painstakingly train each year- here’s a link if you need training materials. This past year, we bought our student aide lunch and just let her go- 2 hours later, she was all done and our waiting room sparkled.
Meet with your principal or admin
1- 2 hours. With your principal or admin, review, complete, and sign ASCA’s Program Planning Annual Agreement . Use this time to also set up a weekly or monthly meeting with your principal/admin that runs throughout the school year. It’s a great way for him or her to know what ASCA (or your state school counseling association) recommends that you do, what amazing things you are actually doing, and what he or she needs for you to do.
Create your weekly schedule and yearly calendar
Half day. Create and send your weekly schedule and yearly calendar. Here’s a downloadable version of mine from my School Counselor Stephanie TPT store, if you need them. Post copies in your workspace and on your office door. Also, email/give copies to your administrators and other relevant staff.
Plan your August/September guidance lessons
1 Day. Use your district or state-mandated school counseling objectives to plan your first few guidance lessons. Excellent August/September guidance topics include: introductions, how to see the counselor, how to handle an emergency, and success in school. Next, create your staff/student/parent needs assessments- the results of these needs assessments will guide the rest of your guidance lesson topics after September. Visit my blog, School Counselor Stephanie, to download a free student needs assessment if you need one.
Create your c ounseling program presentation for staff
Half day. My counseling program presentation is also on my homepage if you’d like to use and modify it to create your own presentation. After you finish creating the presentation, send it to your principal or admin for approval and ask them for a time and date when you can present it to the staff.
Now go ahead and get started on that To-Do List. Happy Do-ing!
Here are some photos of my counseling office that I set up every August. Good luck on an AMAZING start to your school year!
Ann-Louise T. Lockhart, PsyD, ABPP, is a board-certified pediatric psychologist, parent coach, author, speaker, and owner of A New Day Pediatric Psychology, PLLC.
A daily schedule benefits both younger and older children by providing a structured environment. While it’s unlikely that you’ll follow the same schedule every day, year in and year out, having a weekday schedule for the school year can make a positive difference for your kids and family life.
If you spend any time in a kindergarten classroom or elementary school, you will likely marvel at the teacher’s ability to organize the children’s day. For elementary school students, providing a reliable structure is a critical part of developing a sense of security and mastery.
In older children, attachment looks different than it does in younger kids, with shared communication and objectives replacing some of the physical closeness that typifies attachment in the early years. But the schedule fulfills the same purpose for older kids, providing a sense of security and predictability while supporting independence.
The daily schedule communicates the family’s shared goals and allows children to contribute and achieve a sense of accomplishment. Each time they follow the schedule, your child has a small experience of mastery of their environment, and these moments add up and build upon each other.
How to Create a Daily Family Schedule
While every family’s schedule will look a little different, the basic process of creating it is standard. Use this plan to get started, then personalize it to meet your needs. Include every part of the day from waking up to bedtime routines. Follow these simple steps to create a consistent daily plan for your family.
Analyze Your Day
Do a simple, but comprehensive time study for each task or activity that needs to happen for each person in your family. The easiest way to do this is to create a daily calendar, either on paper or digitally. Note what each family member is doing at each time of the day. Look for any challenging times. Think about how the schedule can be structured to eliminate problems related to behavior, stress, fatigue, hunger, and disorganization.
Brainstorm What You Want
Think about your ultimate goals. You may be hoping for less confusion in the morning, homework completed by dinner, children in bed by a certain hour, family playtime, relaxation, and/or a clean house.
This is the time to think about what you want in your family life. Focus on a balance of activity and rest for your family. Take an honest look at both parents’ and children’s needs and priorities. Weigh doing the activities everyone wants to do with not being overscheduled.
Write It Down
Get a poster board and a marker or a whiteboard and write down your schedule for all to see. Post it in the kitchen. Tell the kids that you will now be following it. You may want to have a family meeting to introduce the schedule and go over it in detail.
Refer back to the poster often. You may get some opposition, particularly if there are any big changes, such as an earlier bedtime or less screen time. However, it’s key for parents to stand firm and provide consistency. Make sure that any caregivers who come into your home are also following the schedule (ideally, involve them as you create it, as they may have insights on when and where things are going smoothly—and vice versa).
Follow the Schedule for a Week
Aim to give your schedule a solid try to see how it’s working before starting to adjust it. Check the schedule often, and let it guide your days for at least one week.
Instruct the children to check the schedule and follow it. If you must remind them, do so. However, your goal is for the children to learn to take responsibility for their part of the schedule, as much as possible based on their age and readiness.
Giving it time and consistently following the schedule will help it to become habit for both adults and kids.
Tweak the Schedule
After the first week, take a look at what is working and what isn’t. Consider how the schedule needs to change to address any issues you notice. Make changes in the schedule, and write it on a new poster. Continue to follow your daily family schedule until it is second nature. In a few weeks, you’ll likely marvel at how this simple tool has changed your family life for the better.
Of course, there will be times when the schedule simply won’t work. Emergencies, illness, special events, traffic, and even weather can put a monkey wrench into the best-laid plans. But even if you get home late or need to buy take-out instead of cooking dinner together, try to regroup promptly.
Do your best to jump back into the schedule as soon as is feasible. In other words, a traffic jam or getting sidetracked at the grocery store doesn’t need to stop your family from getting to bed on time.
A Word From Verywell
Creating a family schedule is a great way to organize and streamline your family life. Routines offer consistency, comfort, and predictability for children—and a helpful framework for parents and caregivers to follow. Aim for a schedule that helps your life run more smoothly, and that you can adapt over time as your needs change.
Organization is one of the key factors to success in school. In fact, disorganization can lead to lower grades, increased frustration and stress, and even lower self-esteem. Students who have better organization habits often perform better on assignments, get more done, and have more free time than their disorganized peers.
However, organization is not an inherited trait—it is learned. This means that it’s important to make sure your child is developing and practicing good organizational habits regularly.
Poor Performance Or Organization Problems?
Organization issues can look different for each student. Some of the most common signs of organizational issues include:
- Always forgetting pens, pencils, and papers
- Forgetting when assignments are due
- Not planning enough time to complete assignments
- Having trouble staying focused on one task at a time
- Poor grades
These types of mismanagement, while common, need to be corrected as early as possible in order to put kids on the path to performing well in school. Thankfully, there are a number of ways that parents can help reinforce good organization practices at home.
Find out how to teach your child organizational skills that will help get him or her on the path to success.
Organization Ideas And Tips For Students Of All Ages
Help your child create checklists that can be easily read and referred to. Create daily and weekly to-do lists for homework, tests, and assignments that need to be completed.
Organize time and assignments
Organizing your child’s school work will help him or her prioritize homework and other assignments. Use an agenda to have your child write down when assignments are due so he or she knows when to work on them.
Designate a study space and time
Complete school work in a specific spot and at a specific time. This will help reinforce good scheduling and time management skills. The area should be uncluttered, free of distractions, and have the required materials so your child can stay organized and on task.
Label, separate, and identify
Clearly identify books, notebooks, and other school materials with labels or stickers. Use different colors for each subject so your child can easily tell which is which. This will help forgetful students keep track of their materials more easily.
Clean out clutter
Every week, clear out book bags and notebooks of miscellaneous papers and other clutter. Ask your child what each paper is before deciding whether to toss it. This will help him or her learn to identify what things he or she should keep and which can be thrown away.
Bring the right materials
Help your child make sure everything has its proper place. By keeping items in the same spot, it is much less likely that they will be lost. Having some backup supplies, like extra pencils, pens, and paper, will also help make sure your child is always prepared.
Prepare for the next day together
Before bed each night, go over everything your child will need for the next day. Help him or her pack his or her backpack. This will keep students from forgetting important things, and will save parents plenty of headaches in the mornings.
Better Organizational Skills = Better Grades
By teaching your child organizational skills, you’ll create a system that can help him or her perform better in school. Once your child sees how much easier school can be when you are prepared, encourage him or her to carry the torch him or herself. The result will be a more successful, stress-free school experience.
If your child needs some extra help developing better organizational skills, our Study Skills program can help!
A key to success in law school is taking the most important material from each case and organizing it in a way where you can understand it come exam time. A useful method for achieving this goal is to complete what is called a “FIRAC” chart for each case. FIRAC stands for; Facts, Issue statement, Ratio, Analysis, and Conclusion. Here is an example of the chart below.
These five things are essential to understand from each case regarding what to take away from the case and how to apply it to the next case. I will go over how to make a FIRAC and use a case example to show how to determine what goes in each section.
The “facts” section is fairly self-explanatory and does not need to be explained in much detail. When doing my FIRAC’s, I like to jot down 4–5 of the case’s key facts, so I remember what happened during the class discussion of the case. In the first case I read in my 1L year, “Edwards v AG of Canada,” often referred to as the “Persons” case, the key facts of the case were that several qualified women in Canada wanted to be considered for Senators but had been forbidden up to this point. The BNA act of 1867 stated the governor-general could nominate qualified persons to the senate.
The Issue statement is phrased as a question; what is the legal issue at hand? The legal issue can be thought of as what question is the judge trying to answer with this case. In this case, “Edwards v AG of Canada,” the legal issue was, are women considered “qualified persons” under the BNA Act?
Next is the “Ratio” of the case. The Ratio, or often called the rule, is the legal principle that is created from this case. The Ratio is the most important thing to take away because it will be applied to similar cases in the future because of precedent. If the court concluded in one case, then it should come to the same conclusion in a similar case. Using the same Edwards v AG of Canada case, the Ratio of that case came in two parts. Firstly, women are considered “qualified persons.” Secondly, the BNA act of 1867 should be read broadly and can grow and evolve over time. This idea is called the “living tree doctrine.” The judge from that case explained that even if something is not explicitly written down in this document, it can be interpreted to include new areas to fit Canada’s evolving social, political, and legal views as the country grows into a modern society.
This Ratio was used to get the conclusion in a future case called Reference re Same-Sex Marriage. This case decided in 2004, used the rule of the living tree doctrine from “Edwards.” Even though Canada’s constitution did not explicitly say gay marriage is allowed, it should be read with a “large liberal interpretation” to include more people as society evolves. A key to succeeding in exams is using the ratios of cases throughout the year to determine the result of the exam fact pattern.
The “analysis” section is understood as to why the court came to the conclusion it did. In each FIRAC, I like to write down both the reasoning for the court’s decision and the opposing arguments against the decision usually found in the decent. This approach helps me get a complete understanding of the thinking behind the ruling. In “Edwards,” the court concluded that women are “qualified persons” for several reasons. First, because the BNA act did not state that they were not “qualified persons.” If the authors of the act wanted to make sure only men became senators, they could have written that specifically.
Moreover, the reasons to exclude women from government roles were outdated and unreasonable. As for the rule that the BNA act should be understood as a living tree, the court concluded that Canada would continuously change and evolve. A narrow reading of the act may hold Canada back due to something the founders of Canada did not anticipate or did not exist at the time. On an exam, the analysis section is important for comparing previous cases to the exam scenario and showing how they are similar or different. For example, many students will answer a question by saying the court in a previous case said this rule applies for such a reason. These reasons come from the analysis section. Then the student would write if that reason applies in the exam fact pattern or not. If it doesn’t, then the Ratio of the case should not be applied to the exam scenario.
Finally, the conclusion section is also straightforward and self-explanatory. I would write a brief sentence stating if the appeal was won or denied or whatever the case’s legal result may be. In “Edwards,” the conclusion would be that women are “qualified persons,” and thus, Edwards and the other plaintiffs won their appeal.
To conclude, making a FIRAC for each case helps you organize all the essential information for each case in a way you can apply on an exam. An easy way to organize these FIRACs is to have one long word document for each class that is just a FIRAC for each class for the year. This document can easily be edited to make a “CAN” which I’m sure anyone reading this has heard about extensively already!
A homework organizer can help a child with ADHD be a star at school.
Verified Updated on December 13, 2021
Want to make sure that your child gets his homework done every night — and learns about planning and how to prioritize?
Teach him to use a homework planner. Whether you call it an “assignment notebook,” a “student planner,” or a “homework organizer,” it serves the same purpose: helping a child keep track of school assignments, materials, and time.
I’ve worked with many well-meaning students who swear they wrote down their assignments only to find that they left out critical details. For instance, Cindy wrote down that she had reading homework, but forgot to note the questions that were to be answered.
As a teacher and a mother, two rules have worked for me: Encourage your child to write down assignments in his planner word for word, and ask his teacher to look over the planner before he leaves class.
The teacher should check to make sure all assignment information has been noted, and that all books and/or materials needed to complete the assignment are in his backpack. When this becomes routine to your child — and it will — teacher supervision will no longer be necessary.
Using a homework planner will increase your child’s chances of getting his assignments done, and it will also help him develop skills — juggling responsibilities, allotting time, planning ahead — he needs to become more independent. The earlier you begin this process, the easier it will become for your child. Here are some teacher-tested tips to maximize a planner’s use.
Take the Long View
In addition to noting homework assignments, you and your child should schedule his extracurricular events. If you enter “Gym day on Monday and Wednesday,” include a reminder for him to pack gym shoes in his book bag the night before.
A notation about Thursday’s piano lesson may include a prompt to practice every day for 15 minutes. This will give your child a view of the week ahead and reveal any conflicts between school and extracurricular activities.
Keep Track of Materials
Create a checklist of books and materials your student needs to bring home each day, and paperclip it to the planner. Make blank copies of the checklist and attach a new one every day.
Learn to Prioritize
After school, have a snack together and open the planner. Look over the list of homework assignments for that day, asking him to estimate how much time it will take to complete each one. Write the estimate next to each assignment. Then help him prioritize his work — math first, reading second, social studies third.
When everything has been completed, check to see whether your estimates were close. The more your child does this, the better he’ll become at allocating time.
Place sticky notes, of various sizes and colors, in the planner to remind your child about special school events or tasks — asking the math teacher for help with last night’s homework, for example.
Break Projects Into Tasks
All kids, especially those with ADHD, have difficulty with long-term planning. When your child has a big test, or is assigned a complicated project, use the homework planner to break it down into manageable mini-tasks. If he’s been assigned a report about an animal of his choice, mark the due date with a colored marker and work backward, allotting a day or so for selecting a topic, another few days for researching the elements of the report, and enough time to write a rough and a final draft.
Cross Things Off
Encourage your child to draw, in pencil, a thin line through each task as he finishes it, and to “X” out the entire list of assignments at the end of the night. He’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, just as an adult does when deleting items from his to-do list.
This simple action reinforces one of my favorite messages to students: Put yesterday behind you. Each day is a new beginning.
How To Create an Aesthetic Google Calendar | Organise with Style
Since its Virgo season, I think it is a good time to talk about organisation. Instead of going into detail about organisation, we thought its better if we wrote an article that both Virgos and non-Virgos could enjoy and what the common denominator that we all share when it comes to daily to-do-lists? Google Calendar.
As most of our jobs have moved online, most of use have to use Google Calendar as a way to organize our daily work tasks and home tasks and other tasks as well.
Since it is something we use quite regularly, wouldn’t you prefer looking at something that’s pleasing to the eyes? YES! OBVIOUSLY!
So, here’s how you can transform your boring and dull Google Calendar to a prettier more aesthetic and stylish one:
Customise you Calendar Labels. Some of the basic Calendars are Birthdays and Reminders and Tasks. To add more labels, click on the + sign next to the Other Calendars tab and then click on Create new calendar option.
For a more aesthetic look, you should add some emojis to your labels so that they look a little cuter and fancier. You could try following the example below, which uses emojis and lowercase for each label.
Assigning colours to your Calendar Labels. When choosing colours, first of all, the Google colours SUCK, so don’t just stick to the colours that are assigned automatically. If you want your Calendar to be more aesthetic think pastel, think colours that go well together.
Here are some of the hex codes you can use to get the perfect pastels for your Google Calendar.
To change the colour of the Calendar Labels, hover over the label and the three dots that symbolize options should appear next to it. Click on that and you will see the colour display at the bottom, click on the + sign.
At the bottom of the pop-up box, you will see the word Hex and a # symbol with alphabets and numbers next to it. Key in the desired colour’s hex code based on the above diagram. Then, click on save.
You now have a Calendar that looks prettier and aesthetic. Oh, the Virgos might just be crying on the floor with tears of joy.
Need more Google Calendar Tips? Here are some that might come in handy.
1. Assigning a new task to a specific Calendar Label
Before creating a new task, reminder, note or even event for a specific label, make sure you are displaying only that Calendar Label. To do so, hover over the label and the three dots that symbolize options should appear next to it. Click on that and then click on display this only.
Then, go to the date you’d like to key in a task or note, click on it and type out your task and save it.
2. Creating a reoccurring task
Let’s say everyday you have a meeting at 9am and you want your calendar to display it. You don’t have to manually key it in every day. When adding the 9am meeting to your calendar, click on more options. Underneath your title, untick the all-day box and then edit the time to 9am – 10am depending on how long your meetings usually are.
Then, you will see a dropdown box stating Does not repeat. Click on it and click on custom. Customize the days to your preference and click on save.
3. Google Calendar Hotkeys
In case you didn’t know, just like any other app, Google Calendar also has shortcuts, or what they like to call it, hotkeys. Here are some of them:
- Fundraising Ideas for Martial Arts
- How to Organize a Motorcycle Rally
- Ideas on How to Organize a Fun Day for Charity
- How to Start a Community Outreach Program
- How to Start a Motorcycle Ride Fund Raiser
How to Organize Community Events to Raise Awareness. Powerful things can happen when communities come together in common interest. Whether you want to save Darfur, promote your favorite political candidate, reduce air pollution or raise money for a recreation center, community-attended events are a great way to get others involved in your cause. While impromptu gatherings are fun, you’ll be more successful in creating awareness if you do some careful planning. Make sure you take steps to publicize the occasion, secure a venue and organize agenda details to make sure your event comes off without a hitch.
Set event goals, determining what you hope to achieve. These goals provide a structure around which you can plan the details of your event, from guest lists to speakers and advertising to refreshments.
Check your dates and times to be sure that your community event does not conflict with other area events. You don’t want to lose valuable attendance because you’re competing with another community group.
Organize an audience attention-getter like a public speaker, a video clip, a musical performance or a prize giveaway. Providing some form of entertainment or thought-provoking message makes events more memorable for audiences, and helps to call them to action afterward.
Find some friends and neighbors who share your enthusiasm for your cause or issue of interest. Meet together to brainstorm event ideas, organize a planning timeline and delegate responsibilities.
Create a flier or brochure to advertise your community event. Programs like Microsoft Publisher and Adobe Photoshop can be used to create a visually interesting document advertising your event plans, along with supplying the location, date and time. Email an online version of your flier to friends, family and coworkers, and have some hard copies printed up to distribute in your neighborhood. Visit StockLayouts.com for a free, downloadable flyer template to personalize and raise event awareness (see Resources below).
Type up a printed agenda for your event, including start and end times for speakers, video clips, entertainment and refreshments. Allow a little wiggle room between agenda item starting times so the event doesn’t run too far past the scheduled time.
Don’t forget to include a social or interactive time on your event agenda. While attendees will enjoy the activities you have planned, they will appreciate a time to mingle, discuss issues, socialize and enjoy refreshments in a less structured environment.
With all that you have to balance, getting organized in college can sometimes seem like both a hopeless and useless task. After all, what kind of person can create order out of so much chaos?! You might be surprised, however, to learn just how easy it can be to get organized during your time in school.
First and Foremost, Have a Time Management System
Whether you’re a super senior or an incoming first-year student, time will be your most precious commodity. Just when you need it the most, it will seem the most scarce. And you will rarely if ever, feel like you have enough of it. Consequently, having a good time management system that you use is critical for getting organized, and staying that way, during your time in school. After all, how are you supposed to know what you’re supposed to be doing if you aren’t even sure, well, what you’re supposed to be doing?
Write Down All Your Academic Responsibilities
When you first get your syllabi at the beginning of the semester, find a quiet table at a coffee shop, get a cup of coffee, and sit down with your calendar. Put everything that’s on your syllabi into the calendar: when classes meet, when things like required films and labs are scheduled, when midterms are, when classes are canceled, when finals and papers are due. And when you think you’re all done putting everything in, double-check your work and do it again. Once you have everything inputted into your time management system, you can rest assured that you’ll know about all required course assignments well before their deadline. Sometimes, just knowing what’s coming down the pipeline can account for 90% of your organization prowess.
Go Through Something Once a Week
It sounds strange, but you’ll likely be surprised at just how helpful this rule can be when it comes to staying organized in college. At least once a week, go through and organize something. It can be your backpack; it can be your bank statement; it can be your desk; it can be your email. You undoubtedly, however, will find something that slipped your mind or that you’ve been meaning to get to. And if you hadn’t have gone through that item, you would likely have forgotten all about it.
Have a Budget and Check-in on It Regularly
A major part of being organized in college is staying on top of your finances. Even if most of your costs, like room and board in the residence halls, are taken care of through the financial aid office, staying on top of your money situation is still important. Being organized means knowing what’s going on in your college life at any given point in time. If you aren’t sure how much money is in your account, you aren’t organized. So stay on top of your budget and know where you’re money has gone, where it is, and where it’s headed.
By Jenny Thai Dec 27, 2017
Meetings are a fact of office life. And while they may not be everyone’s favorite part of the day, with a little bit of planning, it is possible to make them productive and worthwhile for you and your teammates. One meeting type in particular can even help people feel more engaged at work: the one on one meeting.
Unlike department meetings, planning meetings, or quick syncs where teams might discuss the most pressing issues of the day, week, or month, the one on one meeting agenda looks a little different. For managers and their reports, one on one meetings are dedicated time for connecting regularly on goals, building rapport, and most importantly, coaching and mentorship.
One on one meetings are dedicated time for connecting regularly, building rapport, and most importantly, coaching and mentorship.
The most effective 1:1s are those that are prepped ahead of time. But more often than not, work (about work) gets in the way of planning a meaningful one-on-one agenda, leading to wasted time deciding what to talk about or meandering discussions that don’t feel actionable. The good news is: planning a productive one-on-one meeting is easier than it seems.
Whether you’re a manager or a report, here are few simple ways to make the most of your one-on-ones.
Create a shared one on one meeting agenda
One of the reasons why 1:1 meetings can feel ineffective is that there isn’t a consistent, shared space for creating and tracking agenda items. Without a designated spot for planning your agenda ahead of time (and to refer to during the meeting itself), it’s easy to veer off course.
If, for instance, you’ve ever kicked off a 1:1 with a list of agenda items in your head, only to find yourself talking about cat memes 10 minutes later, you probably need a better way to prep for your 1:1 meetings.
Instead, create a shared 1:1 agenda for you and your report (or manager). This makes it easy for both of you to collaborate on what to discuss. In Asana, you can set up a private meeting project for this, but whatever tool you choose to use, make sure that it’s easily accessible and editable by both 1:1 participants.
“Now that I’m using Asana, my conversations and 1:1s are so much more productive because we have this shared space where we can collaborate.”
– Tim Wood, Head of Product, Patreon
Organize your 1:1 agenda
Once you’ve created a shared space for planning and tracking your one on one meeting agenda, the next step is to add some structure. The idea here is to define a couple of high-level themes to help you organize discussion topics from one meeting to the next. Depending on the needs and preferences of you and your report, you can organize your 1:1 agenda many different ways. For example, it might be helpful to group agenda items into the following categories:
- Discuss this week
- Revisit later
- Roadblocks and wins
- Action items
To do this in Asana, just create sections for each theme in your meeting project:
Organizing your one on one meeting agenda this way balances tactical conversations about project work with bigger picture discussions about how that work ladders up to overall company goals and objectives and, not to mention, individual career goals. As you meet week to week, team members come away with a clearer sense of what they’re working on—and why it matters as well.
Add agenda items as they come up
With a shared space for your agenda and a clear structure in place, now comes the fun (and easy) part: adding topics for discussion. As soon as you or your report think of a topic—whether it’s feedback on a recent presentation, a question about budgets, or a growth opportunity—add these items to your shared agenda. Be sure to include a brief description and attach any relevant files, so you don’t forget anything important.
Adding agenda items ahead of time lets manager and report reflect on important topics before discussing in person.
This will help you avoid the mad scramble to remember everything you wanted to discuss right before your meeting. Adding agenda items ahead of time also lets both you and your report prep and reflect on important topics before discussing in person.
What to talk about in 1:1s
If you’re unsure of what to talk about in your one-on-ones, remember that it’s a shared space for asking questions, getting feedback, and discussing long-term goals. Both manager and report should feel comfortable contributing to the agenda. Here, for example, are a few topics you could discuss in your next 1:1:
- Weekly and monthly priorities
- Feedback on any in-progress assignments
- Checking in on team and company goals
- Identifying and resolving any roadblocks
- Celebrating successes and milestones
- What worked well (and didn’t) on recent projects
- Career goals and learning opportunities
Take notes and take action
Before your next 1:1, take some time to review whatever topics have been added to your shared agenda since your last meeting and prioritize discussion topics. As the meeting progresses, make sure someone is taking notes on what’s discussed and to document any action items that come up.
By clearly outlining next steps and who’s doing what (by when), you create a sense of accountability and help ensure that any follow-up items are completed in a timely fashion. If you’re using a project in Asana to track your one on one meetings, all you have to do is create and assign a task and move it to your “Action items” section.
1:1s that work for everyone
Regular one-on-one meetings are a critical ingredient to keeping employees happy, productive, and engaged. By creating a shared space for your agenda and adding a little structure, you and your team members are more likely to keep your 1:1s on track and have meaningful and actionable conversations.
Learn how Asana can help you deliver a great employee experience by running all of your cross-functional programs and activities better.
Meetings, meetings, and more meetings. Between recurring team syncs, planning meetings, brainstorms, and project check-ins, it probably feels like your calendar is overflowing with meetings. Which it probably is.
If meetings are taking up so much of your time, you must be getting a lot out of them—whether you’re leading them or participating in them—right? Unfortunately, most meetings are destined to fail. The end goal isn’t clear (or even identified), there’s no agenda to guide the meeting, and people walk out with more questions than answers. Employees want to be productive and feel like they’re spending their time on things that matter—but when meetings lack structure, they feel ineffective and like a waste of time.
Since there are only so many hours in the (work) day, here is an easy-to-follow process for running effective meetings so everyone walks in knowing what to discuss and walks out knowing next steps.
It’s prep time: Create and share your meeting agenda
1. Identify the purpose and goal of the meeting
Before you even begin checking people’s calendars, ask yourself, “what do we need to accomplish in this meeting?” If it’s a recurring meeting, this will help you determine how often you need to meet as well. If you’re scheduling a planning session, for example, the purpose could be to identify the key milestones for your team’s yearly objectives, and the goal could be to determine deadlines and who’s responsible for each milestone. Once you’ve locked down the purpose and goal, then you can start working your scheduling magic.
2. What to include in your meeting agenda
Now that you know why you’re having the meeting, it’s time to create an agenda that will keep the discussion on track. While it’s tempting to quickly scribble it down on a post-it right before the meeting, preparing your agenda ahead of time will ensure you prioritize the right things and don’t forget something important.
Start by outlining the themes you want to focus on in the meeting. For your annual planning meeting, this could be discussing results, brainstorming, and action items to move planning forward. To help keep everything (and everyone) on track, assign time blocks to each topic so you get to everything you need to discuss.
3. Add discussion topics
Now it’s time to add the meat… errr, topics you want to discuss. Add these to the appropriate agenda section so you discuss them at the right time during the meeting. The more detailed you are about what you’d specifically like to discuss, the better.
If you create your agenda in the tool where you’re tracking your work, it’ll be easy to add existing work or link to relevant tasks so everyone has the context they need—and you won’t have to do extra work.
“We’ve been taking conscious steps toward running meetings more effectively and becoming more productive, and Asana is proving to be an important ingredient in pushing that initiative forward.”
– Rey Fernández, Vice President & General Manager, Manhattan Prep
4. Share the agenda with attendees before the meeting
To get straight down to business, share the agenda with attendees in advance. If it’s ready and you can include it in the meeting invite, even better. This way, attendees will have time to familiarize themselves with discussion topics, prepare any info that will be needed, or ask clarifying questions before the meeting. Also, this gives others a chance to add or suggest topics if something’s missing.
Let’s begin: Stick to the agenda and capture action items as you go
5. Assign a note taker
Your notes will serve as the written record of your discussion, decisions, and next steps. They’re also helpful for people who were unable to attend a meeting (calendar conflicts are real), but need to know what happened. So before the meeting gets underway, assign a note taker that is ideally taking them in the same tool as your agenda and work. This way, when people need to reference decisions about milestones and projects that came out of your planning meeting, they’ll know exactly where to look.
6. Work through standing agenda items & discussion topics
Now is the time to encourage participation as you go through each topic. Hopefully, people will come prepared with information, thoughts, and questions since they’re familiar with the agenda (because you shared it ahead of time :wink:). You want your teammates to feel like their voice matters, plus great ideas arise when people are able to freely bounce ideas off of each other. And since there’s structure, your discussion will stay focused as you go from one topic to the next.
7. Assign action items as you go
Track and assign follow-up and action items as they come up instead of waiting until the end. Don’t forget to include due dates for action items as well—this will keep teammates accountable and make expectations clear. And it’s best to track these in your agenda (like in the agenda template above) so teammates can reference the meeting notes for context.
Once you wrap up your meeting, you won’t need to waste time sending out the notes or assigning action items—they will already be done. And while it takes a bit of time upfront to prepare for your meeting, the benefit of hosting a productive and effective meeting is (almost) priceless. With a clear purpose, agenda, and actionable discussion, everyone will walk in knowing what to discuss and walk out knowing what’s next. And you’ll be a meeting superstar.
Learn how Asana can help you deliver a great employee experience by running all of your cross-functional programs and activities better.
Special thanks to Jenny Thai and Jessie Beck
It’s that time of year again where the end of the summer term draws near, and it’s time to think about saying goodbye to another great school year. Before you do however, there are all the end of term activities to get through. One of the more enjoyable tasks that primary school teachers face is organising the summer sports day.
Sports day in a primary school is markedly different to sports days in secondary school. It’s as much about joining in and having fun as it is about competitiveness and winning! The activities, races and games are likely to include simplified, fun versions of track and field events – though still, of course, involving physical exertion and skill!
Done right, a sports day is the perfect way to wrap up the school year, and send both children and parents off on a positive note – so it’s important to try and get it right.
While the thought of organising school sports day may feel like just another chore on your seemingly endless list of things to do, since it’s National School Sports week from the 19th-25th June, now is the perfect time to get planning.
So what does the perfect school sports day look like? Here are some things to consider:
Primary school sports day organisation
Staying organised and preparing everything in good time is the best thing you can do to help stay calm and in control when it comes to preparing for your school sports day.
Set a time and a date, and make sure both pupils and parents are aware
Get a date in the diary well in advance and make sure that parents are aware of it so they can make arrangements to attend.
Start to plan what games you will include and a timetable for the event
Timing is everything when it comes to ensuring the day runs smoothly – think about how long you want the day to last, which events you’ll have and how long each will take. Don’t forget to factor in breaks. Decide whether you’ll present winners with prizes at the end of each race or have a prize giving ceremony at the end of the day.
Which teachers will be involved?
Sports days require a lot of manpower, whether it’s directing parents to the car park, handing out refreshments, overseeing races, blowing whistles or awarding prizes, you’ll need to make sure teachers know who’s doing what and when!
Think about refreshments
It’s a good idea to make sure you have planned for refreshments as hopefully it will be a hot day and you’ll all be in need of some cooling down. You could ask parents to bring picnics themselves to help keep costs down, but make sure you provide bottles of water as a minimum.
Think about what equipment you’ll need
You can’t win a sack race without the sacks, nor can you have a prize giving ceremony without any prizes! Once you’ve made your plan make sure you have all the equipment and materials you need to put your ideas into practice.
Make sure everyone feels included
Sports day can be daunting for some pupils, particularly those who are not as sporty or confident as others. Make sure you include something for everyone, not just the traditional, often highly competitive races. Coming up with a programme of games and activities that challenge different skills will help all children feel included. Team games and races are another great way of encouraging children to come together and work constructively to try to win. Try to instil an attitude of sportsmanship, where participating and trying your best is recognised and rewarded. Discouraging overly competitive behaviour goes hand in hand with this ethos. You could award prizes for sporting conduct as well as winning events.
Make sure you are clear on the rules of each activity and that everyone understand how to take part. Let children ask questions before you begin so no one gets confused or feels as though the have been treated unfairly. If you’re really organised, get the rules out to teachers beforehand so they can practise the events with their class during P.E. lessons.
Remember, primary school sports day is about making children feel included, and feel a sense of pride and achievement. With that in mind, you should be able to plan and run a sports day that is enjoyable for children, parents and staff alike!
Good sports to play at a primary school sports day
- Slow riding bikes – a great game that’s all about balance and not losing your nerve – great for the less sporty kids!
- Egg and spoon – a classic race that can be done in teams of individually.
- Sack race – the sack race is lots of fun and can be enjoyed by children of all ages.
- Three legged race – the three legged race will get lots of laughs and is a great way for children to work as a team.
- Standing long jump.
- Discus or Javelin – both very inclusive and a lot of fun!
- Relay race – a straightforward relay race is a good team event.
- Obstacle course – setting up an obstacle course is lots of fun.
- Hula hoop race – the hula hoop race requires participants to hula their way around the course – another one that’s better for children who aren’t as fast as others.
- Bucket game – line children up one behind the other in two of three (or however many) teams – a full bucket is placed at the feet of the person at the front of the line and they are given a cup. An empty bucket is placed at the back of the line. Children must fill up the cup and pass it back through the line over their heads and fill up the empty bucket at the back – the first team to fill their bucket wins!
- Tug of war – another classic game that’s great for teams!
And of course, not forgetting…
- Mums and dads three legged race!
Once your sports day is over
Once all of the races are over, it’s a great idea to gather everyone together and have a short speech about what a great day you have all had, and to thank all the teachers for their hard work. If you haven’t already, you could give out cups, medals, rosettes and prizes at the end of the day, too.
You can also use sports day to inspire some fun activities once everyone is back in the classroom, too. They could use the sports statistics for maths activities, write reports and stories about the day in English, and draw pictures or make cards to take home to their parents to remind them of what a fantastic day they had!
Organising the perfect sports day takes a little thought and preparation, but putting in the care and effort really does make all the difference and is the perfect way to celebrate the end of term!
What is a general management meeting?
General management meetings are probably the most common meetings in many organizations. Whether you run a department, an entire company, a school or a church, you will have meetings with representatives or leaders of all departments together. While these meetings are common, they are also the most challenging meetings to organize.
Challenges with organizing a general management meeting.
As we all know and as explained in previous articles, a good meeting starts with an agenda. Having a meeting without an agenda, is like doing an exam without studying; you will fail.
The challenge with a general meeting is that you will discuss various topics that may not be relevant or of interest to some of the participants. Just to give an example from my own experience. In my weekly management meeting we discuss the following topics:
- Sales (somehow that always seems to be the most important thing in companies!)
- Marketing activities
- Product development
- Human resources
- Finance and accounting
Since you will be discussing so many different topics you really have to be clear of the goal of each topic. In most cases the discussion will be informative and an update by the department head on what is going on in that specific department.
In other cases however, it can be a discussion on a topic that affects all departments. Examples are a new CRM system, a new product, a new (geographical) market, an acquisition, basically any big change that affects everyone. If it is really big it is probably better to hold a separate meeting, discussing only that one big change and not any other topics.
How to structure the information in your general management meeting?
It is very important to set clear boundaries between topics and close off a topic when you switch from one topic to the next. You could approach the general management meeting as a collection of smaller separate meetings.
When you start a topic make sure all attendees know what the goal of your discussion is. (Ideally this is already communicated in the agenda). During the discussion, stay focused on the topic at hand and don’t be tempted to discuss other issues. If something comes up outside the scope of the current agenda item, place the new issue on the Parking Lot so you can address it in another meeting.
When you are done discussing a topic, close it; summarize and review any action items created. Writing down the keypoints, decisions and tasks is extremely important. You need to have a record of what was decided and a list of tasks. If you don’t, you most likely will have the same discussion again in the future, tasks will not be completed and you have wasted your time and that of the meeting participants. Wasting time is not only expensive (see our meeting cost calculator), but it is also bad for morale and your organization’s culture.
How to best make an agenda and write meeting minutes for your general management meeting?
Your meeting documentation has various parts:
- The actual agenda and minutes documents
- The communication of these documents
- Managing and following up on meeting tasks
- Managing and sharing supporting materials, like reports, design proposals and other files.
You can use various tools to prepare, manage and document your meetings so they are more productive. You can use Word, Google docs or Evernote to prepare the agenda and write your minutes, email to distribute the information, a task or project management tool to keep track of your tasks and Dropbox, box.com or Google drive to share files.
However, managing all your meeting information in 3 or 4 tools is highly time consuming and inefficient. The result is that we don’t prepare, document and follow-up and we continue to have bad meetings.
To make managing all your information related to all your meetings more efficient we developed MeetingKing. MeetingKing helps you to have more productive meetings with less effort, from agenda preparation, to writing minutes and managing your meeting task list.
Our mission is to “Help the World get rid of bad meetings” and whatever tool you use, we hope this information will help you to have more productive meetings.
Staying organized and productive at work helps you stay focused and complete tasks on time.
When you are organized and productive, you can prioritize work and excel, which aids your career progress and success. There are several options for organizing your responsibilities and tasks, depending on your work style.
Consider the following ways to stay organized at work:
1. Set goals
Achievable goals can help you stay focused and productive. When you set specific goals with steps and a timeline, you can organize your work into more manageable tasks. Create both long and short-term goals and add milestones to your calendar to make sure you stay on task.
2. Track progress
To make sure you achieve your goals in the time you allotted, try to track your progress. Tracking progress can also help you identify when you’re most productive. For example, you might notice you accomplish more at the start of the week or in the morning. With this information, you can decide when to work on your most important tasks.
Some approaches to tracking your progress include logging in time you worked, tallying hours used toward a project, and blocking out periods of your day when you complete tasks.
3. Use an agenda
An agenda is an excellent tool to evaluate your work organization and productivity. When using a planner, write down specific events and their details throughout the days, weeks, and months. This strategy keeps you aware of what meetings and due dates you have coming up in your schedule. As a result, you’re more likely to meet your goals and remember specific events.
There are many types of agendas. Some agendas have a space for every day, while others are weekly or monthly. Think about what kind of planner would best suit you and your work. If you work on your computer often, consider using a digital plan to add events to specific dates.
4. Create to-do lists
To-do lists are simple yet highly effective lists to help maintain productivity throughout the day. Use to-do lists to write down important tasks you want to accomplish. Try to organize your work based on urgency. For example, you can add what you need to complete by the end of the day at the top of your list and what can wait until the next day toward the bottom.
Consider writing your to-do lists on a sticky note or in a notebook. When using this approach, think of ways to organize your to-do list. For example, use colored pens to distinguish between items, such as a blue pen to designate a team meeting and a red pen to label urgent responsibilities.
5. Practice accountability
When you hold yourself accountable, you reflect on your to-do list, evaluate your progress toward goals and identify ways to improve your performance. Regularly check in with yourself to determine your progress and find areas where you can approve. You can also develop a system of accountability with your coworkers by holding regular check-ins with each other.
6. Limit distractions
It is much easier to concentrate on work for extended periods in an organized workspace. When you limit distractions, you maintain your focus on your current task. Limit distractions by keeping your space organized and straightforward. Keep common distractions, like your phone, in your desk or a different room.
7. Incorporate a timer
Keep track of how much time you spend on different tasks to see areas where you can better use your time. When you start and end a task, start and end your timer. Consider using time-keeping applications to see how much time you spend on specific tasks. At the end of the week, reflect on your use of time and be more productive. For example, you could try limiting the amount of time you spend checking your emails if you notice you don’t have much time to complete other priority tasks.
8. Keep a clean environment
In an organized office, you find supplies and materials efficiently, which makes your workflow more consistent. Keeping a clean environment includes putting items back where they belong, disinfecting your desk with cleaning wipes, and opening your windows for fresh air. A clean environment is a comfortable one, which makes staying productive easier.
Decluttering your workspace is a crucial part of staying clean and organized. Once a week or month, take stock of your workspace and remove any items that you don’t use daily. Throw away any outdated to-do lists, and file away completed work.
9. Use labels
Labels are a practical approach to organizing your files. Clearly label each file, and arrange them in a way that makes the most sense to you. For example, you could manage your files in alphabetical order or by year.
Use this approach for digital files, too. Clearly labeled files and folders on your computer are much easier to locate without having to search for them for a long time.
10. Sort your email
Many professionals use email to communicate with each other, and as a result, you might find your email inbox full of emails. Sorting your emails avoids clutter in your inbox and helps you find essential emails faster.
Create digital folders in your email to sort all your messages. Folders categorize your emails in the appropriate place. Labeling emails remind you to reply to senders and keep essential emails in one place.
11. Take breaks
Breaks are an important way to keep focus and stay productive. Breaks keep you motivated because you avoid over-working yourself in a short period. As a result, you can often work for longer. During your break, go on a short walk, or get a snack. Make sure you take your break away from your workspace to reset your focus completely.