Organization is on my life to-do list. Organizing my to-do list is also on my life to-do list. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not a naturally organized person. I envy those people who can automagically find files, books, and photos at the snap of their fingers. I have to dig through boxes to find anything. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s in the fridge. Don’t ask.

I finally decided to get my behind in gear and do something about my (lack of) organization. I have this uneasy feeling that if I don’t, my boys’ toys will finally take over the house and I won’t be able to find my way to work, i.e. the computer. So, to move this goal forward, I’ve been reading a great book entitled “Survival for Busy Women.” My favorite tip of hers, so far, is the daily planner.

I can hear you screaming “Nooooo” all the way over here.

Yes, a daily planner. Pretty simple concept. You write it down and then check it off. Of course, I have three different calendars to coordinate and this keeps them all in one place. And no, I don’t have a PDA and I gave up my Blackberry (trying to save money, thank you very much). My daily planner combines all three.

One of the best features, though, is the goals lists. I’ve decided to create personal and professional goals and I can keep track of them in this handy dandy binder. I’ll talk about how to set up goals later but if you really need the info now, you can go to Lifehack and learn how to write a personal mission statement or you can wander over to “Create SMART Goals.”

I bought my FranklinCovey Day1 planner from WallieWorld for about $9 on sale. It was filled with the basics package which included a calender, notes pages, address phone book, work activities section, personal information, and a large to-do list area.

But, you don’t really need to purchase a daily planner to create your own organizer. All you need is a 3 ring binder that is about 8.5×11 inches or a bit smaller (whatever will fit into your purse or a diaper bag, if you have one!), paper to size (pre-punched or hole punch your own), and blank tabs you can write on. That’s it.

Here are some important sections to consider including in your day planner:

  • goals (personal and professional, although you may want to separate them into their own sections)
  • calendar (which you can print out yourself or buy pre-made calendars at Staples)
  • daily schedule
  • notes
  • to do list
  • expenses
  • address and phone numbers

It’s pretty customizable. Feel like adding in an exercise journal? Include it! Or how about your kids clothing sizes? Not a problem. The main thing is to keep all the information that you need on a daily basis in one place. For me, it’s my day planner and I love having it. I feel more organized already.

Now I just need a few extra days to actually fill in all the address & phone numbers.

So, what tip or trick have you used to keep yourself organized? I want to know!