Owning a notebook that is personalised completely by yourself is the answer to ultimate time management, organisation and productivity. It avoids the constraints of a ready-made planner, and the indistinctness of keeping everything on an online space. However, it’s essential to direct the management of the notebook yourself and personalise it to your lifestyle without letting it get cluttered and difficult to retrieve information from.
By using these simple organisation ideas and techniques, you can transform your work notebook from a random, disorderly collection of pages to an organised personal planning hub.
Recognise what you want from your notebook
First and foremost, a good start is to visualise how you want to use your notebook. How will you refer back to it? When will you feel the need to write in it? Imagine yourself flicking through it and using it in your daily routine. If you feel as if you will be carrying it around in your bag and taking it in and out, then it will be worth investing in one with a hard-wearing cover that is also small, light and portable.
Separate into different volumes
To avoid getting your notebook confused, it’ll be best to separate them into different projects. This way, everything will stay neat and clear which will avoid any unnecessary mix-up and will make it easier to navigate through.
Make a contents page
Number every page of the notebook, then at the front create a contents page. Write down your numbers in one or two columns, however you would like. Now, whenever you use a page, you can flick back to your contents page and jot in what that page is used for. Don’t stress yourself out in the beginning by completely structuring how you will write in it as you won’t know until it’s too late if you’ve set yourself too many or too little pages.
Store your stuff
Receipts, post-it notes, postage stamp sheet or travel tickets to claim on your expenses. This is the perfect place for these flat, easy to lose pieces that are actually rather important. YouTube how to make origami pockets for your notebook or use some washi tape and stickers to keep them stowed.
Add some colour
Finally, using colour can effectively help the functioning and organisation of your notebook whilst at the same time making it aesthetically pleasing.
For example, highlighters can help identify different topics and categories on your weekly planner, and different coloured inks can help make urgent tasks stand out from the rest. Add a colour key to clarify the separate topics or projects as well to keep it clear. Different coloured sticky bookmarks can also add another layer to the system and can also sync up with the colour key.