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  • October 09, 2023 5 min read

    Are you tired of feeling disorganized at work, constantly searching for that important note or list that you had a moment ago but can’t seem to find anymore? What if a simple, well-organized set up could be the key to giving your productivity a boost so you can stay on top of your tasks? Believe it or not, while it’s not a solution on its own, organization makes a whole world of difference when it comes to getting started and getting more things done!

    Of course there are other steps to consider and, in this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of organizing your lists, notes, journal, to-do’s, habit trackers, planners, sketchbooks, and more—all by listing smart ways to organize these and more.


    But why should you have an organized notebook?

    Imagine having everything in one place whenever you need them: that’s what an organized notebook can give you. An efficient notebook organization system can really change the game when it comes to your focus, time management, and even productivity—and all because it helps eliminate clutter and possible distractions.

    Here are just some of the things a well organized notebook will allow you to do:

    • Spend less time searching for important information
    • Spend more time getting things done
    • Have distinct sections for various projects or tasks to make sorting easier
    • Stay focused and organized throughout your workday

    That said, it’s time to say goodbye to scattered sticky notes and messy piles or stacks of paper! Here are six ways to organize your notebook!



    1. Choose the ideal notebook.

    Selecting the right kind of notebook for your needs can impact a lot of things, most especially building the system you’ll follow, which can in turn have an effect on organization and productivity. When deciding on what to use, some things to consider include:

    • Size
    • Type
    • Storage capacity
    • Page layout

    Think about how you’ll be using the notebook in your everyday life, where you’ll store it, and how often you’ll be updating it.

    One of the most common notebook sizes is A5 which is why this is also what we chose for the Field Journal. Even then, remember: you can always switch things around depending on what you need at a given time or whatever it is you’re working on. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different notebook types and styles until you find the perfect fit for your needs.

    The key is to create a notebook system that enhances your productivity and keeps you organized and efficient by allowing you to have what you need within reach.


    2. Determine and establish what your notebook’s purpose is.

    It may seem like overkill to some but figuring this out really helps a lot! You want to know what your notebook is really for because, unless you do, you’ll be hard pressed to find what system will help you organize it.

    For example: is your notebook going to be for work-related tasks? If it is, then you’ll be able to focus on just work-related things when needed since you’ll have a clear separation between personal and professional notes and the likes. Whether that’s having different notebooks for each or simply dividing a single notebook into sections, the “knowing” can already get you started with organizing.

    From there, it’s a matter of building an organization system that suits you based on different factors. Going back to the work example, will you need a daily to-do list to ensure you stay on top of tasks? Maybe you also need a weekly planner alongside it to keep better track of things like meetings and deadlines.

    Knowing your notebook’s purpose will narrow down the type of system you may need, which you will have to consider alongside any personal preferences you already have. 



    3. Try different methods.

    The only way to know if something will work for you or not is by giving them a try—which is exactly the case here. Finding the best organization method for your needs may involve a lot of experimentation. Here are just some examples:

    • Color-coding
    • Using dividers
    • Making an index
    • Having symbols/abbreviations

    Think about how you’re planning to use your notebook, what it’s for, and the type of information you’ll be keeping in it. You may also need to consider how much time and space you have available for organization. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t find a method that works right away—some trial and error is normal.


    4. Create sections.

    Whether you’re using one notebook or several of them—like our various refills in the Field Journal—sectioning can really enhance how functional your system becomes but, most of all, it can also significantly make retrieving what you need from your notebook easy and simple.

    Some people prefer having individual notebooks for different projects, others just need dividers or colored tabs… you do you! Choose whatever works and here are some sectioning options you can consider:



    4.1 Page Numbers and an Index
    Nothing makes a notebook more accessible than page numbers and an index! No more endless flip throughs trying to locate a specific page. There’s a reason books have a table of contents: it’s just easier to find information if you know exactly where to go. Simply list the topics and subtopics covered in your notebook and then assign page numbers which you can then add to your index. This will make your notebook user friendly—you’ll thank yourself later.
    4.2 Dividers or Sticky Tabs
    Sometimes, a simple divider or a sticky tab, like a colored Post It note, can already be very helpful when organizing your notebook. Once you tack on a label on either or assign a color for specific things or projects, with just one look, you’ll know exactly which page to go to. This doesn’t just keep your notebook organized—it also saves you a lot of time.


    5. Review and update your notebook.

    As in all systems that need constant monitoring and check ups, your notebook needs reviewing from time to time, too. Is it still effective? Is it still relevant to your ongoing projects? Regular reviews allow you to identify any gaps or inconsistencies in your notebook organization system so you can make the necessary adjustments. Modify or completely change things up if they’re no longer working for you.

    To keep everything organized, a few things you can do are:

    • Clean it up
    • Check off completed tasks
    • Rewrite to-do lists

    This is the only way to ensure your organization system still meets your needs.



    6. Adapt as your needs change.

    It can be very tempting to keep your system the way it is no matter what, especially if it’s something you’re used to. After all, it may have taken you some time to figure out something that works. However, as your needs, preferences, and priorities change, it’s vital to adapt and make small adjustments where needed. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of having a system at all.

    Don’t be afraid to continue experimenting with brand new methods, tools, or techniques—even revisiting some of them in case they will work with your needs now—to improve your notebook organization system. Flexibility and adaptability are key so you can continue to support your productivity and success.


    Get started on organizing your notebook right now!

    Simply building an organizational system for your notebook can help and greatly improve how you manage your time and affect your productivity and focus. Always remember that it’s all about figuring out what works for you. Your system doesn’t have to be like everyone else’s at the core of it—it just has to be relevant to your needs.

    What other smart ways have you implemented to organize your own notebook? Share it with us in the comments—we’d love to hear from you!

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