3 Essential Items I Use to #GSD

kate spade ipad caseSo does this mean I play hooky every day as this kate spade ipad case playfully suggests? No, of course not! But it does mean that sometimes I am still in my pajamas until later than I’d like to admit if I’m not leaving my place that day. At my first #GSD Workshop a few weeks ago, a lot of the gals were asking me about my personal system for getting shit done. So I wanted to share three items with you that have really made a difference in my attempt to stay organized and efficient in my work process.

3 Essential Items to #GSD


Now maybe this seems simple but I actually have abandoned the millions-of-file-folders concept because when it came to tax time, everything I needed was in a different folder! So now I have two important binders (make them cute ones like this russell+hazel binder above, remember Rachel’s post?) — a business binder, and a home binder. In each binder I have plastic double-pocket dividers separating each category for business and home, and I use plastic sleeves, and a 3-hole punch for any papers I can just put directly in the binder. Any smaller papers, receipts or papers I want to keep in tact I put in the sleeves. And here’s where I get really nerdy … I use my label maker (similar) to label each divider and each plastic sleeve — that way there is no question about what goes where and papers don’t get shoved in random places.


My goal is to make my to-do list for the next day the night before, that way I don’t worry about it all evening. Also I think it can be daunting looking at a huge page of to-dos. By simplifying my extended to-do list into a manageable list each day it seems more manageable. I have this small adhesive to-do list that only has 15 lines, and little circles you can check when finished. Even 15 items is a lot for one day, but it’s a great way to not feel overwhelmed (especially by my next item).


Why do I say one? Because I tend to have notebooks and post-its everywhere! So the trick here is: just. have. one. notebook. at. a. time. You can keep all of those cute notebooks in a pile, or on display somewhere, but only use one for actually taking notes, and keeping a giant to-do list at a time. That way you are never saying to yourself, where did I write down that (fill in blank here). You can have an extended to-do list, notes for clients, lists of posts, lists for everything! When I’ve done everything on the page, I either tear it out or fold the page down. If you are going for simplicity, you can get a notebook that has an insert and you can just replace the insert like this one. I am also a fan of black moleskines. I keep notes from all of my meetings, clients, and lists in the same place.

You may be wondering why I didn’t list a planner? This is because I keep as much digital as I can. Instead of an actual planner, I use Google Calendar, not because it’s the most aesthetically pleasing by any means, but because it syncs with everything and my phone — so I always have it with me without carrying anything extra. Now I also use Google Drive and keep a ton of documents (lists, ideas, etc.) on Google Drive. In Google Calendar, I can create separate calendars that I can then turn on and off if I don’t want to see them in my view, I can create separate calendars to share with people (this is what I do with my contributors), and you can also share the documents in Google Drive, and everyone can edit them at the same time and it all auto-saves. Aesthetically I’m a fan of teux deux, but keeping everything all in one place — Google Calendar for me — makes it so much easier to manage.

So there you have it, my first installment of how I GSD (get shit done). What else would you like to know about how I GSD? Leave a comment, or tweet me @megbiram with your questions!