January 1, 2017

Organize Yo' Self 2017: Become a Sticky Note Tab Addict

  According to my very scientific {no math was used in the making of this} calculations based on Instagram posts, tweets, and current events, 2016 was a mess so bad it wasn't even hot for 95% of the population. In a dire attempt to ensure that 2017 does not end up even remotely as bad as the not at all funny joke that was 2016, I'm introducing a new series to the blog: "Organize Yo' Self 2017" {like treat yo' self except in this case the incentive to organize is that once your life is somewhat organized you can treat yo' self. Ya feel?}. I'll be posting my tips every Monday in January and maybe February {we'll see}, 2017 needs to be organized quickly to make sure we're giving it the best chance for success.

  To open this series, I'm starting with one of my favorite organizational tactics--sticky note tabs.

  When I actually started using these instead of just buying them to stick in the books I read for school, it was a game changer.

  While I was originally introduced to these by one of those serious planner obsessed people {you know who I'm talking about, and if you are one of those people, I'm jealous of your cute kawaii style and ability to organize absofreakingeverything}, I've found that the sticky tabs ware wayyy more useful outside of the planner or assigned reading.

  I've found that the absolute best use for these little tabs is in note-taking binders, or notebooks,

BEFORE WE GET STARTED: Sticky note tabs are most effective when you have them in several colors, styles, or prints {just so that they're different from each other}, and when they're paper and more like an actual Post-It {so that you can write on them} instead of the plastic/tape ones. If you're trying to buy them cheap, the Target Dollar Section almost always has cute ones, otherwise sometimes I just cut up normal sticky notes into thirds when I'm in a pinch. My current favorite sticky notes are Lilly Pulitzer, because well, Lilly Pulitzer, but I've also gotten really cute ones from Vera Bradley in the past {plus Vera Bradley runs tons of sales, so it's easy to find them relatively inexpensive there as well!}.

  The binder is useful all on it's own, but we'll get to that in a future post. Until then, here's how I use sticky note tabs to further organize my binder.

-I devote one sticky note tab color to each of the following categories and write the label on the allocated color: homework; lecture notes gets a color, but the chapter and/or section is what's written on the tab; book notes gets a color, but again, only the chapter and/or section is what's written on the tab. These categories vary by class so tailor them to meet your needs!

-I label the corresponding tabs with the pages in my binder. When doing this, I stagger the tabs so that they look more like the tabs from binder dividers instead of one giant pile of sticky tabs. A good rule of thumb is to dedicate 2-3 lines from the loose leaf to a section. For example: I know my homework tab will always go on lines 1-2 and the tab for all my lecture notes will always go on lines 3-4. This makes it easy to quickly go through and find all the tabbed sections.

Now you may be asking, "Eva, what is honestly the point of going through and tabbing all these papers?  Why not just rearrange them so they're together or put them in binder dividers?"

Here's my logic: By leaving notes in the order you take them and homework in the order it's assigned, it makes it way way easier to go through and find all your corresponding notes and assignments when it's time to review for a test. There's no time wasted flipping back and forth between the divided sections trying to locate where things are and less chance of papers getting lost. I also put several subjects in one binder so I don't have to worry about keeping track of so many separate notebooks and folders, so having 15 different binder dividers for three or four different classes in one binder would get really confusing!

  As mentioned before, I prefer a binder for school over notebooks, but I am actually quite a bit of a notebook lover, and use them all the time for organizing lists, my blog, and other miscellaneous things! Sticky notes just make it easier for me to find things in the creative mess that are my notebooks.

  The organization for my notebooks is much less intense than my binder. Instead of devoting colors for categories and tabbing the page to category, I simply use the tabs to highlight my most important pages at the time, the page I left off on, and the pages I know I want to come back to. For example, in my favorite, all-purposes notebook, I tab my current to-do list, my current shopping list, an upcoming scheduled day {you know, the ones where from 9 to 5 you're probably going 20 places so you have to schedule each stop at a specific time to make sure you can fit them all in}, my ongoing list of favorite movies, you get the idea. A lot of the pages I tab in my notebooks are pages that I later remove the tabs from, the tab from a completed to-do list gets removed or moved to the tab of a new to-do list. The tab from a day schedule gets removed when that day's been completed. The only tabs that usually never move are those for permanent ongoing lists such as my favorite movies, songs, etc. {it may sound weird that I write those things down, but think about it, how many good movies or songs have you seen or listened to that you just can't seem to remember the name of?!}

  Momentary sidetrack: Notebooks can be a great organizational tool in and of themselves. While they don't have to be perfectly organized, writing down ideas and lists can help you to remember what you need to get done and stay organized regardless.

With design school application deadlines approaching quickly and and allll of them requiring portfolios, being able to navigate through my sketchbooks quickly is a must. I organize my sketchbooks fairly similarly to how I organize my binder.

-I use one type of sticky note tab in multiple colors to label sketches that fit either a specific collection or theme. For example: yellow for Art Deco, pink for shirtdress revamp, gray for Mad Men, etc.

-I use a different style of sticky note tab to label all the sketches that I am considering for use in my final portfolio. This makes it easy for me to find my favorites without having to flip through all of them.

That's a wrap on my sticky note tabs, come back next Monday to see how I organize my binder!

Love and Stay Preppy,

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