Organization, Old School Methods and What I Use


As much as I love my technology and tools, sometimes you need to go old school.

A couple months ago (or was it last month? My head is still not grasping that next week is November) I shared with you guys that I went up to spend the day with a friend planning and organizing. We help keep each other accountable and thought a day away from the tasks in our business would be helpful.

She had sent me a picture of the different ‘journals’ she’s collected over the last year or so and it was pretty funny. (she thought so too… it was quite the collection).

Then when we got together and looked at our collective organizational tools it felt a tad overwhelming.

There are sooooo many options for keeping yourself productive, on task and accomplishing things.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The problem with all of these systems is they require more of you – which doesn’t usually work.” quote=”The problem with all of these systems is they require more of you… and if that ‘more’ doesn’t work, neither will the system.” theme=”style6″]

The problem with all of these systems is they require more of you… and if that ‘more’ doesn’t work, neither will the system.

Regardless of how pretty the journal is or how cool the app is.

I’ve tried my fair share of all of these options. I think I’m going to be this dialed-in organizational badass. I love my colored pens too so add that to the mix and now we’re really cookin’! Not only am I ‘serious’ about my business, but I look creative in the process.

How about the articles on ‘hacks’?

Hack your “productivity, energy, finances, health, humor, laundry, text conversations, teeth brushing, pasta cooking”….

“7 Ways Startups go from no funding to a million dollars… in less than 3 weeks!”

“The 5 Things EVERY Entrepreneur MUST do to be Successful”

“3 Things You Can do TODAY to Explode your business!”

… you get my point.

And for what it’s worth, none of this stuff is good, bad or indifferent. You simply have to decide if they work for YOU. Even if everyone else you know is using Google Calendar… if you prefer pen & paper?

Use pen and paper.

I’m also not knocking listacles (list style posts or headlines)… because at the end of the day, they work. I’ve used them myself.

But sometimes it feels like the to-do list is bigger than the actual work (or is that just me?).

What really works for me is my dry-erase calendar (because I do a little ‘coloring’ at the top for the theme of the month. This month I have a pumpkin, spiderweb & spider for Halloween. I also use relative colors for the month. #simplepleasures), Google Keep (LOVE this tool… basically it’s a simple to-do list that you can create lists with checkboxes, Google Calendar and a legal pad.
I have 2 journals/organizers that I use when I feel like it.

Really not rocket science, but it works for me.

Productivity is a tricky thing… especially when we live in a culture that defines us by what we do (and what we have… but that’s for another conversation).

I wanted to share an article (interview?) with you on the iThemes blog today. Kevin Hendricks of iThemes sent over some questions about ‘How I Get Things Done’…
I talked about getting off the computer, having a semi-routine, and why I’m not motivated by inbox zero.

Read Freelance Productivity: How Kim Doyal Gets Things Done here

(that felt weird to write about myself in the 3rd person there).

Here’s a pic of my desk… and while I cleaned it up a smidge for this post, for the most part that’s how it looks most of the time (I have a hard time focusing with clutter or disorganization. Guess this might be why I’m a little more left brained). You can see my appointments in Google calendar don’t always make it to my dry erase calendar. Half the time it’s just easier to glance up at the calendar on the wall than to go into Google Calendar (although I do that daily anyways… go figure. I never said my methods made sense).

Checkout Google Keep Here

Kim Doyal Desk


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  1. So agree with you about the “hacks”-just add a number to the front, something no one likes to do and some more bogus words and bob’s your uncle, people love it. Ugh.
    I love pen and paper, too! Easily destroyed, not engraved in the stone of the internet archives!
    Checking out Google keep now.

    1. Thanks Deb!
      I’m so over the “hacks” for everything. I’m all about efficiency but don’t see the need to hack everything.
      Every time I try a new online web app I eventually go back to pen & paper too!
      Let me know what you think about Google Keep!

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