Hello Zen Organizer!
Today, I want to talk to you about the evolution in the main organization tools I use and why I chose them.
I'll start with the Bullet Journal Method, a tool I used for almost two years and that I recently decided to abandon. Then, I'll tell you about the main tool I've been using lately: Notion.
The Bullet Journal Method
If you've been around for a while, you probably know that I love the Bullet Journal Method. If you don't know what this method is, I've done an episode that explains what it is and how to create your Bullet Journal (episode #6). I've also recorded another episode that explains how to use it daily (episode #8).
But basically, a Bullet Journal is a customizable notebook that allows you to "track the past, order the present, design the future." And the promise that its creator, Ryder Carroll, makes in his book is that "the Bullet Journal Method will help you accomplish more by working on less. It helps you identify and focus on what is meaningful by stripping away what is meaningless" (Carroll, 2018, p.15).
Why and how I used my Bullet Journal
I used the Bullet Journal Method for almost two years (four notebooks in total).
In the beginning, I used it to organize my personal life and my professional life. I followed the exact method for my personal life, and I used a simplified version at work.
I had a lot of collections to help me organize my life (ex. master grocery list, gift ideas, menstrual tracker, etc.).
Then, when I created Zenly Organized, I quickly realized that my Bullet Journal wasn't flexible and powerful enough to manage all the tasks this new activity required. So I started using Asana to manage these tasks.
I kept using my Bullet Journal for my personal life and my simplified BuJo at work.
Then, I discovered Notion, which I'm going to talk more about below, and I decided to use it instead of Asana to manage Zenly Organized. Once I saw how flexible it was, I decided to transfer all of my collections to it.
That's when I started pivoting from analog to digital. I found it annoying and time-consuming to recopy all my collections every time I changed notebooks. I also found it much more practical to have my collections on my phone with me at all times.
I still went ahead to use my Bullet Journal for my personal life. I liked the fact it allowed me to step away from the computer now and then. I also prefer to reflect and brainstorm on paper.
So for a few months, I used both my BuJo and Notion to organize the different areas of my life.
Why I stopped using my Bullet Journal
So why did I stop using my Bullet Journal?
Although I still love this method and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an analog organization tool, I had to deal with too many things lately (both in my personal and professional life) that I needed to consolidate all my tasks in one place.
Why? Because it got to a point where I was recopying my priority tasks of the day both in my BuJo and Notion because some of these tasks were professional and others personal, and I needed a complete overview of what I had to do that day.
It didn't make sense at all to lose time recopying everything in both places. Plus, I had already transferred all of my collections to Notion, so I already used it for half of my personal organization. So I decided to take the leap and move all of my organization system to Notion.
And I have been very happy with my choice ever since!
Now, the only organization tool I use is Notion, an incredible software that allows you to do practically everything! It's been a major life-changing discovery (I'm not exaggerating 😂)!
What is Notion?
What exactly is Notion?
It's a free all-in-one workspace. It's a versatile software that allows you to do virtually everything you need. It's a project manager, note-taker, to-do list manager, database manager, collaboration tool, and more!
It's a great tool if you're looking for ONE tool that gathers everything you need in one place.
With Notion, you can create different types of databases: Kanban boards, tables, calendars, Gantt charts, lists, and galleries. These databases can be filtered and sorted based on the different information you need. You can even link databases between them, pull information from them, and combine their data.
However, because of its versatility and quantity of features, Notion is more complex to use than other organization tools. It's hard to start using Notion without watching tutorials or taking a course at first. But once you have the basics, it's easy to use!
That's also why I created a free 1-hour training in which you can learn all the basics and get started easily and quickly with it!
Why I decided to use Notion
If the description of this amazing tool still hasn't convinced you of the power of this tool, let me explain why I chose to use it!
First of all, I was tired of switching between many different tools to get things done. Before I discovered Notion, I used my BuJo or Asana to manage my tasks. I then used Documents on Google Drive to write my blog articles and IG posts. I used Sheets to do my budget. I used my BuJo, notebooks, Documents, or my Notes app on my phone to take notes.
I had information all over the place. I was constantly wondering where I had written what. And nothing was connected with everything else.
Notion allowed me to centralize everything in one place: my to-do list, my goals, my content calendar, my content, my ideas, my budget, my reading list, my master grocery list, and so much more!
Second, it gives me a complete overview of what I have to do, all areas taken together. I simply open my to-list, and I can see everything I have to do that day/week/month. I can also filter this to-do list by category (ex. personal vs professional), by priority (with an Eisenhower Matrix), by period (today, tomorrow, next week, next month), by the hour (which allows me to do time blocking), etc.
Third, Notion is basically like a Bullet Journal since there is no pre-established structure. You are free to build your workspace as you wish. And I'm all about freedom and being able to do things my way! So I love this tool because there's almost no limit on what you can build with it! You can create an organization tool that is entirely yours and that works perfectly for you and your needs.
Fourth, it allows me to connect almost everything together! For example, when an event is added to my Google Calendar, it appears in my to-do list (thanks to an automation with Zapier). When I create content on Canva, I can embed it on Notion to see my visuals when I write my captions without switching from Canva to Notion. It allows me to connect my goals to my to-do list and my habit tracker together, so I can see my progress and how they all tie in together.
Honestly, I've tried many organization tools, but I've never been as satisfied with one of them as I have with Notion! If you're looking for a powerful yet highly flexible and customizable organization tool, you should definitely look into it!
I hope this little overview of my organization tools can help you find the perfect tool(s) for you!
I wish you a zenly organized week,