If you run your own business you’ll know that sometimes it can get a little… well… disorganised. You have to cover everything from the service you offer, to marketing, finance, admin and beyond. I’ve written a few times before about business planning and goal setting, and it got me thinking about how I keep myself organised, efficient and focused.

We’re all so very different, and I know what works for one person doesn’t work for the next. But that’s not going to stop me sharing a few things that work for me. I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!

Organise your to-do list  with digital sticky notes

I used to be a fan of actual proper physical sticky notes. But they seem like a waste of paper, and they lose their stick. And that scares me a bit because I rely on them.

So, while I do still have a pad of post-its, I’m much more likely to use the sticky notes app on my laptop these days. I stack notes so that they don’t get overwhelming (long-term tasks on a small note, hidden under a larger note for urgent jobs). Plus I have one for things I use lots, like the codes for my brand colours or the number of my plumber (hang on, what’s that got to do with business?).

Manage your inbox with several email addresses – use them wisely

I have several email addresses. One personal, one for clients and one for signing up to newsletters, subscriptions, etc. That way when I’m really busy all I have to do is check the client inbox. And then when I want to sit down, work through some learning and keep myself up-to-date with industry news, I can dive into the other one. Works like a dream.

Keep track of all your notes with… a notebook

Simple but indispensable.

It’s nothing fancy. It’s just an exercise book (like the ones we used to have at primary school), but that means it’s small, easy to write in and to carry around to meetings. I don’t have the patience to keep different notebooks for different uses so it all just gets lumped in one, but it works. And when I’m out-and-about or too lazy to get up off the sofa, I use the notes app on my phone.

What systems do you have in place to keep yourself organised? Do you use an app or bit of software that makes a big difference to your organisation and business sanity? Or are you a pen-and-paper person? Share your tricks!


One thought on “How to stay organised: keeping your sanity when you’re self-employed

  1. I find Google Keep useful to make lists of things to do. And I save lots of stuff to Evernote, organised in folders and stacks. I also use Evernote to draft blog posts. I’ve got it on my phone as well, so I can add notes and ideas when I’m out. But I think I’m going to start using digital post it notes on my laptop – I tend to write things down manually and then lose the scrap of paper I wrote on!


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