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Staying Productive Tips & Ideas

5 Organizational Tools to Keep You Productive in the New Year

January 20, 2016

The New Year generally brings on a rash of resolutions, from losing weight and getting fit to paying down debt and finally putting some money in savings. However, getting organized is also a worthy goal, especially if your lack of organization is impacting your ability to remain productive. Here are just a few helpful organizational tools to help you get organized in the New Year.


Clutter is the hallmark of a busy life, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re happy with the amount or placement of clutter in your home. With the holidays over, family gone, and your life getting back to normal, now is the perfect time to head to Target or Home Depot to pick up some plastic storage bins and start getting organized.

Pack up seasonal clothing and store it on the top shelf of your closet. Vacuum seal linens that you only use seasonally or when company arrives. Get your office in order with shelving, bins, and organizers each with a specific purpose in mind.

You might have to do some cleaning and clear out items that you no longer need or want (Craigslist!), but the end product will be an organized home that is easier to maintain, giving you more free time and improving your productivity.


For bits of clutter that are too small for bins, binders fitted with plastic sleeves or pockets are a low-tech life saver.

Great for storing everything from fabric scraps to paint brushes to magazine clippings, they’re inexpensive and store neatly on any shelf. Most business supply stores carry a slew of binders and accessories to keep your odds and ends organized. Don’t forget to use tab dividers between sections, and label the binder spine so you know exactly where to go when you’re looking for something specific.

Digital Calendar

This is a must. Whether you use your Outlook calendar across computing and mobile devices or you prefer a different calendar application, this is the year you should transfer everything from paper to digital. The best reason is that you can automate notifications for annual events (like birthdays and anniversaries).  You’ll also enjoy having your calendar at your fingertips wherever and whenever you need it.

Cloud Storage

You might not appreciate how cloud storage can increase your productivity. After all, Google Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud platforms are really only good for storage, right? The first time you’re at the office and need a file that you were last working on at home, you’ll see the wisdom in utilizing cloud storage and the time it saves over having to drive home or try to replicate your work in a hurry. It’s one of those organizational tools you’ll soon forget how you lived without!

To-Do List Apps

When you’re worried about tasks like grocery shopping, appointments, and downloading the latest font bundle, your fragmented thoughts can pull your focus and reduce productivity. Even worse, these obligations can keep you up at night, impacting your sleep and further damaging your ability to be productive.

With an app like Todoist, Remember the Milk, or Wunderlist, just to name a few of the most popular task apps, you can get organized, set reminders, and clear some head space to focus on more pressing concerns.