Alarm. Snooze. Alarm. Get up. Grumpy. Coffee. Smile. Ready to conquer the world!
This may be all too familiar for many of us. But along with this routine are secret weapons that some of us enjoy to carry around, if only to make the sometimes demanding days more bearable. We asked 9 Filipinas from different walks of life to show us their choice of ammunition when it comes to making day-to-day hustle more manageable.
Trying to catch them right smack in the middle of whatever work they are in at the moment (no preps, no pretenses!), we get a candid glimpse of their organization techniques. And what you too will find out is refreshing: a lot of people still choose to organize the old-fashioned way!
Recruiter | Cebu
"As a Recruiter, I maintain a notebook for my work to-do list and notes. Before, I mixed my personal notes/tasks in that notebook. Needless to say, these notes were forgotten or disregarded along the way. I then realized that I was more organized and got more things done at work than paying my bills on time, have a pedi/mani, buy eggs and bread etc." recalled Aisha. "Now, I keep this must-have pretty notebook for all other non-work notes and to-do listing. This is also the notebook I carry in my bag everyday and I leave the work notebook at my office desk. I am noticing that I am feeling more in control of my life as compared to before."
Registered Nurse | Oslo
A mother of two, Beate finds these colored pens extremely useful when plotting the monthly schedule for babysitting. She and her husband are full-time nurses so they usually turn to her parents for help around with the kids as it involves a lot of shifting schedules and dropping off and picking up. "I print out a monthly calendar and give it to the parents after color coding so they know," she revealed. The colors change depending on the schedule for easier tracking.
Instructional Design Head, Insurance Agent | Cebu
Bianca splits her time between two jobs, saying "I deal with a lot of paperwork. To help me organize different documents, I always carry a filing envelope with me. This particular envelope was a gift from a friend, and I love it because its bright color makes it so easy for me to find it!"
Client Success Manager | Singapore
"I need to have Post-its at work! The more Post-it, the better!" said Carmi. "I am a Client Success Manager who is responsible for growing my clients' businesses and maintaining their contracts with my company. I need to ensure their profitability and meet their tight deadlines. With Post-its at my work station, I am reminded of my deadlines and to-dos regularly so I rarely forget tasks. So, if you are having trouble memorizing or remembering your tasks, scribble them down and post them somewhere your eyes can see!"
Entrepreneur, Regional Business Dev. Manager | Cebu
Old school plus new school pieces
Connie founded a talent solutions company in 2014, but she has been more than that since then. She turns to her effective, no-fuss planners and tasks list pads. "They make planning and making lists more fun. I love making lists, because it de-stresses me. The best feeling is completing a task and crossing it off my list. So I need my To-Do and 5-Day Planner," she expressed. "iPad comes handy for alarms, Waze, booking an Uber or Grab, Food Panda, etc. The iPad could have done it all for me, but I still am old-fashioned about note-taking. Not in photo are my piles of Post-Its and preferred writing weapons: My Gel and Mongol 2. I need to have both. These keep me sane while working as Regional Business Dev. Manager for Maxicare and co-running Aleph and a farm with the husband."
Entrepreneur, Pastry Chef | Cebu
Jane runs Yoyi's Pastries and Desserts, a family-owned business originally from Leyte which has now branched out in Cebu. Big shoes to fill, yes, but Jane always has her planner accessible at all times so she can successfully address each concern she faces throughout the day. "I'm a businesswoman who loves to add sweetness to every occasion," she sweetly shared.
Manager | Auckland
This basic combo is essential for Karen who admitted, "I am a wife, a mum and a manager of a busy contact centre. These items are my lifesaver! I look at my planner every morning for the schedule I have for that day and Post-its are especially handy for last minute meeting ideas. People tell me to use my phone instead. But colors and glitters are life!"
Karen, we unanimously agree.
Digital PR Manager | Cebu
Married for less than two years, Tara stylishly balances her work with her home life. "A few months ago, my husband and I bought some basket-looking plastic containers. We've been using them as storage for some of our things that could seem like clutter - from toiletries to stationery to even small (unusable) electronic parts my husband can't let go of. We love these baskets because they make sure everything has a proper place," she said of these chic containers. "Organizing stuff at home is super quick and less stressful because we can easily put things back into the baskets without having to think too much. When we're busy, it just takes a few seconds to keep the clutter out of sight. We also like that they're sleek and aren't difficult to clean."
Program Officer | Manila
Therese Maria has been working as Program Officer for an NGO network for 16 years now. With a lean staff, as is usually the case for most NGOs, things could get crazy at times. She said, "My must-have: a notebook. No, this is not the electronic notebook, but your old-school notebook. I will not survive without one. I scribble everything on it: a phone call message, the instructions of the boss, flight details, to-do lists for a project, minutes of meetings, food that I need to order, that gift that I need to get for a friend; if it is something that I must remember to do, it must be written on that notebook. It can be any kind of notebook: a steno notebook, an elementary schoolkid’s notebook (with a cute cover), a corporate give-away notebook. I prefer lined pages and preferably lightweight because I bring it to meetings and events, too." Here's her stash of notebooks from 2012 to present.
What about you, what is your favorite go-to organizing item? Tell us in the comments!