blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: Organization and Time Management

July 26, 2013

Organization and Time Management

With juggling a blog, a baby on the way, relationships, and a little thing called medical school, one of the questions I get asked by you lovely ladies most often is how do I find time for it all, ie how do I organize my schedule? Let me tell you first and foremost, you have to make time for it all. Unless you have a personal assistant no one is going to find the time in your schedule to squeeze in all that you need to get done. 

No personal assistant here, and despite never being without my phone, I find that planners/calendars on my phone just don't help me feel organized. Writing things (everything) down in a pretty planner is the only way things happen and I feel in control in my own way. 

Before gorgeous planners existed, I would just buy a pretty plain notebook and make sure to fill it myself with the following sections  (now planners have these and are gorgeous, so this is also my list for must haves when looking for a planner)
|| full month pages || 
|| a monthly to do list ||
|| weekly pages ||
|| a weekly to do list ||
|| blank pages for random notes ||

The key for me was writing everything down and then creating a rough daily or weekly schedule to get all of it done. As you plan your days in advance with your tasks and goals in mind, all of a sudden everything fits, including your date night and girls brunch - these things are just as important as exams and project deadlines and should always be written in too! And of course - the really important part is that you make this planner like a third arm! This is where having a cute print really helps. Carry it with you at all times (which is where a relatively smaller size helps) and always check it at minimum when you have your cup of coffee in the morning. 

Here is an example of what one of my month pages looks like, as well as a week page. For times when I'm really feeling crunched for time I literally schedule my days by the half hour (the 8 days a week planner was great during some of my busiest times in college). During clinical rotations in medical school your day is usually something like - come in at crack of dawn, leave in the evening, with no room for planning of your actual day, so during those rotations I really just stuck to a more general monthly schedule and to-do list. Times like these I loved my Russel and Hazel mini-binder - I could just add monthly pages and graph paper to make my planner work for me! 

Now that I'm done with clinical rotations and back on a more "plannable" schedule, I'll be picking up a new planner! Below are my top pics for academic planners this year. Many of them begin in August so pick one now and get to planning!
Clockwise from top left: personalized grey stripe planner (and tons of other designs) by PlumPaperDesigns here (and make sure to use coupon code THANKS10 for 10% off your order!), black and gold chevron planner by Paper Source here, personalized pink and blue framed planner (and so many more options!!) by Erin Condren here, blue chevron (and more options) by Sarah Pinto here

I hope you found this post somewhat helpful! Nothing earth-shattering here, really just get a planner and use it! Stay tuned for another reader inspired post on study tips coming in the fall! 


  1. This is an amazing post. Thank you. I would love to see a post on how you stay and stress free.

  2. I loved this post and you've definitely inspired me to get an actual notebook planner for the fall. I usually just try to use the one on my IPad but it can be so distracting with everything else going on in that device !! I definitely need to head to the bookstore in the next week and pick one up before law school starts. Thanks!

  3. I just bought my planner and was all over it today at our first day of medical school (man, I bet that feels like FOREVER ago for you!) - it was my most exciting purchase for school supplies. besides maybe my pens. I really like pens ;)

  4. It's so refreshing to see a paper planner. I'm old school and love a good planner. Love the Sarah Pinto!

  5. Calendars are so fun! You are super organized!

    Thanks for linking up with Friday's Fab Favorites!

    Lauren xx

  6. I love my journal j un jour du reve planner!

  7. I always say that I'm going to buy a planner and then I never do...thinking that I'll actually use my phone calendar...which I never do either...
    Point is....I probably should ACTUALLY buy a planner like I always say and use it ;)
    I love the Paper Source option because of the personalization. Thanks for sharing it!

  8. I have two planners. One for work and one for home. I bought them both from Target. Soon I plan to upgrade to one from Franklin Covey.

  9. I actually just wrote a short blog post as well about keeping life organized with an agenda, LOL! I am super picky about my agenda and I don't leave anywhere without it. I can't imagine how busy you are though!! With a pregnancy AND med-school :S Med-school in my opinion, is MUCH more stressful that nursing school.


  10. This was such a helpful post! here i was, always buying boring planner's from Staples or Walmart. If you could also make a post about how you managed to be a successful pre-med while juggling other stuff, thatd be awesome :)

    1. Thanks so much - will be doing a post with study tips next week and then I can definitely address your question too!

  11. Great tips.
    If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

  12. Yes, looking forward to the study tips post!!

  13. Organization and time management has an inter relation in a real time operative world. The most heavily demanding scenario of the time management always makes up the organization to grow up in a steady rate. Moving ahead in the competitive world we have deployed cloud based time tracking software from Replicon - in our company which helps deliver the exact time tracked and helps gain productivity without losing a single movement of time.

  14. This was really useful. I'd love an update on what you're using now! And maybe a peek inside?

  15. Hi, I went through your post it's really nice.
    Know more about - How Time Management Software Can Help You Set Goals The Right Way. Thank You.

  16. Good insight on time management and organizing things. So as to look out at the broader picture, I would like to throw light on some of the facts. Even if things get organized in a streamlined fashion, if the priority is not been taken into consideration, that's going to affect more optimally and have a negative trend line in terms of growth and progress. Hence I believe priority to be considered on priority basis in terms of time tracking and management.

  17. Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post!
    get most out of time

  18. You're a planning MACHINE! 10/10 for organisational skills. Would love to know how you're doing now with a little one. Have you changed your methods? Lovely blog, Laura!

    Gena F | Vantaggio HR

  19. Thanks! This is extremely helpful! Organization and time management is so difficult for me. That's why I use hourstracker app. It's a time management application and I love it.
    Thanks for helping us!

  20. Hey,
    Thank you for sharing such an amazing and informative post really enjoyed reading it.

    Thank you


    Medical Case Management Service

  21. I am looking forward to get more information on your website related to TSR. Please guide me about the usage of this software asap.

  22. Thank you for sharing such great information. can you help me in finding out more detail on new schools in gurgaon


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