When you’re busy and have a lot going on, it’s really too easy to let things fall to the side. For responsibilities to slip through the cracks, to let down yourself or others. And that sucks. But it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s where life organization comes in.
Life organization sounds like a fun buzzword and… that’s because it is.
But trendy phrasing aside, life organization is a seriously helpful way to keep yourself accountable and organized when life gets busy.
So what is life organization?
Life organization is reigning in the various aspects of your life. It’s taking stock of everything you have going on so that you can make intentional decisions of how to spend your time each day.
And when it comes to organizing my life, I’m all about Google Docs.
Back in college, I built an app. An app to help fellow college students connect to their campus clubs, organizations, and local businesses.
It was a valiant idea.
And even better, I was going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg! *Sarcasm
(Note: This was during the period of time when apps were first getting huge and it felt like anyone could strike gold at any time.)
I was excited.
But I didn’t know how to code. I was just a college student studying marketing.
So I hired a freelance team to help me build it.
They got to work and quickly started sending me versions to test. And as my first real venture into the tech world, I wasn’t ready.
What felt like every few hours, they would send me a new version to test. And these versions weren’t the high quality apps you play with on your phone.
These versions were filled with bugs; little glitches in the software that would make the whole app crash or fall apart.
I didn’t mind though. In fact, the first version I got was exciting.
But that excitement quickly turned to exhaustion as my waking hours were spent logging the bugs on an Excel spreadsheet from scratch, emailing it to the dev (development) team, and awaiting a new version to arrive with more bugs to log.
Such a pain
One day, the head of the dev team suggested I try using this tool called Google Sheets instead of Excel.
He explained that it was a collaborative tool, similar to Excel, but better because we could both make changes in real time so I wouldn’t have to keep creating new spreadsheets in Excel.
This was probably three or four months into bug testing and to be honest, I was in no mood to spend any extra time playing with new software.
So I ignored him and kept using Excel.
I’m such a pain.
Flash forward some more months. The app goes live and the real fun begins.
I had been silly
As I progressed through college, I kept getting asked by classmates to contribute to assignments through Google Docs and Google Sheets. You know, for group projects and other such tasks.
I was always skeptical though.
I’m a fairly late adopter when it comes to new tech. I don’t like getting used to something that may go out of business a year later. I’m skeptical.
But enough time had gone by to where it finally felt like I was ready to give it a chance.
So I created my first Gmail account, opened Google Drive, and started accessing Google Docs and Google Sheets.
And I realized… I had been silly.
I should’ve jumped on the Google bandwagon years earlier.
Because those two tools, in particular – Google Sheets and Google Docs – take the great functionality of Word and Excel, but add an even easier layer of accessibility by putting it online and allowing others to collaborate in real-time. For free.
At this point, you’re probably thinking – this guy’s got to be sponsored by Google, right? How much is he getting paid to write this all up?
I wish. Call me, Google. I’m open to talking.
But seriously, I’m just a big fan of the Google products (at the moment) and use them daily for my life organization process.
Where I had initially only used the Google products for schoolwork, over time that usage had started to blossom into other areas of my life as well. In fact, looking at today, my life (and life’s organization, for that matter) revolves primarily around Google Docs and a few Google Sheets.
It’s what I use to organize the various facets of my life and to ensure that I am always 100% on the ball.
It’s my secret weapon.
*By the way, in case you were wondering about the app, that’s a longer story for another time. To close the loop on it though, after several semesters of working on it, I eventually shut it down.
I loved working on it but didn’t believe it had what was necessary to make it to the finish line (whatever I thought the finish line was).
Life Organization: How I Use Google Docs To Stay Organized
Before I break down how I use Google products in my life, let me first explain them a little further to you in case you aren’t familiar.
Of all the tools in the Google Suite, the two that I use the most are Google Docs and Google Sheets.
Both are free.
Google Docs is basically a piece of blank digital paper. Just like a Word doc.
The big difference though is that instead of living on your computer like a Word doc, Google Docs lives on the internet. That means that you can access it from anywhere you have an internet connection (and can accurately remember your password).
Similar to Google Docs, Google Sheets also lives on the internet.
Sheets is very similar to Excel in that it’s a spreadsheet. But again, the big difference is that you can access it from anywhere that you have an internet connection.
Oh, and they are both collaborative too.
Meaning that if I share a Google Doc or Google Sheet link with you, you can work on and edit it at the exact same time that I am working on it. Almost like we are sitting in the same room and are working on a project together.
It makes collaborating crazy easy, although I don’t use that feature as much anymore post-college.
It’s free on free on free on free on free.
And I love it.
What I use Google Docs for
You may be wondering how to be more organized at work, or at home, or just in general. Let me tell you, there is no magic one-size-fits-all system that will work across the board.
BUT, if you haven’t tried using Google Docs for your own life organization yet, it’s worth experimenting with.
As I mention in this post, there are a lot of things I use Google Docs for. In fact, out of all the Google products, I use Docs the most.
I also work with Sheets too, which I’ll touch on below.
Additionally, I also use a Bullet Journal in conjunction with my Docs and Sheets to help keep me organized. As a side note, Bullet Journals are great if you’re wondering how to organize your life with a notebook.
With all that in mind, by far I use Google Docs more than any other tool.
Now, is my system perfect? No system is. However, at the moment, this system is what works for me. It helps me keep my life organized and focused.
Down the road if I discover a new tool or better way of doing things, I’ll be sure to come back and update this post to reflect the findings.
That said, here is how I use Google Docs for my life organization today.
Life organization: Baby
My wife is nine months pregnant and we are expecting a little baby any day now. It’s very exciting! In fact, by the time you read this, we may already be hanging out with her. It’s that close!
That said, there is a lot to plan and prepare for before that day comes.
So, I have a Google Doc for all things baby; what we need to do beforehand, afterward, and everything in between.
Life organization: Home
We also just recently moved into a home that needed (and still needs) some work done to it.
So I have another Google Doc comprised of all things that we are waiting on, need help with, and can take care of on our own.
Life organization: Habits
I have a separate Google Doc that I use to track the habits I’m working on. At the moment, I am striving for more sleep and to get up faster in the mornings.
By the way, if you’re looking for a good book on Habits, check out The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I found it super helpful.
I did a little write up on it in this post if you want to learn more. It’s number seven.
Life organization: Work
In addition to working on QuickBooost (the site that you’re on right now), I also have a full-time job that requires my full attention.
Because of that I have a Google Doc for all things work.
Life organization: QuickBooost
Just like how I have a work Google Doc, I also have one specific for QuickBooost that helps me keep track of my various tasks, plans, and to-dos.
There’s always a lot to do for QuickBooost and having its own Google Doc is a necessity.
Life organization: Schedule
Keeping all these docs in mind, I have another Google Doc that combines everything I have going on for the week. It’s a combination of the various docs I listed above, my Bullet Journal, Google Sheets, calendar, and a few other Docs that I didn’t include here.
It’s the culmination of my life for the week broken down into one daily schedule. It is the epitome of life organization.
What I use Google Sheets for
Just like Google Docs, there are a couple of areas that I use Google Sheets for. I tend to use Google Sheets for things that involve numbers or tracking figures.
Areas that would be a little more cumbersome to track on a Doc as opposed to a spreadsheet.
Life organization: Finances
I use Mint to track my income and expenses, but I use a Google Sheet to help manage bills, accounts, and financial plans.
I love spreadsheets and keeping my finances in order. It’s nerdy, but I love it.
Life organization: Health
As I touched on previously, one of the habits I’m working on is getting more sleep.
So I have a health Sheet that tracks things like my sleep, my caloric intake for the day, fasting periods, and other health-related items.
How to use the Google Suite for your own life’s organization
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for how to be more organized at home, in your social life, or with your finances.
My answer to you would be the same – give Google Docs and Google Sheets a try.
It’s worth experimenting with as it has helped me out tremendously.
That said, these are just tools.
A Google Doc is just the equivalent of a blank piece of paper. It’s only once you know what to write down that any value can come from it.
So use the items I listed above as inspiration. Try planning out your day on a Doc. Try tracking your expenses on a Sheet. Think about how you do things now and consider how you can streamline things to be even smoother. To be even more organized and clarified.
As far as in-depth guides to Google Docs and Google Sheets go, I haven’t created anything like that at the moment yet.
I’m not opposed to it though.
So if you’re interested in having me create a detailed, step-by-step guide for you to harness Google Docs and Google Sheets, let me know. Leave a comment below or shoot me an email.
If it seems like one of those things that enough people are interested in, I’d be happy to create such a guide.
Moving forward with your life organization plan
You wanted a way to organize your life. A method for reigning in the chaos so that you could focus on what matters.
Google Docs and Google Sheets is that answer.
No longer will you need to panic about how to organize yourself or how to be an organized person. Instead, dump all that chaos and disorder onto a Doc.
Write everything down, organize it, and then get to work with increased drive and focus.
No system is perfect, but I’ve found that consistent, meaningful improvements over time make a huge difference.
So go ahead and take the initiative. Start using Google Docs and Google Sheets to organize your life!
If you’re still hungry for more, Nice! Check out these posts:
- My guide to list-making when overwhelmed. See the post here.
- Morning routine ideas that you can use to jumpstart your day. See the post here.
- Productivity tips that you can utilize when feeling stressed out. See the post here.
- And the top habits of highly productive people. See the post here.
Oh and be sure to check out my goal setting course!