Learn English – How I stay organized

Do you struggle to remember things or do you feel ‘dis-organized’?  Maybe my simple ideas will help.


Hey there I am an organized gal. I use four different tools. And today I’m going to share with you what these four tools are. Two are ‘old schooled’, and two are digital.

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

What do I mean when I say two of my organizational tools are ‘old schooled’, ‘old school’? That means old fashioned. For example, I used to use a cookbook. I would look up recipes in an actual book. That’s all old schooled. But today my recipes are online. Another example of something that is old school might be writing a thank you note on paper with a pen and mailing it through the mail system. That is old school. And you might be more used to sending an email or a text as a thank you.

So, what are my old-school ways of staying organized? I have two. I have a paper calendar that is just one month at a time. And I like seeing the entire month at once. On that calendar  I write in pencil, so I can erase, I write appointments. I write my exercise class. I write down my weekly work at the pregnancy center, my volunteer work. I write down Zoom classes I teach.  I teach beginning Spanish. I teach beginning French and I have several English classes online that I teach. What else? Oh, I teach Sunday School on Sunday mornings. And when I’m supposed to teach, I write that down. Things like that. If we are going on a trip, if we have a dinner date at somebody’s house, I write those down.

I also have a little notebook. It’s small. It is…let’s see. I think it’s four inches this way, by five and a half inches this way. And every day I write on a fresh page, the date and the things I have to get done that day. It might be to call my mother-in-law or return something at a store. Or call a company with which I’m having a problem, something to do with the car or the house. I write those down and I cross them off, on paper. Those are my two old school ways of staying organized.

My digital ways are: I have a digital calendar, a Google calendar. So, I put everything on that calendar. And then I copy it on my paper calendar. On my digital calendar I have people’s birthdays. I have recurring events. It’s very useful because the digital calendar sends me a daily email that says, ‘Here are the events for the day’. So, that’s my modern way.

My fourth tool that’s digital is an application called Evernote. I have been using Evernote for 10 years. It’s on my laptop and it’s on my phone. It syncs. Syncs meaning, means what I write on the computer in Evernote shows up on my phone.

It also can be shared. So, certain files or notebooks on Evernote I can mark as shared and share them with my husband, things about the house. I have recipes in Evernote. I have lists of people I meet and details about them, so I won’t forget. Every book I read I write down in Evernote, on my computer, in my phone. Here’s a picture of my grocery list and my meals for the week. I have that in Evernote. So, when I go to Kroger, my grocery store, I can look at my phone and see everything I have to buy. Evernote really helps a lot.

It’s taken me some time to finally find a system that works for me. I really liked the little paper notebook.

I like all these tools. And for the most part, I stay organized. We’re human beings. We’re not perfect. We’re not machines.

What about you? Do you…… are you organized? Are you somebody who struggles with organization? Do you have difficulty being organized? Do you forget things? I forget things. That’s why I need these four tools. 

Tell me about what works for you, what helps. Leave me a comment below this video. And remember if you would like the words that are today’s episode, I usually post the transcript about a day after the video uploads. You can go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com and find the transcript for today’s episode and others.

And since it’s January, a new year, and if you have not yet set a goal or made a new year’s resolution, how about trying to be more organized. Find a way, a place, a tool to write things down so you don’t have to keep them in your head. My advice – take it or leave it. Anyway, this is Maria from English without Fear. Talk to you next time.

(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)

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