Organization // The System Method

Organization // the systems methodSome of my favorite posts to write here are about organization. One Summer, to support myself through an unpaid internship (which I loved) and life in general, I worked as an organizer, helping to get a woman’s sewing room and office into better condition. Nothing makes me feel better than putting things in their proper place, labeling – and don’t get me started on color coding. I love order, and and creating systems where order takes precedent.

As enthusiastic as I am about organizing, it does not necessarily mean that I am the most organized gal on the planet. Sure, I do a pretty good job day-to-day, but I definitely wouldn’t give myself a 10/10 for consistent organization.

My trick, and key to staying above water in the organization game is: the system method. I’ve always known that I do this, but I didn’t really realize that it was a “thing” for me until reading this post by Laura.

I have a system for almost everything I do – for logging inspiration and things that I’d like to think more on; for creating graphics for the blog; for studying and organizing my school work. I have a way, my way, and I make sure that each system is working effectively. This is what I’m calling the system method.

I’ve already shared about controlling the need to compulsively buy tools to help create a feeling of false organization. Well, the systems method helps to take what you have, and use it to the best of its ability.

So, where do you start? How does the system method work, and how can you create your own functioning systems? I am SO glad that you asked. Let’s dive in.

To add in a bit of imagery, I’m going to be using my system of logging bits of information that I find throughout the day as an example. These points, however, can be used to create any system – even if you aren’t a blogger/creative!

01/ Identify the task.

What do you need to system to accomplish? What is the job that needs to be done? Going along with our example, I needed a way to take notes and write down bits of information. I needed a system that was simple, easy to transport and that didn’t take up much space that would hold a lot of information.

02/ Identify a tool.

Once you’ve figured out what you need to be done, look around and see what you have at your disposal to help you accomplish it. I realized that I had an empty notebook with plenty of fresh pages, a pocket in the front to hold small papers or notes, and that would be easy for me to transport. It was easy to decide that this would be a great tool to use to take notes and write down daily inspiration (my original need). This notebook holds blogs that I would like to revisit, posts I was inspired to brainstorm or write, and anything else that I don’t want to forget.

What tool could you use to meet your need? The notes app on your phone or a journal you haven’t filled?

03 / Create a pattern.

Now that you have a tool that is going to meet your need, you’ll have to determine how to go about using it effectively. This could mean creating a schedule: “I will update this notebook once weekly with inspiration.” With my notebook, I decided that rather than create a schedule I would always keep it with me and update it as I needed to.

04/ Stick to your system.

Okay, now you’ve done it – you’ve created an effective system that is simple, intentional and has a flow. Now, it’s up to you to stick to that system. I haven’t purchased any new notebooks for logging inspiration, and I always keep that notebook with me. I update it as I go, and always have tons of awesome notes to go back to when I need an inspirational kick. It’s an amazing system!

Reading this may have caused you to realize that you already subscribe to the system method, which is awesome! You also may have realized that some of your systems are a little more complicated than you need them to be – which isn’t so awesome. To help simplify your organizational tools, check out this post. If you’d like more posts on the system method or simplifying your systems, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts and answer any questions!

(photo via, edited by Amber)

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  1. Oh, I am totally a system person too — only I tend to complicate rather than simplify, haha! But I definitely have my own “systems” for doing something and I realized that my effectiveness is increased if I create a system before diving into a task, for sure!

    • I totally feel you, I’ve waited until I’m actually mid-task before stopping to say “wait, there HAS to be a way to simplify and streamline this.” But that’s the beauty of coming into organization, right? Being able to check and correct yourself along the way, in the hopes of not making the same mistakes next time.

  2. Just recently found your blog, and I am so in love! I’ve even saved you to my favorites folder in my toolbar. 🙂 Your posts are all extremely helpful. Can’t wait to get to know you more. Nice to meet you Amber, I’m Mo! <3

    • Thanks so much, Mo! I’m so glad you’ve been loving the posts and I can’t wait to check your blog out, too!

  3. This is wonderful!! I went through the ‘buying tools as a false system’ phase…finally got out of that, thank god! I think sometimes it takes a few months of testing what tools + services work for you and then when it really *feels* right you just have stick to it! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. Great post. I’m pretty good at steps 1-3, but not so good with the last one.

  5. Great post, I just found your blog and wanted to share because
    I find this soooo hard I am not a systems person at all. Once I have a system I like it but I find them hard to create… I see things in a big picture away and find it difficult to break it down into small parts. Every time I try to create a system.. I do the tasks and then realise they are totally out of order or I’ve missed some and then it doesn’t work for me! Any advice for someone who finds step 1 and 3 a challenge? 🙂