As summer is winding down, I have been spending more time preparing for the school year. Although I’m very excited, I am also quite nervous because my plate is full (work, classes, clubs, etc..). But I am not phased and nonetheless eager to get the school year started.
Organization is one of the keys to a successful year. One habit that keeps me organized is carrying around essential items I need throughout the day. I like to keep it minimal and clean. Equipping myself with the essentials help me stay orderly and ready to face the days’ challenges. Hopefully, this may bring some inspiration to you.
Backpack: Any bag will do, really. I use a backpack because it’s the only bag I have that fits everything. This year I’ll be using my YNOT backpack I received at a TED conference.
Water: It is important to stay hydrated throughout the day. I drink A LOT of water so I like carrying a water bottle that can hold at least 700mL. By carrying a water bottle, you also help reduce plastic consumption. I carry a VOSS glass bottle which holds up to 800mL.
Calculator: I always find myself calculating something throughout the day so carrying a basic calculator comes in handy. I carry a simple SHARP solar powered calculator. I know we all have a built in calculator on our phones, but I prefer to keep the habit of not looking at my gadgets too often.
Sticky notes: An invention by mistake, these colorful notes are good for jotting down quick memos to others on the spot. They can also be used to write down thoughts or to sketch doodles.. whatever your brain cooks up.
Planner: I use my phone calendar to sort out my day to day activities. However, I still always like to carry a planner around to write or brainstorm projects. I am currently using an 18 months planner by Moleskine.
Phone: I have always had mixed feelings about phones. Some people debate whether or not it is essential. For now, I carry it with me.
SD/MMC card reader: Instead of the old fashioned flash drive, I like to use a MicroSD card to store my files, important documents and photos. They can be inserted into your phone or on a computer. When I am not using it, I like to keep it in my phone. When I need to use it on a computer, I plug the card into an adapter and voilà, I have everything I need. This way, I always have my files on me and in a secure place.
Earphones: Throughout the day, I like to listen to music and watch videos but of course being mindful of others. I am not particularly picky on what kind of earphones I use. A set of basic JVC earphones will do just fine.
Fruit: Working and running around campus consumes lots of energy. I like to keep fruit in my bag as a snack. They are healthy and hydrating. I usually take apples or bananas.
Notebook: I write my everyday to-do lists in notebooks. To-do lists are my holy grail when it comes to organization. Field Notes is my favorite brand of simple to-go notebooks.
A good book: Sometimes I’ll be waiting for class or a meeting to start. I like to have a book on me so I can read while I wait. Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout is a great marketing book. I have yet to finish it.
Pens: Last but definitely not least, writing utensils are a must. I like to keep it simple, a black pen, a red pen and a highlighter. For those of you who are looking for a pen that writes smoothly, I recommend the Pilot Precise Gel 07. It’s a bit pricey but it might just change your life.