How I Stay Organized – Tools of My Trade

Mar 16 2016

by Tabitha Ong Tune

As a brand manager for multiple businesses, it’s vital I keep all my information straight and do my utmost not to miss a beat. Just like how it sometimes takes a village to get something done, in my day-to-day it takes an arsenal of tools to stay organized. Aside from my laptop, here are the things I try to keep on hand:

My Day Designer

I’d like to thank the good people at the Day Designer for creating this lifesaving tool. I cannot live without it and as a very tactile person I remember things best when I write them down first. This lovely planner has monthly and daily schedules and lists and this is the first step in my planning and time management process. It’s also really great for goal setting for the year and for each month and if you’re run your own business or work for yourself, I can’t recommend it enough and no they aren’t paying me to say this, I just love it so much.

Writing things down and making lists on paper helps me visualize and remember them later on. Even if I don’t remember what the exact item is, in my head I know that the blank space has been filled with something. Speaking of writing and pen and paper…

My notebook(s)

I have a problem and it’s called Moleskine. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I’m tactile and writing things down is the perfect way for me to organize my thoughts and to stay inspired. Unless it’s a fancy event or dinner date, I bring a notebook with me everywhere I go because I just never know what ideas will hit me. Sure, I could add a note on my phone but putting in a notebook for me to reference later is just so much more fun for me and the odds of me forgetting about it are a lot lower.

My favorite ballpoint pen

The other problem I have is pens – I have lots of favorites like Le Pens for fun color-coded note-taking, brush pens for calligraphy, but for general writing, note taking or journaling nothing beats a ballpoint pen. I love it so much I want you all to enjoy it too so here it is: the Pilot Dr. Grip pen. It writes like a dream, it has a padded, rubber grip so it’s easy to hold and I enjoy using a ballpoint pen because there’s no bleed so my notes are easy to review later on.

My iPhone – Calendars, reminders, apps… oh my!

Unfortunately the notebooks can’t yell at me to tell me I have an appointment that I should leave for in 20 minutes so I also plug dates/times/appointments into my digital calendars and set reminders. It only takes double-booking yourself once to never want to live through the embarrassment again so now my paper and digital calendars are a one-two punch that keeps me in check.

If I plug in appointments when I’m out and about and don’t have my Day Designer on me, I make sure to do an end-of-day review and note those appointment down on paper. “Hey Siri” also makes things easy and all I have to do even when driving and using my phone hands-free is go, “Hey Siri, remind me to do what I need to do when I get home/at a certain time on a day” and it’s set.

TKO, appointments and lists.

Then there’s Evernote. This app has tons of functions, but the most basic one that’s come in the most handy for me is the quick syncing between devices which saved me some face today for a meeting with a new client. I ended up having  laptop trouble as soon as the meeting started but thankfully I’d added my agenda to Evernote and it had synced to my iPhone so in spite of one technical difficulty, I was still able to get the answers I needed to start on a new project and didn’t miss anything.

Mobile charger

I use my phone a lot and the battery gets drained quickly through the day so one thing I have with me at all times is my Jackery battery pack. This thing comes in so handy at festivals and conferences and I don’t have to be tethered to the wall to wait for my devices to charge. It will charge an iPad and an iPhone when it’s fully charged and usually has enough juice that I can use it a few times before it’s drained. There are lots of very pretty chargers out there, but this one is pure function plus it charges my phone from empty to full really quickly.


My husband who’s reliant mostly on his electronic devices thinks it’s way too much and I’m sure it is for some. I’ve tried functioning without the notebooks but it just didn’t end well so these tools are what work for me. What are your preferred tools to get your stuff done? Anything I should try? Would love to hear from you!

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