How to stay organized at work: 33 best tips

We all strive to improve at work. Our profession is a large part of our lives, and we want to do our jobs as best as we can.

Yet, how quickly and efficiently you perform throughout your workday ties directly to how organized you are at work.

Say you work in sales. The moment you get on a call with a client, your communication and negotiation skills are impeccable. However, when you try to close the deal, you can’t find the contract papers anywhere. Or, it takes you a while to find the notes from your previous call when following up.

These are all the effects of poor organization, which greatly reduce your work performance. Today, we will try to change that by talking about:

  • Why organizing work is important,
  • How to organize work,
  • How to stay organized with multiple projects,
  • How to organize tasks at work,
  • How to stay organized while working from home,
  • How to organize work with too much information, and 
  • How to organize work as a manager.
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Table of Contents

Why you should organize your work

It seems obvious that good organization is important for your work. But, what exact benefits does it bring?

Let’s take a look at what the experts we reached out to had to say about the importance of organization.

Benefit #1: Good organization helps reduce wasted time

We spoke with Andrew Latham, a certified financial planner, about the benefits of staying organized at work. He thinks that the main benefit of being organized is the time you save: 

Andrew Latham headshot

“According to a study by the National Association of Professional Organizers, you can waste up to 4.3 hours a week searching for papers, which adds stress and frustration to the workplace while reducing concentration and creative thinking. Being organized, on the other hand, can save a significant amount of time and lead to better work efficiency.”

This claim is seconded by Trevor Ewen, the COO of QBench. He views time as a valuable project resource and believes that by staying organized, you can use that resource more efficiently:

Trevor Ewen headshot

“Staying organized is upstream from effective performance in the workplace. An organized person is likely to work faster, train others better, and be admired by colleagues and managers alike. Choosing organization is a choice to create more resources for whatever you truly want to do. If you want more free time, you’ll get things done faster and have free weekends to enjoy.”

Benefit #2: Good organization decreases procrastination

Procrastination is one of the main byproducts of a lack of organization. Juliet Dreamhunter, Founder at, explains the connection:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

“When you’re well-organized, you’re less likely to put off tasks. The clearer your work process, the less mental resistance you’ll have to start new tasks.”

A large problem that leads to procrastination is not knowing when to start. It’s easy for tasks to be intimidating when they seem like a tangled mess. 

Organizing your time and tasks untangles that mess and allows you to see that your tasks are not as scary when broken down into manageable chunks.

Benefit #3: Good organization improves your workplace reputation

Juliet also talked about the importance of reputation in the workplace and how staying organized is crucial to increasing it:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

“When people see you as someone who is always organized at work, they tend to respect you more and think of you as a great professional. You are more likely to get promoted or to get involved in interesting projects when you appear responsible, dependable, and put together.”

As we mentioned, being well-organized helps you do your work more efficiently, which makes you more likely to meet your deadlines. This will turn you into a more reliable member of your team.

Let’s say you are supposed to send some files you’ve been working on to the rest of your team. If you’re organized, the files will be easy to follow, and the team will have no issue continuing with their work. 

However, if your organization is lacking, your team will have to spend a significant amount of time trying to decode your files, figuring out where you’ve hidden the important bits.

Such situations greatly affect your reputation, so staying organized consistently will signal to your team that you’re a team player they can depend on.

How to get and stay organized at work

There’s no by-the-book set of rules for good workplace organization — it often depends on your individual needs. However, we bring you some expert tips that will help your overall organizational skills improve.

Tip #1: Organize your workspace

Andrew believes the mess around you can create a mess in your head, so he suggests giving your attention to clutter first before getting down to work:

Andrew Latham headshot

“Firstly, declutter your workspace and keep only the essentials. A clean desk can lead to a clear mind.”

Keeping an organized desk is a must. Not having to rummage through tons of papers and other trinkets on your desk is a massive time-saver. 

Moreover, a cluttered desk is almost always coupled with a cluttered mind. 

Scientists at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute have used fMRI and other approaches to show that our brains like order, and those constant visual reminders of disorganization drain our cognitive resources and reduce our ability to focus. 

They also found that when participants cleared the clutter from their work environment, they could focus and process information better. On top of everything, participants’  productivity increased as well.

This tip is far more important if you’re working from home. Make sure to do as many chores as you can before work. It’s easy to sit at your computer at home and keep being distracted by the dishes in the sink or the clothes pile on your bed that’s waiting to be washed. And, as Andrew adds:

Andrew Latham headshot

“Make a habit of organizing your workspace at the end of each day to prepare for the next day.”

Tip #2: Use a PM tool

Andrew shared another valuable tip for staying organized, which involves taking care of your digital workspace:

Andrew Latham headshot

“Secondly, use digital tools like task management apps or calendars to plan your day and week. Prioritize your tasks based on urgency and importance.”

A PM tool can help you keep track of your: 

  • Tasks, 
  • Deadlines, 
  • Resources, and 
  • Team members. 

What’s more, it’s helpful to both the team and project managers. Using a PM tool like Plaky, for example, lets you keep track of all aspects of your project.

Plaky will even improve your project communication by allowing you to leave task-specific comments and mentions and collaborate directly on the platform.

A project board in Plaky
A project board in Plaky

Tip #3: Use the 5 S method

Finding the method that works for you is the stepping stone to becoming more organized. In line with that, Marna Meier, project manager, consultant, and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB), shared her favorite method you can use to improve your organization anywhere:

Marna Meier headshot

“My favorite way to stay organized uses the 5 S method (Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain). It works for keeping your workspace organized, cleaning your garage, or even cleaning your data.”

Marna has written about this method in more detail in her book, Playing to Win. But let’s break down the 5 S method using an example — organizing your project documentation:

  • Sort — Go through all the files and divide them into folders by categories.
  • Straighten — Analyze everything in detail, delete old files, and create subcategories.
  • Shine — Update files, format them, color code, etc.
  • Standardize — Make sure that the division by folders is standardized, that everything could be easily found, and that all documents follow the same format.
  • Sustain — Now that you’ve finished sorting out old files, don’t stop when the new ones come in. Put each new file in the appropriate folder as they come along and sort them according to the principles you’ve established.

Tip #4: Sort your email

We touched upon emails with Juliet as well, and she stressed the significance email filters have had for her organization:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

“Sorting through hundreds of emails eats up a big chunk of your day, and even though it technically works and it keeps you busy, you are usually not making much progress with important tasks. Set up filters in your mailbox that will automatically sort your correspondence into relevant folders and prioritize everything, or use a tool like Sanebox to handle it for you.”

It might seem like emails are a less significant part of your workspace to organize. But, anyone who has wasted an hour digging through clutter just to find one email can vouch for how frustrating it can get. 

So keeping your email neat is a big part of organizing your digital workspace.

Creating a filter in Gmail
Creating a filter in Gmail

Tip #5: Use the “touch it once” rule

Delaying tasks can be detrimental, especially if those tasks are smaller and easily forgettable. This can easily pave the road to procrastination. Juliet elaborates on this rule and stresses the importance of decisiveness in staying organized:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

“Try to act on tasks or decisions the first time you come across them, rather than leaving them for later. This helps prevent work from piling up. Additionally, the 2-minute rule that says “If it takes under 2 minutes, do it now.” is very effective for shortening your to-do list.”

Putting something off for later is the calling card of procrastination. If you make a habit of it, it will become more difficult to stop doing it as time goes by.

This leads to a vicious cycle, so it’s important to nip it in the bud.

Tip #6: Start small

As we can see by now, the main enemy of staying organized is procrastination. So, Elizabeth Pharo, Founder and CEO of, believes there’s another way to combat it:

Elizabeth Pharo headshot

“Start small. Begin with your workspace, whether it’s a physical desk or a digital one. Delete old files, toss out unnecessary documents. Once you’ve got a decluttered space, you can think more clearly, and it becomes easier to navigate. And don’t worry about doing it all in one day. Take it bit by bit, one file at a time, one drawer at a time.”

If a task seems large and intimidating, pick a part of it that seems easiest to start with. 

If your desk is full of files to sort, grab some pens and paper clips and organize them first. The most important thing is to find a starting point and build up from there.

Tip #7: Use a time tracker

To better organize your tasks, it’s important to know how much time they take. On this topic, we’ve spoken with Tom McCarron, Co-Founder and Director of Algebra:

Tom McCarron headshot

“To keep organized when working remotely, we’ve found that time tracking is essential. By linking tasks with time slots, it helps to manage your own expectations of what can be completed from your to-do list on a given day. Separately, when tracking your time, you’re able to gain a clear understanding of the tasks and processes that can consume most of your day. This data is so valuable and can allow you to streamline processes or delegate tasks where possible.”

Time tracking is important for making future plans. 

For example, you’ve completed an event planning project and tracked the time it took to complete every task. Now, when you need to plan another event, you’ll be aware of how long it might take based on the data from the previous project. This information, in turn, will help you organize tasks better.

Plaky comes in handy here too. It has a time tracking integration with Clockify, one of the most popular time tracking apps out there. This option helps you keep track of the time spent on specific tasks with just the click of a button.

Clockify browser extension
Clockify browser extension

Tip #8: Avoid multitasking 

Switching from one task to another is generally seen as a great skill to have, so who wouldn’t want to get better at it?

An article from Stanford University tells us of the harms multitasking can do both to your brain and to your productivity. As this article shows, even if you try juggling tasks that seem simple, your brain is not able to effectively focus on each separate task. Ultimately, juggling many tasks at the same time leads to reduced task performance.

So, while you may think you’re doing yourself a favor by learning how to multitask, you’re harming both your brain and your efficiency. It’s better to organize tasks by priority and do them separately, one by one, than trying to do them all at once.

Tip #9: Identify what staying organized means to you

To end off the general organizational tips, Trevor tells us to pinpoint what matters the most to us in terms of productivity and focus exactly on that:

Trevor Ewen headshot

“You need to identify what organization means to you. For some people, it’s ensuring their desk is always clean before they start work. For others, it’s making it to inbox zero every night before leaving work. For anyone, it should be a number of things, but you should have a sense of what you need to organize before you set out on an abstract goal.”

Different people define organization in different ways. You need to find your definition and what works for you.

So, it’s important to look inward, see what the most important aspect of your work is, and organize it thoroughly.

How to stay organized at work with multiple projects

Sometimes, your work won’t be limited to just 1 project. You’ll need to manage or work on multiple projects simultaneously. Although we’ve just warned against multitasking, unfortunately, it’s the reality of many people’s workdays.

We’ve asked the experts for tips on staying organized while having to navigate different projects.

Tip #1: Devote your attention to each project individually

Speaking of the drawbacks of multitasking, Juliet draws our attention to the importance of devoting your undivided attention to the task at hand:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

“Don’t multitask or shift your attention back and forth. Give your full attention to the project and try to make as much progress as possible in that time window.”

Multitasking can be even more harmful when dealing with multiple projects. As one project team doesn’t know what’s happening in other projects, mix-ups can be even more confusing. 

An article by Kevin P. Madore, Ph.D. and Anthony D. Wagner, Ph.D. shows the costs of multitasking far outweigh the benefits. Researchers observed how switching your attention from one task to another leads to an overall drop in performance and speed. 

The conclusion is that we all tend to think we’re much better at multitasking than we really are — in reality, the brain can’t actually perform more than 1 task at a time.

Tip #2: Take notes

When working with multiple projects, the most important aspect of organization is keeping each project’s documentation and resources separate. Juliet elaborates on this too:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

“Keep a note-taking app handy with separate entities or pages for each project. Whenever you work on one project and get an idea for another, write it down in a dedicated place so you can come back to it later instead of getting distracted now.”

Notes are a great way to acknowledge your idea and make sure you don’t forget it, while freeing your mind to stay focused on the task at hand.

Tip #3: Categorize tasks based on urgency and importance

We don’t always have the luxury of avoiding overlapping projects. When that happens, it’s important to prioritize and keep deadlines in mind. As Elizabeth puts it:

Elizabeth Pharo headshot

“When it comes to juggling multiple projects, things can get a bit trickier, right? You could be working on one thing, and suddenly another project demands your attention. It’s like spinning plates. One trick I find super useful is categorizing my tasks based on urgency and importance. There are apps out there that can help, but good old pen and paper works too. And always keep track of deadlines, that’s non-negotiable.”

It’s always important to prioritize — especially when working on multiple projects. It won’t always be feasible to dedicate the same amount of time to each one at any cost. 

For example, if you’ve made a habit of switching between projects day-to-day, don’t be afraid to work on a single project for 2 or 3 days consecutively if the priorities call for it.

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

If you want to know more about project prioritization, here’s a helpful guide:

Tip #4: Break down your project into manageable tasks

Tackling multiple projects and treating each one as a top priority can be draining. As Andrew tells us, we should break every project down so it’s easier to deal with: 

Andrew Latham headshot

“Breaking down each project into manageable tasks and setting deadlines can also help keep things organized. Regularly review and update your project plans to ensure you’re on track.”

Your project plan will help you manage more projects at once. The plan should contain all the relevant information for your project, so whenever you get lost between juggling projects, you can review the appropriate plan and easily get back on track.

Tip #5: Use a PM tool to easily switch between projects

We’ve already talked about the importance of project management tools for general organization. However, they’re essential when managing multiple projects. As Trevor puts it:

Trevor Ewen headshot

“With multiple projects, I always use a project management system. Depending on the size of the team, I will use anything from Trello (small team) to JIRA or ClickUp (large team), and there are many others (including Plaky). I run all my boards very similarly, unless the project calls for something different. Names, members, and assignments for tasks are clear. Check-ins are on a regularly scheduled day, and usually in the morning.”

For example, in Plaky, you could create a separate workspace or board for each project, with its own boards, and run everything in a dedicated space. You can easily switch between projects, and you’ll always know what you’re working on and what’s still ahead of you.

Creating a workspace with just a few clicks — Plaky
Creating a workspace with just a few clicks — Plaky

How to organize tasks at work

By now, we’ve gone through general tips and advice on managing multiple projects. For this tip group, we’ll look at a single project more closely by focusing on organizing individual tasks.

Tip #1: Group similar tasks together

It’s difficult to just jump from task to task constantly, especially if they’re vastly different. Juliet advises us to pay attention to which tasks can be done in bulk:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

“Group similar tasks together to maximize focus and efficiency. For example, if you have several emails to send, do them all at once rather than scattering them throughout the day.”

Imagine the following day at work — you organize your email, finish a report, help out the design team, and continue your work on the project plan for an upcoming project. In between all of these, you have a couple of meetings. Sounds exhausting, right?

So, if possible, try to dedicate different chunks of your day to specific task groups and avoid task switching. 

If you tune in to doing a specific kind of task, it’s best to take advantage of that, and keep going while you’re “on a roll”.

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

If you want to learn more about creating a project task list, check out this guide:

Tip #2: Group tasks by the amount of time they require

Now, this sounds a lot like the previous tip, but it has a twist. It’s important to pay attention to how much time each task will take, as Trevor suggests: 

Trevor Ewen headshot

“Every task on my list has a due date, source and reference material, and a T-Shirt size (S, M, L, etc.). The T-Shirt size is one of the most critical pieces for me. This allows me to assess which tasks to take on given the time I have left until my next meeting or the end of the day. I need 2+ hours to take on a large task, so in smaller gaps, I will knock out smalls and mediums.”

This tip helps a lot with fixed-time tasks. For example, if you have 2 hours left to work for the day, you know you can’t tackle a large task in that time. But, you can tackle a medium or a couple of small tasks by the end of your workday.

Moreover, it can be exhausting to spend your whole day doing large tasks. So, you can use this kind of task grouping to determine which larger ones you will take on for the day and then sprinkle in some small or medium tasks in between.

Tip #3: Try time blocking

To go a step further, you can time block your tasks, Elizabeth explains how time blocking works: 

Elizabeth Pharo headshot

“As for task organization, have you ever tried ‘time blocking’? It’s about dedicating chunks of time to specific tasks. You won’t believe how effective it is in managing workload. It’s like creating a mini deadline for each task. So, instead of scrambling to get things done, you have a set schedule to stick to. Plus, it helps prevent burnout because you’re not just endlessly working — you’ve got a structure, and you’re in control.”

In essence, time blocking helps you better organize your tasks by literally creating time slots in your calendar for working on specific tasks.

Time blocking example

Tip #4: Use the Eisenhower matrix

We come back to another useful tip — prioritization. Andrew uses a special method to determine task priorities:

Andrew Latham headshot

“Start by prioritizing your tasks based on their urgency and importance. This can be done using the Eisenhower matrix, which divides tasks into 4 categories: 

  • Urgent and important, 
  • Important but not urgent, 
  • Urgent but not important, and 
  • Not urgent or important. 

Use a digital or physical planner to keep track of tasks and deadlines. Break larger tasks into smaller, manageable ones to make them less overwhelming.”

The Eisenhower matrix is a great way to determine priority by urgency and importance. It also helps your workload management by letting you visualize your workload. You’ll be able to clearly see which tasks need to be done first, so it’s easier to schedule around that. 

Here’s a visual representation of the Eisenhower matrix:

Eisenhower matrix
Eisenhower matrix

How to stay organized when you work at home

As working from home is becoming more and more widespread these days, it’s less of an uncharted territory. 

Many of our experts have been there and have some great tips on dealing with staying organized while working remotely.

Tip #1: Have a dedicated space for work

The best and, simultaneously, the worst part of working from home — is the very fact that you’re home. There is peace and comfort (and probably flexible working hours) there, but also your TV, sofa, and microwave. Elizabeth explains why this can be tricky:

Elizabeth Pharo headshot

“As for remote work, staying organized while working from home presents its own unique challenges. It’s easy to blur the lines between work and personal life. One tip that has worked wonders for me is creating a dedicated workspace at home.”

When you work from home, you need clear boundaries between your personal and professional life to keep both of them in line. Not having a dedicated space means you never really “log off” from work.

You don’t want to be spending time with your family while constantly thinking about those deadlines. Similarly, working from home can affect your productivity in 2 ways: 

  • Since your work is constantly with you, you get burned out more easily, and, 
  • Since you’re at home, with at-home responsibilities, you’ll get distracted from work more easily.

Andrew warned us about this as well:

Andrew Latham headshot

“Establish a dedicated workspace and maintain regular work hours to separate professional and personal time.” 

So, apart from establishing a dedicated workstation at home, it helps to try and maintain a similar schedule every day.

Tip #2: Leave your phone while working

Speaking of distractions, Juliet warns us to be wary of phone usage:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

“Leave your phone in another room and don’t touch it until you finish your work for the day. This is the most simple and proven way to not get lost in mindless scrolling for hours when you are supposed to be working.”

Even during your personal time, losing hours scrolling through Instagram feels wasteful. At work, it can be much worse. 

As it’s very tempting to grab your phone every couple of minutes when you feel like there’s no one around to see it, it can be very harmful to your work. So, it’s best to put it away altogether while you’re working.

Tip #3: Don’t work in bed

Let’s say you don’t really have the option to create a dedicated space for work at home. Then, it would be tempting to work wherever feels convenient, like from your bed. I mean, a large benefit of working from home is that you can work from anywhere you’d like, right? Not really, according to Juliet:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

”While it feels so nice to cuddle up with a laptop under your blankets, this creates confusing patterns in your brain as it starts associating your bed with work instead of sleep. Not only will you feel sleepy during the workday, but it’ll also be harder to fall asleep at night as you are still technically in your ‘workplace’.”

In other words, it’s difficult to associate both rest and work with the same spot.

Tip #4: Stay active

Another benefit of remote work for many is that they can stay at home for the whole day. But, is that really a benefit? Elizabeth says that sitting around all day can be harmful to your body and your work performance:

Elizabeth Pharo headshot

“And I’d also recommend taking breaks and staying active. A short walk or a bit of stretching can do wonders for your concentration.”

Make sure to take breaks every half hour to an hour to walk around your home and stretch for a couple of minutes. 

If you’re going to order takeout for lunch, it’s best to take a walk instead and get it. And, make sure to frequently switch the place and position in which you are sitting, as staying in one too long can be harmful to your back.

Tip #5: Organize your workday

At home, there’s no one to physically check in on how you’re doing. Many remote workers are fully in charge of their own time. Trevor tells us of the dangers this can bring:

Trevor Ewen headshot

“With fewer external structures to add shape to your day, it’ll be up to you (the remote worker) to plan the environment and way in which you work. As a fully remote worker myself, I spend 30 minutes each morning on the same tasks ensuring my day and calendar are in order. I also make sure my environment has everything prepped, so I am not distracted by cleaning tasks or going to make coffee or food.”

At home, your work is mostly up to you. The best way you can take advantage of this is to organize your day so that it suits your needs. 

If you don’t want to start with your largest, most important task, maybe you’d like to finish shorter tasks first, like organizing your email. Or, the opposite, you’re often exhausted at the end of the workday, so you like to leave the easier tasks for last.

How to stay organized at work with so much information 

Information overload can be exhausting on its own, let alone if you have to organize the information yourself. 

Here’s what experts had to tell us about getting organized when dealing with an information overload.

Tip #1: Use the “Getting Things Done” method

When you are overwhelmed with information, your first instinct is to sort it so that it’s easier to deal with. But, the way you do it is crucial, as the wrong method can waste more time than save it. Trevor has a recommendation for this:

Trevor Ewen headshot

“My method is the Getting Things Done method, popularized by the David Allen book of the same title. Anything under 3 minutes, I take care of the moment it comes in. Everything else gets added to a task list. If it can wait 2–3 days, it goes 2 days out. If it can wait a week, it goes to the following Wednesday. Truly urgent items get prioritized for the day, but they still have T-Shirt sizes (as mentioned earlier) so I know what block of the day to fill.”

This method urges you to complete simple tasks immediately, so they don’t get lost in the rubble of information you are dealing with. 

For instance, sometimes we see a new email, decide to reply a bit later, and forget about it entirely while working on everything else.

Tip #2: Limit unnecessary sources of information

Elizabeth reminds us that we live in an era where we’re flooded with information all the time. As this can quickly become overwhelming, she advises limiting your sources of information:

Elizabeth Pharo headshot

“If there’s a newsletter or a website that’s not adding value, it’s better to unsubscribe. Clear out the noise so you can focus on what’s essential. And keep learning. Use tools, leverage technology, and stay on top of the game.”

With so many sources of information around, you need to pay attention to the ones that are useful to you. 

If you need to check or research some information on the web for your project, try not to fall down the rabbit hole of research and instead focus on what’s truly important.

Tip #3: Clean up and sort out old information

Hoarding information will only make your work more difficult. As Andrew highlights, it’s important to keep your documentation neat:

Andrew Latham headshot

“Develop a habit of regularly reviewing and clearing out old or irrelevant information. Remember, it’s not just about capturing information but also about maintaining only what’s necessary and useful.”

When sorting information, first, divide it by what you might need again and what has become obsolete. Then, get rid of that second category. 

The first category should be further organized — by the type of information, the project it’s needed for, the task it’s needed for, etc.

Tip #4: Brain dump, then take a break

Sometimes, being overwhelmed with information can be so exhausting that you don’t have the energy to organize it. For those instances, Juliet proposes the following technique:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

“Do a brain dump whenever you feel overwhelmed. Just take a blank piece of paper or open a new Google doc and let all thoughts stuck in your head out onto that page until you have literally nothing to think about. Then, take a short break, have a walk or shower, come back with a clear head, and organize/prioritize everything that you wrote to make a clear action plan.”

Instead of mulling over everything on your mind, just write it down somewhere and try your best to relax. Think of yourself as a painter, stepping away from the canvas to have a better look at what you’ve done so far. 

When you come back from doing whatever helps you relax, you’ll have a better perspective on how to deal with the tasks at hand.

Tip #5: Use chunking to sort information

Marna spoke to us about a great way to organize information when it seems like there’s just too much:

Marna Meier headshot

“I usually use sticky notes and a whiteboard, wall, or window. First, I write all the information bits on sticky notes, one per note. Then I start putting them on the wall and sorting them into groups. I name every group. If I’m using a whiteboard, I just write on it. If not, I use a different colored sticky note for the title note. (The different color makes it easy to see which note is the title. If you’ve only got one color of sticky notes (yikes!), just draw a box around the title.)”

As visual clarification is useful, color coding goes hand-in-hand with clear organization. Marna then further elaborates, mentioning that you have to double-check everything:

Marna Meier headshot

“Next, I go through each group and make sure each note belongs in that group and check if there’s another group that fits better. Sometimes groups get combined or split into separate groups.

When you’re done, there are fewer pieces of information. It’s easier to remember (and use) the groups since there are fewer items. In psychology, this is called chunking.”

This way, you’ll be dealing with groups of information and won’t have to focus on everything at once. Similarly, this will help you realize which pieces of information share a connection that you’ve previously missed.

Let’s say, instead of pen and paper, you decide to use Plaky for sorting information. After inputting it all in the system, your unsorted information can look like this:

Unsorted information in Plaky
Unsorted information in Plaky

Now, you can add appropriate, color-coded tags to every piece of information you’ve put in the board, to help you sort it. After that and some rearranging, your board might look similar to this:

Sorted information in Plaky
Sorted information in Plaky

Now, everything is a lot easier to deal with. You can also notice a colored line on the bottom — it can help you visually track what percentage of information certain groups take up. 

You could also divide information into item groups, and make it easier to input any new information in the future.

How to be more organized at work as a manager

Being a manager is all about organization. Not only do you have to organize your work, but your team as well.

Here are some expert tips on how to stay on top of your work as a manager.

Tip #1: Get to know your team

When organizing work as a manager, you’re not only organizing your own time but your team’s as well. If you want to do this effectively, you’ll need to learn more about your team. 

As Trevor tells us, different team members will have different needs:

Trevor Ewen headshot

“As a manager, one of the key challenges is modeling organization for your team, while simultaneously keeping team priorities in mind and knowing when to check-in. Some people are naturally more organized, so they’ll require less training. Others will need both training and accountability.”

If your team members are well-organized, there won’t be much need for you to organize their time in much detail. 

However, your team might benefit from more frequent check-ins and more detailed organization if it helps them clear their mind and get them on the right track.

Tip #2: Communicate with your team

Continuing naturally from our previous tip, the most effective way to get to know your team is through communication, as Andrew mentions:

Andrew Latham headshot

“Regularly communicate with your team to align on priorities and deadlines.”

Of course, you shouldn’t under any circumstances micromanage your team, but it’s important to regularly check in with everyone so that you can align on the shared goals and where you’re headed. 

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

If you want to learn how to improve your project communication, check out this useful guide:

Tip #3: Set clear expectations

As you organize your team and set up their responsibilities for the future, it’s important to set clear expectations. Trevor shared with us his method of setting expectations:

Trevor Ewen headshot

“One of my biggest tools is providing templates and standard operating procedures to members of my team. In the absence of better ideas, most people like a default standard that bounds the level of effort and properly showcases expectations.”

If you set standard procedures, your team can know how they should approach specific tasks and problems. 

Tip #4: Focus on the issue at hand

We’ve already spoken about the drawbacks of multitasking. But, Juliet wanted us to pay mind to meetings specifically, and how important it is to pay attention:

Juliet Dreamhunter headshot

“While it’s common for project managers to multitask and handle a dozen of things at once, you’re actually more efficient when you dedicate your full attention to a meeting you are in. This saves you a lot of time as you address everything important and don’t have to follow up with team members later on to repeat things you missed.”

Of course, some meetings can get very long and tiring, so don’t be hard on yourself if you miss some info every once in a while. Still, you should do what you can to go into a meeting with a clear head. 

Information gathered from meetings will almost always be necessary for your further organization as a manager. So, giving every meeting your full attention is a must.

Tip #5: Learn how to delegate effectively

Once you’ve gotten to know your team, you’ll be aware of each of their skills and preferences. So, Elizabeth prompts us to take advantage of that information:

Elizabeth Pharo headshot

“While it’s common for project managers to multitask and handle a dozen of things at once, you’re actually more efficient when you dedicate your full attention to a meeting you are in. This saves you a lot of time as you address everything important and don’t have to follow up with team members later on to repeat things you missed.”

Conclusion: Improve your organizational skills to reach new heights of efficiency

Whether you are a manager, a project team member, or just someone looking to improve organization for their personal life, these tips will help your organizational skills improve greatly.

If you apply them correctly, these tips can improve your efficiency and productivity, help you combat procrastination, and remove the negative effects of multitasking.

Learning to become a more organized person will lead to more success and satisfaction in both your professional and personal life.

✉️ Has this guide helped you improve your organization at work? How have these tips worked out for you? Let us know at, and we may include your answers in this or future posts. If you liked this blog post and found it useful, share it with someone you think would also benefit from it.

LukaBogavac Luka  Bogavac

Luka Bogavac is a project management author and researcher who focuses on making project management topics both approachable and informative. With experience in entrepreneurial projects, education, and writing, he aims to make articles that his younger self would appreciate. In his free time, he enjoys being outdoors hiking, or staying indoors with a good film or video game.