{Photographs by Sally J Shim}

Spring is the busiest time of year at Casa Shim. It kicks off with our anniversary, my birthday followed by J's birthday three days later. And then there is a quiet lull for a bit and then it is j's birthday and a dozen end of the school year activities--class party coordinating, volunteering at school events, chaperoning field trips and helping teachers with various projects. This is all in addition to my actual "work" which definitely has been cutting into my sleep time these days. {insert yawn} Oh and then there's the PACKAGING101 workshop that Joke and I are preparing for as well as some other fun projects in the works. I'm not complaining though because I feel extremely blessed to be doing what I love to do. But one must have a system to stay organized and to keep it all under control. I'm a visual person so I need to be able to SEE what I need to DO in order for it to get DONE. I used to use my pinstrip to organize my tasks in order of importance but I haven't found the right spot for it in my studio so sadly it is sitting in the corner collecting dust at the moment. I do have a large linen pinboard hanging above my computer which I used to pin pieces of paper with project descriptions on it. Over the weekend I finally spent time creating a system to help me stay on top of my projects. First off I designed and printed little "index" cards with a space for 1) task name, 2) description and 3) due date.

Then I filled out cards with all the tasks on my to do list.

Once a task is completed I stamp it with a "Delivered {Date}". Can I tell you how satisfying it is to see that stamp on a card? Very. 

I put on a mini binder clip on the top of each card and then placed 30 little pins in a 6x5 grid on the pinboard. All the cards are lined up in order of importance [due dates] so I can always have a gauge of what I should be working on next. The great thing is if a new task comes into the mix I can switch up the order of the cards. So far this is working great for me. [I keep thinking a wood + nail version would be super cute, too.] I still make my daily to do list but I only put the tasks that require immediate attention on the list. Do you have a system for organizing your tasks? Please do tell!

Reader Comments (28)

this is brilliant! i'm the same way, i love using daytimers and calendars, but i often forget to look at what is next! i need to have it right there in front of me. i adore that 'delivered' stamp. it appeals to the old-school library-lover in me :)

05.27.2011 | Unregistered Commenterlesley


05.27.2011 | Unregistered Commentershanna

this is awesome. Isn't it great to put the stamp on a completed project?

05.27.2011 | Unregistered Commentermegan

Gorgeous Sally—as always! :)

05.27.2011 | Unregistered Commenterpatricia

deeelish! i love it. thank you for the idea. i am sorry to say i don't have an equally charming organization idea to share. it's not my best feature. :)

thanks again for sharing!!


05.27.2011 | Unregistered Commenterheaven

This is so incredibly wonderful. Actually seeing what I need to do and what I've already completed would do so much for me mentally. Another one of your ideas I'm going to have to steal. Thank you!!

05.27.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal Malek

What a fab idea! So much more pleasing than my boring notepad.


i sense a shim store selling this system .... and many, many, other things (like your beautiful advent calendar). utterly beautiful and simple and pretty :)

05.28.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjane

Oh my goodness, Sally...this is really, really wonderful. So inspiring for me, since I'm really trying to find something that works for me to organize tasks. I think I need a stamp now. :)

05.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnna @ D16

you are making us look very, very bad. :)

05.28.2011 | Unregistered Commentervictoria

I <I>love this idea. Thank you for sharing. A visual, changeable system like this provides so much more information than a static list.

05.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMartha

Ugh. I feel so bad, yet compelled to comment; even the anal retentive side of me can't cheer. All I see is the waste.

05.29.2011 | Unregistered Commentermelani rae

What a great idea! I like the fact that you don't have to keep writing down the same tasks every day. It is both functional and beautiful. Bravo!

05.29.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjen

This is a wonderful way to organize your tasks. I only wish you could sell this set for all of us to use! :)

05.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

Thank you for sharing your system. I always struggle with organizing my to do lists. This is very inspiring.

05.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathy K

LESLEY // Thanks! :) Using the stamp is quite satisfying!

SHANNA // :)

MEGAN // My favorite part! :)

PATRICIA // Thanks, Patricia!

HEAVEN // You're welcome!

CRYSTAL // Steal away! It is nice to be able to look back + move forward with this system. It is encouraging to see what you've accomplished and what else needs to be done.

JO // Ha! I still love notepads, too! :)

JANE // Thanks, Jane!! xoxo

ANNA // Thanks, Anna! And yes, you definitely need a stamp! :)


MARTHA // Thanks, M! I think the changeable aspect of the list is my favorite part. I love being able to see all my tasks in one spot and if I need to add something I can pop it into place.

MELANI RAE // I appreciate your viewpoint. I've tried a zero waste system [on the computer] but it doesn't work well for my needs. For me the functionality of this system outweighs the waste. The cards are made as small as possible and printed on 100% recycled paper.

JEN // Thanks!!

MARIA // Maybe one day! :)

KATHY K // Thank you!

05.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

This is so cool! I am so bad at organizing. Something like this sparks ideas in me to become more so.

05.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

LISA // It's all about baby steps! ;)

05.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

what a great idea! you're so creative when it comes to planning + organizing!

06.1.2011 | Unregistered Commenterangie

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! you are my inspiration for my home sally! gorgeous!

06.1.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoke

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