Organization Strategies for Japan

Putting everything together for our trip has been a real effort, and just like for our wedding we used a variety of tools and strategies to keep on top of everything (mostly). If you’re planning a big trip or event of your own, or are just curious how we did it, here’s a few of our tactics…


Caitlin wrote a couple posts back before the wedding about how great it is as a high-level organization tool. By grouping tasks or information into lists, filled with “cards”, you can see a lot of the upcoming tasks at a glace. Each card can have a lot of extra information – checklists, notes, due dates, assigned people, etc… and any card with a due date will auto-populate into the calendar section, for yet another way to visualize and check on what’s the most pressing thing to work on.

Trello Cap

Just a snapshot of our honeymoon board.

Excel/Google Sheets

Never underestimate the humble spreadsheet! For anything as simple as a packing list or as crucial as your day-by-day itinerary, a spreadsheet can be your very best friend. Excel has more powerful functionality, but multiple people can edit a Google Sheets doc simultaneously.


Having a shared folder to work on everything is so,so handy! We use one for this blog, and another folder for archiving everything from PDF receipts to timelines to… well, all the various stuff you need for making a big trip happen. It was especially vital for the wedding with all the DIY materials we had to print… not sure what type of honeymoon that would apply to, but you do you!

Binders & Files

Having a real, physical record of certain things is SO important. Be it plane tickets, hotel reservations, activity reservations, car rental confirmations, maps of where to go when you’re jet-lagged and disoriented – there are certain things we just won’t go anywhere without tangible documentation of, that we know we can refer to no matter if there’s internet or not, if you have battery or not.


We love travel books! Caitlin was by far more diligent about using them beyond just reading – she created a colour-coding a system using multicolour post-it notes to keep tabs, literally, on various points of interest and things to do and see. A couple smaller books, pocket atlases in particular, are coming along so we can get around the largest and most exciting cities (Tokyo and Kyoto) without being glued to our GPS.

Hopefully, there’s at least a couple ideas in there to help you plan – for us, it’s been indispensable in wrapping our heads around this amazing trip. With less than two weeks to go, we couldn’t be more excited!


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