Helpful Hint # 6895- Put it all down in writing.
Organization is the key to a smooth week. There are many ways to find organization in life. But, one of the most important skills of organization is letting everyone know your plans and their plans for the week. We all have different ways of accomplishing this task.
For as long as I can remember my father would get up first thing in the morning and write out a “to do” list for the day. Then he would scratch off his
list as the day progressed and his tasks were completed. My mom would make a “honey do” list and post it on the fridge for things that needed to be done around the house by either herself or by Dad. This is what worked for them.
Yet, in our home. I find I need not only organization, but also communication. So, I have four different systems in place.
1. The first is just for me. I have a small spiral notebook that fits inside my purse. In the notebook, I follow in my father’s footsteps. I make a “to do” list and scratch items off as completed. I also use it for all notes when I’m out and about. Say, I run into a friend and they tell me about a birthday party, I mark it into the notebook to transfer to the calendar when I get home. Say, the credit card receipt doesn’t print at the gas pump. I just quickly jot down the date, card used, place, and cost. Then I transfer that to my quicken, when I get home. Or how many times does someone want to give you their address or phone number while out running errand. Wha-la. An instant rolodex. The notebook is also handy when your child is bored at the restaurant or doctors office. She can draw pictures or play tic-tac-toe to pass the time. The paper is also handy to rip out and use to dispose of unwanted gum properly. The lists of use can go on and on.
2. The second is for my family. I make a monthly calendar of everyone’s events. I just use the basic calendar function in Microsoft Word and print them off. Free. Yipiee. This calendar is posted on our bulletin board in the kitchen. I list every event for everyone in the family, even if it reoccurs like guitar lessons. I sometimes use a code key. I draw a flower with a stem for my daughter, a sail boat for my son, a sun for my husband, & a flower with no stem for me, instead of writing out our whole names each time. Some of my friends use a coding system of a different colored pen for each family member. But, I find the symbols to work better because there are quite a few events that more than one family member attends. Also, I have code for certain places around town, MS for Market Street or BB for Bear Branch Park. It makes it easier. I write out the codes for the places at the bottom of the calendar. I know it sounds confusing, but over time it really simplifies things. It helps not over-schedule things, because everyone knows everyone else’s schedule. I find my husband checking this calendar for planning trips quite often. It has really helped.
3. The third is for my family. I make a weekly calendar on our dry erase board. This is by far the best thing ever!!! I have each day of the week permanently painted on the board with lines separating them. Everyone in my family likes checking this board to see what they are doing for the week. We even tend to discuss what’s coming up for the week more, now that everyone is “in the know.” I think my children like this system. They like knowing what they have on the schedule and are more responsible at getting ready and making sure their parties & plans make the weekly agenda.
4. The fourth is for my husband. I email him a calendar list about once every 2-3 months. In this I just list all the big events coming up for the family. I don’t rehash the lessons and sports team practices. I only list things that fall in two categories: something for the entire family to attend or something “big” happening in my kids or my life. On this list I put the things I want him to consider attending in bold print. This helps him schedule his work schedule. And it helps keep him up to date on what is happening in our lives and giving us conversation fodder for the dinner table.
I know this might seem like organization over-kill. But, it works for my family of four different agendas, which all involved me driving them somewhere. Plus, it opens up the realm of conversation. I think it’s better to be informed and know what’s going on. That takes a lot of the work off me.
Let me know if you have specific ways that you organize your family’s schedules. What works in your house? I find it’s always good to hear what others are doing. That’s how I got the weekly dry erase board idea from other friends with busier schedules that were making it work.
Thank you so much to the DownhillRun.com guest contributor today – the author Cherie Bright from Another Day, Another Story.
Here’s more information about Cherie:
Cherie Bright is a stay-at-home mom, who refers to career as a holly homemaker/ mommy extraordinaire. She is the author of the blog and the book titled “Another Day, Another Story.” She is a graduate from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Computer Science and Communications, both of which she uses daily trying to outwit her children. Bright moved to The Woodlands, Texas in 2004 from El Dorado, Arkansas. She is the mother of two children and wife to one understanding husband. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, camping, and sitting around the campfire exchanging stories. “Another Day, Another Story,” is available at bookstores nationwide or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com. A download version is available direct from the publisher at lulu.com.