By mid-December, I’m already reviewing the past year and preparing for the next one. Perhaps it’s because my birthday also falls at the end of the year, but for me, January is always a time of review and change.
I’m still searching for that perfect organization method that allows me to feel like I’m prioritizing correctly, remembering everything that needs to get done (laundry, dishes, groceries, paying bills), and keeping track of what I want to do (printing and framing photos, decluttering, finishing my needlepoint project I started over the summer, and much, much more).
For now, I’ve settled on a hybrid of putting every appointment and regular event into my iPhone calendar and writing tasks on paper, divided into daily and long-term.
- As soon as I make an appointment, it goes in my calendar. I don’t even let doctors give me the appointment cards because I don’t want the clutter.
- If I need to bring something to an event, I add it to the appointment (“bring gift”.)
- Recurring things I need to nag my kids about go in the calendar. (“Bring gym clothes.”)
I have two to-do lists: One is a little lined Post-it note pad with room for only ten items. That’s where I write (the night before) up to ten things I need to do the next day.
The other list is on regular sized paper that I keep in a manila folder of Goals. There are actually a few lists in this folder because some need to be done soon, but not tomorrow (like “get annual inspection for car”) and some are the more wishful thinking variety (like “clean the garage”).
Whenever I have space on my small to-do list (and an abundance of energy), I put one or two items from the big list onto the small list.
Every evening, I review my iPhone calendar and my paper to-do list for the next day. I look at them again in the morning. Obsessive-compulsive? Maybe. But it also puts my mind at ease that I’m not forgetting anything (and because of this system, I rarely do.)
My lcoach and friend, Cathy Colangelo, has developed a 2016 planner/calendar and her coach, Sage Grayson, gave me the idea for this post with her blog tour on planning. Please check out their offerings and feel free to comment here with your own planning ideas. I’m always looking for improvement and I learn something new every time I read a blog or a book on planning.
Take care and enjoy the many blessings left in 2015!
If you enjoy reading my blog, please check out my first novel, Giving Myself Away, about a divorced mom making tough choices and a fresh start.
I’m participating in the Edited Year Blog Party! The 2016 Edited Year Planners are your secret weapons for staying on target with your goals, appointments, projects, and to-dos in a fun and systematic way. Click here to get your planners.