Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Organize your life!

Are you struggling with organizing your schedule?  Not sure when your dentist appointment is, or parent teacher conferences are?  Maybe you missed that important meeting at work, or showed up a week early to a 4-H meeting?

If this sounds like you, then you know how much stress this places on your life.  You know the feeling that you get when you think you are missing something and can't quite place your finger on it.  You know how silly you felt when you showed up on the wrong day for a meeting.  And you know the worry and disappointment in yourself that you felt because you missed that very important meeting at work.

Let's change those feelings.  Let's try to find something that works for you to get organized in your life.

There are so many different systems out there for organizing your life- paper calendars, digital, family command centers, post it note systems (although those might not be effective :) ), dry erase calendars and more.  Finding what works right for you and your family is the first step.

Now, I can't promise you that the first thing you choose will be the best or what works.  From personal experience, I have always used a calendar that I carry in my purse, but I have tweeked my system many times, and I think I finally have what works for my family.

I like a calendar that I carry in my purse so that I can always access it.  There are many different styles of calendars.  You can get a small monthly calendar, a weekly calendar or a small binder calendar.  This is what my calendar looks like:

I'm sure that you notice all the different colors.  I like color.  It stands out.  It makes me take notice of what is on the page.  This works for me.  It might not work for you.  Maybe all of your children have different first letters of their names (unlike mine, which all start with J).  If so, maybe it works for you to write the first letter of their name with the activity.  Maybe you prefer to write out their whole name.  You will need to decide.

Don't want to carry a bulky calendar in your purse?  Well there are many apps for smartphones that you can download and use.  Visit your Google Play Store or Apple Store to find an app that you like.  The app doesn't need to cost money either.

One app you can check out is Cozi Family Organizer on the Google Play Store.  It is free with a paid option.  The nice thing about the Cozi Calendar is that you can sync it with other adults in your household, access it from a computer, and get weekly/daily emails about your activities scheduled for the week.

Another way to get organized is a family command center.  This would be in one spot in your house where everyone can see it.  Keep your calendar, pens, schedules, and important papers all in one spot.  This can also be tailored to what works for you.  Pinterest has many different pictures of various command centers.  You don't have to have a Pinterest account to search, only to pin (or save) the pictures.

Here is a picture of my family command center.

Currently, I have it hung on two bulletin boards on my door to the garage.  We use this door daily and it is right in view for everyone to see.  I copy the events from my personal calendar that I carry in my purse (which is the main calendar that I use), plus I keep all of the kids important papers for school hanging there- field trip slips, school calendars, newsletters, book it forms, etc.

Just remember that not one thing may work for you.  You may need a trial and error period to find what you are most comfortable with.  It may be a combination of systems, or it may be one system.

Whatever you decide to use, remember the goal is to get organized and not forgot those important school papers, doctors appointments or deadlines for work.

Good luck and let's get organized!

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