How To Organize Your “To Do” List

Does anyone else ever feel overwhelmed by your “To Do” list?  Here is a quick and simple way to organize your  list.  This list will help you to prioritize the most important items and hopefully let some things go too!  If you are trying to get yourself organized for the New Year, this idea might help you out.

All you need is a blank sheet of copy paper and a pencil or pen.

Here is what is looks like:

This is the front-

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This is the back-

IMG_3799Directions:

1.Fold the paper in fourths.

2. You can personalize this list by choosing categories that work for you.  On the front, I labeled each fourth with Personal, Home, Family and Need Help (Things I need Hubby to help with).  The Back side of the list is labeled Daily Must Do’s for Me, Big Projects and Things to Shop For.  I found dividing the list into these categories helped me mentally organize my list, but you could also just make one list with all categories combined.

3. In each fourth of the paper I made three columns labeled-“Must Do”, “Would Be Nice” and “Could Live Without”.

4. Finally, I fill in each section with the millions of things that are always floating around in my head.

Now I have to admit something about this system.  When I made my first draft of the list, the “Must Do” side was very full and the “Could Live Without” did not have any items.  I have been using this system for about two years and I am happy to say I have finally moved some things to the “Can Live Without” column and I am learning to be okay with that! (Paint the inside of my closet-probably not going to happen-too many shelves to take down!)  I do tend to have a lot of things/ideas constantly pop in my head during the day and night and it is nice to have a place to jot them down so I can free my mind for more important things (like sleep!).

I like this system because it is simple and combines a lot of information onto just one page.  Now I’m sure there is probably a more high tech way to do this, but I still can’t let go of paper and pencil for some things.

How about you?  If you are a list person, how do you organize your “To Do” list?  I would love to hear from you!  I’m always looking for new ways to simplify my life and get organized!

~Blessings,

Jen

 

 

The Organization Tip That Saved My Sanity and My Marriage!

We are now into our second week of the school year and it has been non-stop!  Our calendar is already filling up with school open houses, music lessons, church activities, family commitments and on and on and on!  It can be a bit overwhelming to say the least!

A few years ago Hubby and I found ourselves having a lot of little arguments over things related to the activities in our lives. I would tell him in passing about a birthday party or school event that was coming up and he may or may not have been completely listening and then I would get mad later when he claimed I never told him about the event.  So Hubby and I came up with a system that solved many of our communication issues that revolved around the busy calendar.  We decided to designate a time every week that we call “Calendar Time”.  This one simple thing has literally changed our lives on a day to day basis!  No more panicked calls wondering where he is because we have an event or unpleasant surprises when we realize that someone is not available to pick up someone from somewhere!

We set aside an hour each Sunday after church and we sit down together with our individual calendars and our family calendar.  We have set up some very strict rules with the girls about not interrupting us during this time.  I make myself some tea, and Hubby grabs a snack and we go through the week together and sync our calendars.  It looks like this:

 

IMG_2861     We are pretty low-tech as you can see, but it works for us!   This allows us to decide who will be in charge of what and helps us catch any potential conflicts that may arise.  At the end of our Calendar Time, we ask Oldest Daughter to join us to add anything that might be going on with her that week that we might not know about and we fill her in on anything she needs to know pertaining to the week.  Sometimes we will look a few weeks ahead, and as the holiday season approaches we will try to plan out those activities too.  Finally, we have a dry erase color coded calendar (each person has their own color) by the back door where we record all of the events for the whole family to see.

This simple organization strategy has greatly reduced our weekly stress, strengthened our communication skills and made everything flow more smoothly overall.  Probably my favorite part of Calendar Time is at the end where we pray for our family and the week ahead.  It allows us to pray for each other, the girls and the specific needs of that week.

How about you?  How do you organize your family schedules?  I would love to hear any tips and tricks you have as we are always trying to improve in this area.

Wishing you a happy, blessed and organized week!

~Blessings,

Jen

Back To School Inspiration- An Organization Idea

Hi Friends!  As a teacher, my summer officially comes to an end today.  Although I am very sad to see the laid back days of summer end, I have to admit I am a little bit excited to get us all back on a regular schedule.  I haven’t posted many organizational ideas to our blog yet, but one thing you will learn about me is that nothing makes me happier than an organized space!  It brings me peace to have a clutter-free environment and I feel like it frees up my mind to think inspirational thoughts!

This inspirational back to school idea I have for you today is one I found last year on the web (I can’t remember exactly where I found it…).  If you have kids in school, you know one of the biggest issues to manage is the amount of paperwork that comes in the door (newsletters, permission slips, art projects, homework and on and on and on….)!  It can be overwhelming, especially at the beginning of the school year.

So, to tame the clutter, I purchased a pack of wall mounted file folder holders from the local office supply store.  The one I bought came as a three pack.  I only have two kids, so I saved the third in case one ever broke.

IMG_2793 back to school

I used large Command Strip hangers instead of the enclosed hardware so I did not have to drill holes in the wall.  They have held up for a year and are still going strong!  Before mounting them on the wall, I taped a picture of each girl on the inside (face out).  Oldest Daughter got the high spot and Little One got the low spot on the wall so she could reach the slot to file all of her papers.  I chose silly pictures from our Disney vacation because they remind me of a fun family time. Notice the Mickey ears and silly faces! (Who doesn’t need a reminder of a little fun when filing school papers!)

IMG_2791 back to schoolFinally, I purchased some cute file folders and each girl was assigned a color and two folders in their slot.  One folder is for extra-curricular papers and the other is for school related items.  Little One also uses this space to store her homework folder and library book (no more scrambling on library day to find her book).  She is really good about unloading all of her school papers into the slot, then I go through them when I have a moment and toss what we don’t need and file the rest.  This system is located next to the door where we exit and enter the house so the papers all stay contained in one place.

IMG_2796 back to school

This whole project took me about 10 minutes from start to finish and has been a real lifesaver in managing the truckloads of paper that come home from school!

Do you have a favorite back to school tip?  We would love to hear your ideas in the comment section!

I wish everyone a smooth, happy, organized and inspirational new school year!

~Blessings,

Jen