Every year I try to get organised. I buy a new calendar and diary and yet they never seem to work for me. Last year, I bought a family organiser diary that had a page for each week and then the opposite page for notes. I tried a system - that turned out to be a very complicated - of different post it notes for different things. I would forget to put the notes in though and they would fall out and after a while it went by the wayside. Essentially I was trying to include too much in one place.
Our calendar was OK, but they always seem to have such tiny squares that I cannot fit everything in, especially when plans change and you have to cross things out. My friend tells me that I should write in pencil, but I never have one to hand and they don't write on shiny paper and oh, 100 other reasons why I don't like pencil!
This year I was determined that the mess of last year was not going to happen again. Determined!! So this is the system that I have come up with and a whole 12 days into the new year it seems to be working - so far!!!
Firstly hanging in the kitchen I have this calendar. It is not for writing on. It is just there to look pretty and so that when I am talking to someone on the phone I can easily see the dates from one week/month to the next. I also have one hanging in my office for the same reasons.
Instead of writing on the calendar, we have a large diary in the kitchen with a week spread over two pages. This means that there is plenty of space for writing things in and crossing things out too! As well, I have colour coded us. My things are in black, hubby's are in blue and birthdays and holidays are in pink and so on. This means that I can easily tell at a glance what the written item refers to. I borrowed the idea of different colours of writing from Jo who wrote a great post about how she manages her diary last year.
Then of course I need a diary to carry around with me, so I have a small one that will fit into my handbag and that I can just write appointments in. Again, I am using the same colours - I now have a whole bunch of pens that can write in different colours!
My system isn't done there though. I have another diary - I know, I know, that makes three diaries! - that has a page a day. I can include appointments, but I also run this as a to do list. I can write lots on each day and I know what I need to do. I don't need the to do list in my diary when I am just out and about, but at home I can see at a glance what I need to get done. I can make notes to buy or send birthday cards, make a note of when I have ordered something, reminders to plant things and so on.
The final piece of the puzzle is a small notebook that I can take to meetings, jot notes down in and so on. When I am out and about I can quickly make a note of something down and transfer it to my diary or to do list or so on when I get home. This way I don't have little bits of paper and lists getting lost and I can refer back to things as well.
I also have a notebook that hangs out in the kitchen for grocery lists and another notebook that I use for writing crochet notes in. The crochet one hangs out in my crochet basket - of course!
So, that makes 3 notebooks, 3 diaries and 2 calendars! That means that I am either really organised, or really disorganised. I can't decide which... Yes, it does mean that I have to remember to write things in different places, but that doesn't take as much time as trying to remember what I haven't written down anywhere or looking for scraps of paper and all the other things that I have done in previous years!
I know that I could get an app for all of this, but as I don't have a smartphone or the desire to own one, that isn't going to work for me. I need paper! I love stationery and this is the perfect reason to indulge!!
They key to all of this though is that pen with the different colours. That really is wonderful Jo!