Monday, 12 January 2015

Trying to get organised...

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!

Amy

47 comments:

  1. I keep a pad by my computer and each week write a list of all the things I need to do then tick them off as they get done. It works well for me. M uses his smart phone but I prefer paper and pen. I like the pattern in your big diary. Glad you've found a system that works for you- there is nothing more frustrating than realising you've forgotten to do something :o) xx

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  2. Sounds amazing. I am a lover of stationery too and love all your pretty diaries, calendars and notebook.

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  3. I'd be lost without my diary - but I couldn't cope with more than one! And a 'to do' list which gets regularly updated.

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  4. Don't have any calenders at home though we do have diary to write down apointments in for the four of us and a couple of ipods my wife & I have

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  5. I'm glad to hear that colour coding is working for you, and thank you for the mention. I'd be lost without my two Filofaxes, everything goes in there and it eliminates the need for more diaries, calendars or notebooks, but I do envy all the pretty stationery you have, I'm a real stationery lover and love pretty paper and pens.

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  6. Well it all sounds very organised to me. Like you I prefer paper and pens to electronic reminders and like you we have a calendar to write on and one that is just a pretty one to enjoy looking at. I also have two note pads by my laptop - one for family history notes and lookings up and one to jot down anything else - like contacts and book titles, quotes and ideas for short stories. All your calendars, diaries and note books are so pretty and such a joy to use I expect:)

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  7. LOL! WE share a love of the notebooks... journals... etc... My favorite place to shop is in the writing supplies. One of my friends will NOT go to Office Depot with me. ;) Good luck! blessings ~ tanna

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  8. I love your calendar dear!
    I have one too!
    I receive every year a Nestle calendar with recipes!!
    Amy I think you are organized!
    Have a nice day!

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  9. With a busy family household the idea of the different coloured pens it perfect. I have two date books (free from my chiropractor!) - one for the kitchen and one in my purse. I note any appointments and always note the weather and temperature at the bottom of the tiny squares. I write birthdays and anniversaries in red ink at the top of the square - very tiny! I have a calendar on the wall for looks. Our telephone always hung on the wall until about 10 years ago when we got cordless ones but the calendar still hangs under where the old phone was. :) Your life is definitely much busier than mine! Enjoy your week.

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  10. I don't know if this makes you organised or disorganised but it did make me laugh!

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  11. I don't have a smart phone either and, like you, would prefer paper anyway. Recently I ressurrected my old leather Filofax I bought...oh, 25ish years ago, and am using that again, with a week on 2 pages diary, a fold out year planner and I use colour coded pages for day lists, week lists and month lists, which I slot into to the relevant place in the diary. (Not that I stick to them, but I can but try!) It's also got my address book and other bits, such as a clear zip wallet and a flat hole punch for adding bits when out and about. It's small enough to be popped in my bag when I go out. For the family I always get a 1 month to view year planner, the National Trusts' one last year and this. Love the colour coded pens idea! Jen

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  12. I have a big calendar in the kitchen to keep track of recycling pick-up, a desk calendar to keep track of appointments and a smart phone that I seldom turn on and store nothing on it. I've never been very organized and probably never will be.

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  13. Amy, I make a family calendar each year with big squares and everyone's birthdays, etc. It's hanging in the laundry room and is our only reference to where we need to be. I can't even remember to put the appointments on my Notebook, let alone in several places. The calendar works for me and for hubby.

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  14. Amy, I'm with you! I don't want a smart phone and apps; I want paper! My husband is slightly more "modern" -- he keeps his calendar on his desktop computer.

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  15. Hello Amy, sorry for laughing but your organised/disorganised did make me giggle. I think you are
    organised. Thank you for the tip on colour co-ordination, I must remember this.
    We have a calender in my little Snug and everything is wrote down on that, colour co-ordination would
    definately help.

    Love, love the stationary it's just perfect.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  16. Love it! But I can't help thinking a smart phone would be easier! :)
    Mind you, I still have a calendar to look at and a note book in my bag - just because they are pretty - and I have a bit of a thing about coloured ink pens. I think I have about 10 in my handbag - blues, pinks, orange green ..... Finding a black can be pretty tricky though! x

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  17. I still like doing things, what would be considered, the old fashioned way. I like writing notes. And if I don't write things down immediately, I'm bound to forget. Every year I say I will start a daily journal and every year I forget about it, which of course, has happened, yet again, already. Good luck with your system.
    Tammy

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  18. There is something about writing things down on paper that helps us remember better than using a smarphone. I don't have a smartphone either but it's just as well. I prefer writing things down in my planner. Sometimes the old ways are better!
    xx Beca

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  19. I love your post!, My mother in law buys me a calender every December and I always write it out New Years Day, it's become a tradition, I don't have a diary but that's because someone buys me one every year and I never use it! xxLove the system

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  20. The smartphone wouldn't help, you know... I have one, but refuse to use it as a diary. It just isn't the same.
    And as for calendars/diaries, the same thing here : one in my bag, a big filofax with a page a day, two calendars in the kitchen - one with the current month on it, and a half-year calendar... And then I'm still not talking about all the different notebooks I use (crochet/drawing/photography...)
    No wonder my back sometimes hurts with the weight of all that paper in my handbag ;-) !

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  21. I think we all have to do what works best for us. I have a smart phone, but I still rely on paper calendars -- although, not as many as you have -- I would forget where I wrote things LOL!!!

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  22. It does seem like a lot but if that works for you I think it makes you organised rather than disorganised! I have a Molsekine weekly notebook every year - the left side page is a weekly diary and the right is just a ruled page like in a notebook so each week I can make lists on the right and note down appointments or whatever on the left.

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  23. Reading this has made me remember I've forgot my friends husbands birthday today.....yikes!!! :) xxx

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  24. I use everything available to help forgetfulness, but agree I prefer paper. I think working full time is of no help (well I add that to my excuses ha ha).
    Helen

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  25. Oh dear Amy - I find this charmingly hilarious!!
    Mostly because I see that we're really all the same. We need so many things to keep us on track. As women, mothers, wives etc I think we multi task more than anyone!! It seems odd you don't find many men with 5 different calendars/books, isn't it? Maybe we put too much on ourselves as heads of family to keep track? I'm not sure what the answer is...I just know I definitely relate with you!! xo

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  26. Except for the kitchen calendar (which I write everything on!), the rest tend to get mis placed and not updated. I am ADD and hopelessly disorganized........

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  27. You make my head spin Amy but I know where you are coming from. Having more than one diary doesn't work for me and I'm always losing pens so that wouldn't work for me either although colour coding is great. This year I have a A4 diary and I carry it all over the house with me and write lists and to do's in there, it even goes to work with me which is great because it's the same size as the work one and if my boss sees me
    looking in it she thinks I'm working haha :) xx

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  28. I used to have a calendar and a desk diary but now I simply use the calendar on my computer - easy to delete things when plans change. If I need a To Do list I make one in a notebook I keep on my desk.
    Margaret P

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  29. I guess we all have our favourite systems. I have a gorgeous Susan Branch calendar hanging in my kitchen by the phone, but I don't write on it. I carry a Cath Kidson diary with me everywhere. It has places for notes, addresses, birthdays, holidays, shopping lists and to do lists. All my appointments and social dates are written in there. I have a dear friend who is ALWAYS double booking social events because she hasn't transferred or updated a social event from her kitchen calendar to her personal diary. Good luck x

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  30. Well hopefully this will be just the thing to keep you organized. I always feel so much better when everything is organized.

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  31. I sure do appreciate this post! I have the hardest time staying organized. I haven't found my solution yet, but I really want to. I'm trying to keep up with people's birthdays better this year. Best of luck and thank you for the inspiration! *hugs* :)

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  32. I have one diary which I could not live without, I look at it first thing in the morning. I also a list which I love ticking off, and then of course starting another one.

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  33. Oh dear Amy, that sounds so complicated and high maintenance! I couldn't cope with that. I have one small diary and a calendar. The calendar gets everything written on it and my diary is just for making appointments-which I transfer onto the calendar.
    Your stationary is beautiful and I think getting rid of sticky notes is a good thing..they always fall out!

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  34. I was just thinking 'she needs a smartphone' and then read your last paragraph :-) I wouldn't be without mine, especially as it pings to remind me before a scheduled event. But I also have a wall calendar for extra clarity. x

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  35. You'll hear no argument from me, I'm a notebook girl through and through. I have a big calendar in the kitchen though, which is where everything is written. It took me ages to find the right one, with lots of space for writing things in. The notebooks are for other things, and just also a little stockpiled, you know, just in case there is ever a notebook shortage. Can't be too careful. CJ xx

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  36. Like Jo, I'm a Filofax gal, but I have a family calendar on the wall as well. The best thing I use is my smartphone with the planner function; because I got all the children into gmail we have an online family calendar that we can all enter things into and see what we are all up to! The Princess is cracking at being organised; the boys, less so!

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  37. My 2015 diary is already full of coloured entries - blue for today's to-do list, green for what we had for tea, pink for birthdays, purple for appointments and so on and so on. Got to love those pens with the 4 colours in them! Of course, it is only the 12th of January but I think it takes 3 weeks to form a habit so that's only 9 days away. Surely I'll be able to keep this up for another 9 days? :oD

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  38. If it all keeps you feeling organized, I say go for it. I like organization too but I'm usually good with a calendar on the fridge. My husband likes to use Google Calendar but I turned off the notifications on my phone and computer. I don't think he knows I did that, though. :)

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  39. Ha, your post made me laugh, I totally get where you are coming from! Things are getting a little less complicated now that the children are not so young and I can usually manage with just one calendar and the planner on my phone, but boy I have tried many systems like you and the system that works best changes over time
    good luck
    Caz xx

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  40. I love the colour coding idea.

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  41. Good for you, figuring out a good way to keep track of things!

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  42. I'm confused........hahaha!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  43. I have a smart phone and and Ipad mini, yet I atill use a paper calendar. I have tried an online family calendar, but I'm just a paper girl and need to see it written down. I'm with you on this one Amy!

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  44. I must admit to keeping different notebooks etc, for much the same reason you do. Kitchen counter has the to-do list and the shopping list, notebook in quilting room for when I use Bubs (big machine), one in study for bill paying, and now my Challenge notebook, which I found I'd actually been using for challenges since 2012 and forgotten about half way through last year. I suppose the upside of all this is that I love stationery too, but I think you're more organised than I am. Take care.

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  45. I have two calendars (one for work and private, one exclusively for work-related things) and one notebook and apart from that a thousand post-it notes flying around everywhere. A rather chaotic and messy system but it works for me! ;)

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  46. You do sound very organised from the description of your personal/family system. I've been trying to get organised in this way this week so that I'm set up for the year, although I started by having a pocket diary at the end of 2014 for dates in 2015. I always receive a new, combined kitchen note pad and calendar from a daughter as a Christmas gift then enjoy buying pretty little note books that I can use as jotters and a journal. Have a good week, Amy. x

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  47. I think you are very organized. So many people do so much with their phones now, but I just love my calendar and a good ole pencil.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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