Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Organizing Time / My Planner

I have been reading a fairly helpful book, Organizing Your Day by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims.

I'm also working, for the umpteenth time, on creating a system that works for me.  I'm actually great at creating systems - horrible at sustaining them. I feel like I'm getting a bit closer.  The key is keeping it simple. Very, very simple.

I need to remember my planner history - over and over I tried ready-made planners or elaborate systems utilizing ready-made pages, pages I created myself, 3-ring notebooks, small 6-ring notebooks, filing cards in boxes, filing cards in photo books.

I was never able to create a planner that worked for me, that didn't become a huge chore in itself. Then, I guess the Universe took pity on me. I found a small Day-Runner cover, a 4" X 7",  which used spiral-bound components - it had a monthly calendar insert, a phone/address booklet. I added  a weekly calendar that had space for writing to-dos.  I have used this for more than 10 years now and it totally works to keep me aware of appointments and events and deadlines and birthdays and important anniversaries.

Over the years, I've had to replace the cover - I now have one from Day-Timer that's even better, with slots for cards & a photo holder on the inside cover, and I have had to use components from other systems as well because sometimes I can't find the Day-Runner ones. Sometimes I use the free calendar from my credit union.

Right now I've got an At-A-Glance Executive Weekly Planner, which has the calendar (tabbed monthly which is great) and the weekly pages right after each monthly calendar pages.   I love this format.
It's helpful in using such a small planner that I can, and like to, write tiny. My favorite pens are the Pilot G-2 micro with 0.38 point.

The address book is the same one I started 10 years ago - it's rather falling apart and filled with information that's no longer useful.  I did buy a new book, and began the tedious process of transferring addresses and numbers over.  However.... I ... can't... find... it... now. (Typical lament of the disorganized clutterbug...)

This planner and Post-It notes are probably the reason I SEEM to be amazingly organized to many people. 

And its simplicity and longevity in my life are  the reasons I must have "Remember The Planner!" as my battle cry as I work to create a system for organizing my time and projects and papers.

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The Chair's Seasonal Portrait - Winter 2010

The Chair, Winter 2010

Every once in awhile, I like to take a picture of The Chair.  The Chair, after all, is sort of the raison d'etre of this blog, a symbol, a symptom.  And, after all these years, it's kind of a beloved bit of cluttery chaos to me.  The Chair has appeared on a couple of other, more well-read blogs, and once, was asked to be part of a professor's class presentation in the UK...something on symbolism and photographic images, if I remember correctly.

For last year's picture and some from previous years, you can scroll through the entries here.

I would like to point out the improvement in the number of shoes underneath the chair.  And the lack of books stacked on the seat, although a few may be hidden under all the winter clothes.

Am I tidying up The Chair anytime soon?  Probably not until Spring.

What I am working on in the decluttering/organizing realm is time and paper management and my tendency to over-commit.   I'll write more about that in my next post.