Saturday, March 21, 2015

I KNOW I WROTE IT DOWN SOMEWHERE--BUT WHERE?

by Mary Kennedy
 
Okay, true confession time. Do you make lists and lose them? Do you write things on post-its and little bits of paper and scatter them throughout the house? Do you write things down on whatever is handy? Like the back of a phone bill, or in the margin of a newspaper?  Do you shove business cards and scraps of paper into your address book instead of entering them alphabetically on a page? I'm guilty as charged of all these things.
 
I read somewhere that "creative types" are more prone to dashing off ideas, "notes to self," and inspirational material than "normals." Of course, I found this notion appealing because I could tell myself that I was just being creative when I couldn't find a recent "deal memo" I'd written on the back of a greeting card and accidentally mailed!! I'm sure the recipient wondered why I was writing about advances and option clauses on the back of her birthday card.  Like most folks, I'd much rather think of myself as "creative" than "chronically disorganized."
 
If one of your New Year's resolutions was to "get organized," there are several ways to go about it. You can go for the tried and true day planner.
                                                          
Or if you prefer, you can use the electronic version.
                                                           
 
The late Joan Rivers was fond of writing down jokes and "one-liners" when inspiration struck. She kept a variety of lovely little porcelain bowls scattered throughout the house. At the end of the day, her assistant emptied all the bowls and entered Joan's comments into a computer file that was categorized by topic. Instant organization! Sadly, most of us don't have an assistant who could do this, but I really like the idea.
                                      
 One of my friends is so organized, she keeps "lists of lists." Wow--that is so far beyond me I can hardly imagine it. Another friend (at the opposite end of the spectrum) has a novel method of saving any important piece of paper. She simply buys a half dozen picture frames at the Dollar Store and sticks her "must-not-lose" piece of paper in a frame! I know it sounds odd, but it's actually effective. It's pretty hard to "lose" a picture frame.
 
So what's your secret to staying organized. Do you faithfully keep datebooks and diaries and address books? If you have any tips, please share them.
 
Mary Kennedy
 
 

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I keep a notebook, nothing fancy, on the kitchen counter under my cookbook holder. If I don't have one place to keep the list, I will lose it . One time, before the notebook, I had three lists going and lost them all. Old school works best for me...
Jerri Cachero

Anonymous said...

I get 2 year planners which are about 6"x 3 1/2" with blocks for each day and usually have space for names, phone #s, email addresses, etc somewhere. The last one I bought didn't have enough room for that info so I stapled in pages from the previous planner and created categories such as friends and businesses which include handyman, doctors, auto mechanic, farm stand. I carry the planner in my purse so I can make appointments even if I'm away from home. I started using these long before cell phones with calendars and address books were available plus my cell doesn't have any features except to make calls. Cordella

mary kennedy said...

That's a terrific idea, I'm going to steal it!! Love it, thanks for stopping by. A great hint, Jerri

mary kennedy said...

Cordella, you are amazing!! I have got to do that, you have inspired me ,thanks for stopping by!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I'll answer when I stop laughing about the list on the card you mailed. You are adorable, my friend.

Hugs.

MJ

Linda Rima said...

Book scroll covers up comments on my iPad. Very frustrating!

Duffy Brown said...

I make lists all the time and forget the lists or throw them away or have to tape them together so they all wind up in one place. I so envy organized people.

ceblain said...

I have found it best for me to keep a loose leaf notebook near each phone in my house (we also have cellphones) and I get a call with some kind of information or something that I want to look up, etc. I date the note and add it to my book. If I hear about something that I want to check out further but don't have time at that moment, I put it in the closest loose leaf notebook. If I have a piece of mail or a flyer that I don't want to have tossed out by someone else, I put it in the closest notebook. I have one in the bedroom and one in my office and one in the kitchen near the phone and where I make a lot of notes. With only three locations to check when I want to find something that I wrote down, it is really easy. If I want to see something for a particular day like to make a call or an appointment I put a bright colored post it note on top of one of the note books. For all appointments for my husband and myself, I have a large big square book type calendar too and each time either of us make a doctor or dental appointment of something that both of us need to know about, we put it in this one big calendar which is like a day planner. If an appt. gets cancelled. we have to go and cross it off to keep things flowing smoothly. I also need to keep our grandkids early release days in that calendar so that we will not make dr. appt. for those days. I also keep a day calendar in my purse and check that weekly against my big desk calendar/day planner. It is always opened for the month we are in and checked routinely the day before to make sure we have not forgotten any appointments or whatever we need to be at the next day.

I get too busy online to remember to check for notes left there, even with notices as I get way too many e-mail in a day, so having the calendar/day planner is the best way and also the notebooks to keep notes and bills or information in (I clip it to the page) works great.

Works for me/us.

Cynthia

mary kennedy said...

Hi Linda, I'm so sorry, someone else mentioned having trouble with that.

mary kennedy said...

Duffy, me too!! I would love to be organized, I spend so much time looking for things, it's crazy....

mary kennedy said...

HI MJ, I can just picture my friend wondering what in the world an "option clause" is--maybe she thinks it's a secret message.

mary kennedy said...

Cynthia, these are all amazing ideas!! I love the idea of keeping a notebook by each phone and writing the date on a note is also excellent. I'm going to follow your suggestions and will let you know how I do. Thanks for stopping by!

Lynda Turpin said...

I am a chronic note maker. Fortunately, I don't often lose them - and to my knowledge I've never mailed one :-). The area in front of my computer is so full of notes you can barely find the desk. But I do look at them daily - and add them to my formal "to do" list when I have a chance, but I need to write them down as soon as I think of them.

I keep notepads in the kitchen and bathroom. I will often think of things I need to do or buy when I'm getting ready in the morning or while feeding cats. If I wait until I'm done, the thought will be gone. And honest to God - I can even forget it while walking from the bathroom to the office or kitchen. It has to be written down immediately. In the office, I have a TO DO spreadsheet. When I update it, I print out a new sheet and I write new tasks on it as they come up (or stick my sticky notes to it), and I also cross items off, if I'm fortunate enough to actually finish something. I used to have just the sticky notes and a notebook, but when I started having to handle my dad's tasks as well as my own, it got to be too much. My Excel spreadsheet is now 5 pages long and growing. I've actually thought about getting one of those small pocket recorders for when I'm out, so I don't forget things before I get to a place where I can make a note. Sigh....getting old is hell - although I have to admit that my memory wasn't all that great when I was younger - LOL.

mary kennedy said...

LInda, you are amazingly organized (which doesn't surprise me, because you juggle a lot of tasks at once). These are all wonderful ideas. Did you know that something happens in your brain when you leave one room and enter another? Your brain thinks that one tasked has "ended" so it puts it aside and tends to focus on the "next" task in the new room. It's an interesting explanation of why we can literally forget as we walk from one room to another. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Any notes made in phone conversation with a company's customer service rep or DR. office, etc. I write the person's name down. It sometimes helps in future calls (if needed) to be able to say a person's name instead of "someone said". Usually, I have so much detail about the call, I get what I need or want done.

Anonymous said...

My sister got me 3-4 notebooks (small size - 6.5" x 3.5" - about the size of a pocket calendar). I carry one in my purse & backpack so that I can jot things to remember & my day's to do list. It is working out great - doing it since Christmas.