Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Getting Organized

Okay, maybe it's the fact that spring is coming but I need to be a bit more organized (forget a bit, A LOT more organized!). I feel like I'm crazy busy all day but don't get all that much done. So...I need some organization advice... & don't worry if you leave a long comment because I'm desperate- do I look distressed & disorganized? 'Cause I am!I've looked at a couple planners & I have a couple ideas for daily cleaning tips but any "tricks of the trade" or links to some ideas would be a great help. Does anyone know anything about Google calender, or maybe a PDA, or a paper organizers? Whoa, this is a broad question but let me know if anything pops into your heads! Thanks in advance- I trust all your advice!


The Dad said...

We use Google calendar and it's a lifesaver. You can enter items or update them and set alarms and reminders from any Internet connection. Mike and I share a calendar so we don't plan events that conflict. You can have it send you e-mail reminders 10 days before birthdays, for example, so you have time to deal with a card or gift and it will remind you every year. It's a great place to start.

Ash said...

What I'm working on right now (and it may not be right for every family) is a 2 week menu and shopping list. That way I only have to do two major shopping trips (without kids!) a month and then I can do mini trips every week for milk, bread and produce. I hate shopping with the kids because I always forget stuff when they are constantly asking for my attention. Also, I'm always starting to make something for dinner and realize we didn't have everything I thought we had. I never know what we are going to have for dinner and it makes my day more chaotic. And sometimes I'll have a bunch of a certain ingredient that needs used up and I won't know what to cook. So what I'm working on now is knowing which meals take which ingredients and how I can do all of the prep work at once and save some time and money. We just had a RS activity about this whole meal planning stuff. I think it will really help me because I waste too much time doing little shopping trips and then even more time thinking about what's for dinner and never having any of the prep work done ahead of time.

Oh, and one more thing (this is a LONG comment) I'm also trying to work on using the computer only once or maybe twice a day. I find myself doing pointless surfing throughout the day when I could be doing other things. So I keep a list of things I need to do when I get a chance to use the computer and once that list is done I GET OFF before I start fiddling around more.

Oh, and one more thing that has worked for me...I try to make sure I have the kids clean up their toys before we leave the house. It gives them something to do while I do my finishing touches and then when we get home they are more likely to play with organized toys.

Hope this helps!

Ash said...

I also sit down with Roy every Sunday with a weekly calendar he made on the computer for me. It's got each day of the week and then 6am -11pm in one hour slots. We write down everything we have going on (color coded if I'm feeling creative) and I hang it in the kitchen. And then we just add things to it throughout the week. It's helped a lot.

Esther Noelle said...

I use iGoogle and Google Calendar a lot. They are great! Yeah Rob and I can see each other's calendars so I always know what he's got going on in terms of class and group meetings and then I put my stuff in so he can expect it.... on my iGoogle I've added "sticky notes" and "to-do lists" and use those.

I like what Ash said about the meal planning. I try to think of 2-3 meals to make during the week and then see what I need for those and really try to stick to that list.

Flylady.com is a great place to find cleaning tips and other organizational ideas! It can be a little overwhelming so just pick a few things that are doable and be proud of anything you get done - don't ever try to do it all!

You are the bomb and I love you and thank you for being an amazing friend and getting me that poppyseed dressing. YES!

Christie said...

I was going to say FlyLady!

Jared and Cindy said...

I'm in the same boat you are Liv.. I need to get myself more organized too! But - you do NOT seem like an unorganized person to me. With TWO kiddo's, you seem to get way more done then I could even hope! I think you are SO amazing!

Autumn said...

I know we don't really know each other but here's my 2 cents:

Flylady.net is great! 15 minutes per task and be sure to set a timer. It really helps me because then I can tell the kids to wait until the timer goes off to demand my attention and I can actually finish a task! I doubt you're THAT disorganized but the timer will help stay focused and not be distracted by the kids or the computer :) And I have to set the timer for my computer time too or else I get stuck in the web :)

Yeah for spring cleaning :)

Ms. Erin said...

I'm a google calendar person myself. Another new thing John and I do is we make a weekly grocery list with meals planned out and he makes a map of the grocery store and puts the things we need on the map...so now we're at the store for like half as long. Yeah, he's a nerd.

I'm also a HUGE fan of Rachel Ray's magazine...she has meals under $10 and all of her meals are 30 minutes. It rocks.

Jessica said...

Everyone, including some previous posters, loves flylady.com. Except for me. But that's obviously not to say it doesn't work, or won't work for you.

The number one thing I do is make lists. I have this notepad, with a section for my shopping list and a section for my to-do list. Before I leave work I often make a list of things I need to do that evening, which helps me hit the ground running when I walk in the door. I make a weekly menu plan and make a scratch grocery list. Then I fill the grocery list in on my notepad, doing my best to put things in order of aisle, to make the grocery store trip more efficient. Also, try making a list of things you want/need to get done the next day right before you go to bed. This not only helps me remember things in the morning, but it is a frequent treatment for my recurring insomnia. Helps shut my brain up, ha.

I also have this planner, which has color coded removable labels. There are 4 colors- one for me, one for husband, one for joint activites, and one for important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. If an appointment gets rescheduled I can just peel the label and stick it on the new day.

Obviously, me being a childless, working wife my organization needs will be different than yours. But those are a few of the things that help me keep from going crazy.

Lindsay Jane said...

I have nothing helpful to add, but here's Harley King's blog and he (or Wendy) gave a great overview of google calendar.