Happy New Year!! I love this time of year, it’s a fresh start for almost anything. It’s a nice reset button. Getting organized is a very common goal/resolution for the New Year. With that in mind, the Organizing Challenge was created to help you get your home organized.
Each week will cover a topic and step-by-steps to get that area/space organized with product recommendations.
This first week doesn’t actually cover a space in your home but it covers a very important part of all of our lives: The Calendar
Using a calendar is the best way to get any part of your life organized. If you are feeling overwhelmed it will give you clarity. It will also help you get your most important tasks done.
There are two different types of calendars to use: Digital or Paper. It’s important to use what works best for you and makes you the most productive. Also, if you are a working mom/professional be sure to use one calendar. It’s common to have a work calendar and a personal calendar and things can easily get lost in the shuffle.
I will walk through the pros and cons for each digital calendar and paper calendar.
- Saves Time
- Easy to create appointments
- Easy to invite others to calendar invites
- Easy to make changes for scheduling conflicts
- Color coding to organize your scheduled activities
- Easy to reference future dates weeks, months, or years ahead
- Location feature allows for easy GPS reference
- Always have to reference an electronic device to see your calendar
- Don’t have the pen to paper advantage where it’s easier for your to remember what’s going on
- If you run out of battery, you don’t know what your calendar looks like
- Pen to paper that makes it easier to remember things
- Allows you to make notes
- Color coding with pens/highlighters for easy scheduling
- Easy to carry it with you
- Easy to see your day/week/month depending on which type of system you prefer
- Takes longer to write out appointments
- Cancellations can make calendar messy
- Not enough room to write out appointments
- Larger item to carry with you
Here’s how you can get organized with your calendar:
- Chose the format that works best for you (Paper or Digital). If you are using a paper calendar, you’ll need to decide if a daily, weekly, monthly or a mix of all of these works best for you. If you are unsure ask yourself, do you prefer to see the week out in front of you or do you prefer seeing each day instead?
- Create categories for various activities in your life (personal, work, kids, travel, school, birthdays, holidays, etc.)
- Assign a color to each category.
- Schedule all known appointments including birthdays and holidays for the year. If you are using a paper calendar decide which way you want to color code first, pens or highlighters. If you use pens, use the color category accordingly. If you use highlighters, select one color pen/pencil and write it all out first and then go back with your highlighters and highlight accordingly.
- Schedule your To Do’s. Chances are you have a never ending to do list. Go through your list and prioritize it. Which items need to get done first? Then take those items and schedule them in your calendar. When you schedule them, you’re more likely to complete them. I resisted this for the longest time and it really does work.
- Apple (iCal)
How I stay organized with my calendar:
Some of you may know that I created The Organized Planner because I couldn’t find anything that fit my needs as a working mom. I’ve been using this paper planner for the past few years. Most recently I changed to using a digital calendar and using my Planner for goals and notes as I was running out of room for notes. I know take the calendar invites from my work phone and forward them to my personal phone so I have one calendar to manage.
I prefer a paper to do list, it’s easier for me to remember. It’s also calming writing it down when that overwhelming feeling starts to creep up. I then schedule my to do’s in my calendar and cross them off once they are complete.
We also have a white board calendar in the family command center where we write down all of our family’s scheduled activities. I don’t include work appointments here unless it involves me being gone for the day or having an overnight trip. It’s a monthly calendar that is created at the beginning of each month. I take my phone and go through each day and write out the appointments with the appropriate dry easer marker color. Having this visual calendar in front of us keeps us organized.
Recap: Chose a calendar format that works best for you. Color code it for easy reference and to help keep you organized. Schedule your to do’s.
Alright, now go get your calendar organized!
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