Hey! How's your mama nem?
Grammarly does not like that Southern sentence for sure!
I've been using Facebook as my platform for posting organizing tips for the last few years. Today, I decided to post on the website and plan to make it a more regular occurrence. But, don't hold me to it! Five years have passed since my last post. We now have a 21-year-old and a 13-year-old. What?!?!
We all have so much to do and the days pass quickly. This goes for our school-age and college students, those who work in an office, work from home, are on the road, and stay-at-home parents. I don't know about you but my to-do list is long. Really looooong. I used to be an avid paper planner user and used Outlook in the corporate world. In my current season of life, Google calendar works well for me. It's always with me and syncs to all of my devices whether I am using my phone, tablet, or computer. You can set up reminders for activities such as doctor appointments and sports and easily share events with anyone. You can use different colors to categorize events by person or work and personal activities. Everyone in our family has their own calendar color, which is the same as their cup color. (I'll link to my Facebook post about Assigning Each Person A Cup at the bottom of this post.)
However, my to-do list doesn't seem to work for me in digital format. I have tried emailing myself tasks but they get lost in the black hole of emails you get from every place you have ever shopped. My family uses Google Notes for creating and sharing grocery lists, Christmas lists, vacation information, and more. I have not been able to figure out a way of tracking tasks with it that works for me. I've also tried several apps, paid and free, such as To Do, Don't Forget the Milk, Google Tasks, etc. They just don't work for me. I get phone fatigue and start ignoring reminders and forget to open the app. As a GenX, I don't enjoy being attached to my phone every minute of the day.
As a professional organizer, I've read many self-help articles and books, attended conferences, and watched many TEDx talks about organizing your day and tasks. Keeping one written list of every item I need and want to accomplish in the next week, month, or year is overwhelming for me. Some ADD resources recommend using a master task list and separate pages for daily and weekly tasks ranked by priority. This method seems complicated and the opposite of what someone with attention issues would use to be successful. If it works for you that's great! I need a simpler method.
Not long ago it occurred to me how much my older son and I are alike. We both tend to follow the "out of sight, out of mind" motto. If we can't see something then we forget about it. When my son was younger I was frustrated by his need to have his things on the bathroom counter. So, we compromised. I bought a bin to keep his hairbrush and toothpaste in that went under the sink when we had visitors. Now, I realize I need a more visual task list. Whiteboards are an option but are annoying to me to update. My husband keeps up with his own appointments and to-do lists for work and home. So, I'm planning for a one-man show. Kanban seems like overkill.
Lately, a simple trick has been helpful for me to remember important tasks.
A sticky note on my computer is getting the job done.
We already use individual sticky notes on the counter for my family's Saturday chores. My sticky note task list stays on my computer, which is open all day for my personal use and client activity such as online organizing sessions, and editing research papers and web content. Right now this simple sticky note method serves me well. The list is not so long that I get discouraged. There is no need to consult another list, locate a notebook, or go to another room to look at the wall. It is helpful to take a picture of the sticky note with my phone to look at when I am running errands. There are no reminders to dismiss and ignore on my phone and smartwatch. When a task is completed, I just cross it off the list. This act is very satisfying and old school. But then again, I'm old school.
By the way, why is my memory still full of lyrics to 80s and 90s songs but I can't remember information I want to retain?!?! Yesterday, Let's Go by The Cars came on the radio on the way to school and I sang it to my younger son. I never liked that song but out of the deep parts of my memory, the words were there. Of course, my son asked me to stop singing. But, as any good parent, I must educate and embarrass him.
Are you looking for a better way to keep track of your daily or weekly tasks? Try my simple sticky note method. Do you have a simple method that works for you? Share it with me in the comments.
Have a good day and keep Life. Simple.