As an Army family, keeping track of things like important documents and orders for our next post is necessary. I am great when it comes to moving, for my own personal things that is a different story. When you move as much as we do, you can’t help but keep track of things. And when we get to our next station, you have to be organized. Funny I can organize moving a household, but I cannot get myself to finish my degree! Which is why I have been on a big to do list kick. The summer is almost over and the school year is about to begin, time to get back on schedule. I love me a good list! The whole pen and paper, marking things off in pen with your favorite colored ink. I also love a good planner! I do have my iPhone and us my iCal, but there is something about opening a spiraled notebook with dates and reminders. Having a tangible way of keeping track and staying on track is helpful and can be fun and when you have items that are tried and true and not to mention pretty, it makes staying on track enjoyable.
Now I can get a little crazy about all the pretty papers and colorful pens. But how can you not? With so many companies out there, the typical filofax and post-its aren’t cutting it anymore. There are stores out there with floral patterns and geometrics, stripes and inspiring quotes to make getting your (pardon my language!) shit together that much more fun! I am going to share my favorite planners and notebooks to keep me organized. Do you have a favorite? Share it with me!
I love a good notebook, through Stella and Dot I discovered May Designs. Their beautiful notebooks are the perfect size to carry with me in my purse. You can personalize the cover with very cool designs to match your personality and tastes. I usually just get the notebooks with lines so that I can take notes and keep track. Every design is unique and I love when they collaborate with other companies and organizations. Their Pinterest board is pretty! I enjoy seeing where they get their inspirations. The notebooks are a great quality, the stitching is strong and makes for a unique detail. In the picture below are 4 of the notebooks I created to use throughout the year. The colors are great and they also have notecards too! That way you can send a sweet message to your favorite person. They make great gifts for the student, new parent, anyone! They ship to APOs as well so if you are overseas, snatch these up!
Now when I got into planners, I just went with what was easy, Filofax which were all the rage in the 90’s was my go to. But now you have so many that help you get your life in order. The one that I have been using and liking has been the Day Designer. Created by Whitney English this planner is everything and more. It organizes your life! It has some great pages to write down long term goals for yourself, family and work. Every month and day is perfectly sectioned so that you can optimize your output for the week. The inspirational quotes on each page gives you a little jumpstart. Whitney English created a great template to map out what YOU want to get done. I like using this to keep track of my volunteering not to mention it has a top three most important, I always make sure to add my workouts so I don’t skimp on them (I have been on a roll since my last checklist post!). Her blog is great too and ties in the Day Designer so well. Click on her name and check out ‘Life+Business+Creativity’ and get ready to tackle that list.
And even if you don’t write things down and use just your smartphone, there are great apps for that as well! I like using my reminder app on my iPhone to remind of what I have to do, I can even remind myself to check my to-do list so I don’t neglect it. My iCal is great, the husband and I share one so we always know what is going on ESPECIALLY with the kids. There is no way we will EVER forget to pick up the boys from soccer practice. By sharing the calendar I can prepare for the week without playing 20 questions. There is no confusion and the husband as well doesn’t have to question me about school events! Other apps like Evernote is also helpful! You can create files, notebooks and load photos, whether you are holding a meeting or getting ready to PCS, Evernote allows you to create these particular files so you stay on task and not lose your cool. They even have an Evernote food app so you can keep your favorite recipes, restaurants and meal plans in one easy spot.
Checklists offer you a way to get things organized, something I have been trying to do for the past 10 years. Is all of this a metaphor for something? Yes in a way, by clearly defining what you want to accomplish it allows you to look at the big picture and tackle big things head on. For me, instead talking about it, writing it down and seeing it makes me focus. I have a lot to get done in a few years and so far, I am well on my way. I like planning trips and get togethers, I have a hard time planning my life and keeping myself in check. A checklist for life is effective and gets me to my ultimate goals. I don’t want regret not finishing what I have started, that stops now. Checklists are used to organize a house, to prep for a new baby, to start a business, plan for big events. Why not use a checklist to organize your life? We all want to make sure that we are doing well and making ourselves happy. We all want to accomplish little and big goals so why not make it into a list to help you do just that! I am at a point in my life where I am done talking and I have to start doing. My checklists, are my way of getting things done and feeling awesome for finishing what I have started.
Disclaimer: Sorry for the picture quality. I didn’t clean off the lens on my camera phone very well.