And through it all, I did it my way.

by statia on November 3, 2010

I read a post awhile back, maybe a few months ago?  Surely, you’re aware of who Loralee is?  Because I didn’t realize who she was, honestly.  I stumbled across her blog because our kids were born a day apart, and I kind of like finding kindred things like that. Turns out she’s semi-famous on the internet?   This is how clueless I am.    Anyway, this post was about organization, and seriously, if there’s anything I have a hard on for, it’s organization. Organization is my porn.   I think I just heard my husband run headlong into a brick wall (or is plotting ways to get into my pants).

I warn you, I am going to completely waste minutes of your life.   Minutes that you’ll never get back.  I know that you’re totally sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for this, aren’t you? Here goes:

I am an addict of electronics.  I loves me some gadgets.   I can’t live without my Macbook and iPhone.   Instead of jewelry, I get iMacs for Christmas.   Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice handbag and all, but anything that keeps me connected is where its at.   And while they’re both fun and utilitarian, I can’t use them to organize my life.

At least not entirely. You see, I am so ADD, which has become about 600% worse since having kids, that I can’t rely on one method to keep me on track. It used to be, that I had a little notepad with me at all times, and would write things down as I thought of them, and would organize it all daily to list it by importance and category, all nicely tidied up by the dewey decimal system.   I have an addiction to actual notepads and paper.  I have millions of notebooks all over.  For awhile,  the notebook system worked for me. I later added a day planner, which went with me everywhere. And then…the system started to fail.  It was after LG was born.  It just all went to hell.  I couldn’t keep track of my notebooks.  I would start a list, leave the notebook lying around somewhere, and that was it.  I’d forget appointments, completely drop the ball on any sort of task that needed to be done.    If I could bento box my mind, my life would be near perfect, only giving way to the full trifecta of perfection:  A three-way with organization, Grissom, and Mariska Hargitay.

At some point in my life, right after I had the Mini, I learned that survival of parenthood is by whatever means necessary.  I have taken this motto and spread it across the rest of my life.  It doesn’t always work out perfectly, but therein lies that “whatever means necessary.” So as of late, I’ve had to implement some new ideas for keeping track of my life.  Right now it’s a combination of a desk calendar and iCalendar.  I’ve tried every task and to do list app out there.  But they’re only as good as the person who actually remembers to open them.  A desk calendar is out in the open.  It’s tangible.  It’s concrete.  It practically slaps me in the face, with all of the different color inks I use to color code everything.  There’s no rhyme or reason to the color coding.  I just pick a color for a task and go with it for that month.  In the corner, I keep my little post it note of daily-ish tasks.

Clearly, this “whatever means necessary” system is not really doing it for me.  I need a master task list.  I need a robot to follow me around and annoy the ever living shit out of me.  Like my own personal nagging wife.  ”Did you call the doctor’s office?”  Seeing my schedule laid out in front of me is easier.  I know where I have to be, when I have to be there.  I have iCalendar to send me reminders.  Otherwise, tasks will get ignored until at which point they’re considered critical.

So I’m asking you.  What do you use to keep it all together?  I’m digging the desk calendar for every day appointments, but tasks?  My little notebooks are sad.  They get love, only to promptly be misplaced and forgotten.   And really, I’ve now decided, my one super power, if I could have one, would be super organized woman.  Able to remember an appointment with a single thought.   I am a huge nerd.

{ 13 comments }

divrchk November 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Are you trying to get me to buy a new hard drive? I think your link is bad ;-)

I use Google calendar for keeping things organized – everyone in my family has a color and my husband and I share calendars so we know what’s going on with everyone else. It has helped tremendously. I get e-mail reminders too which also helps.

electriclady November 3, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Organization gets me hot too. It’s the Capricorn in me. But like you, I’ve been falling apart since having a kid.

I use Google calendar for personal and kid-related appointments. It syncs with my smartphone so I can update either on the phone or on my computer, and I can either get email reminders or pop-up reminders on my phone’s calendar app. I am trying to convince my husband to use Google cal too so we can share and I don’t have to personally remind him of everything. The problem is that I use Entourage at work and I haven’t figured out how to sync the two calendars up, so if I’m at the doctor making an appointment for a follow-up, I need to remember to manually enter that into my work calendar when I get back to the office.

For to-dos, I prefer paper lists, which is where things fall apart. Work isn’t so bad because the list just sits on my desk, but for other stuff I have a little notebook that lives in my purse, only I forget to ever consult it. What I really need is a personal secretary, and it would be handy if that person could also put all my crap on eBay for me too.

statia November 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Ah hell. I don’t know what happened. It was a pretty sweet hard drive, wasn’t it?

Fixed now.

jesser November 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm

You had me at organizing porn. I am sooo there right with you. I just loooove to organize. Anyhow I am all about google calendar, which makes awesome sub calendars and I can share it with my hubby too. It also syncs to both of our phones. For tasks, I use RTM (remember the milk) which categorizes stuff so nicely and also syncs with my phone AND I can email my hubby tasks for his RTM account. I’m all about the digital. Booya.

wombat central November 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm

I tried Google calendar, but found it wasn’t telling me stuff far enough in advance. Um, thanks for the reminder to attend swim class that WE JUST FINISHED. Maybe I did something wrong. I muddle my way through life with my kitchen calendar to guide me. Old school, I know, but I don’t have a smart phone. I don’t even have a moderately intelligent phone. Eagerly awaiting more suggestions….

Kate November 3, 2010 at 9:34 pm

First of all, there is nothing more enticing OR satisfying that a brand-new notebook. Except another brand-new notebook. When I die, the executor of my estate will be bitterly disappointed to find the legacy I left. (But! Moleskin!)

Second…huh. Let’s see. I use Google Calendar. I also have a super fancy high-tech system of taping the next day’s Most Important Must Do It or We Will All Die item to a specific cabinet knob. So there’s always a piece of paper dangling a few inches from the stove. Effective AND safe.

Rougie November 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Don’t they make an app for that? In other news – I am all kinds of OCD in my organization so I can totally relate. I tend to plunk all of my lists and To Dos and reminders into Outlook – color-coded, of course.

Mina November 4, 2010 at 11:52 am

I actually use my blackberry and google calendar. Google Calendar sync with my blackberry and my husbands iphone (we share calendars too).

Then Blackberry has a Task List app that comes with it. You can assign them to given days and assign reminders to you for tasks that need to be completed.

You can even pull up an agenda on your Blackberry Calendar that has both appts (if you have any) and tasks that are set to be due on a given day.

Shelly November 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I use iCal and have several different color coded calendars in it. One for me, the husband, the kid, the house (for repair appts, etc), vacation, visitors, etc. We all sync with the calendar and I’d be lost without it. Because if I don’t write it down, it does not remain in my brain for longer than 4 seconds.

Loralee November 4, 2010 at 11:54 pm

“Organizing P0rn” is BEGGING to be a blog title.

Hilarity! ;)

Katie November 5, 2010 at 1:05 am

I don’t have an important life… to need calendars. lol.

But my brother on the other hand is always busy. He’s pretty much put a white board on the wall in his kitchen… that has a huge calender on it.

He writes when bills are due, dates, work, appts, and etc. Pretty much his entire life, he can see at a glance. It works really well for him.

Instead of putting a white board up… there’s always an option of painting a chalk board… and using that every day. Plus, if you do a whole wall… kids can play with it too. :)

Mom uses her cell phone for everyone doctors, including mine (and I’m 30! LOL!)

Btrflywmn November 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I laughed so much at the first paragraph, too funny. You can’t say porn around my husband either lol. I stumbled upon your blog through Loralee’s Discouraged post. Having fun lurking around, sent you a facebook request (CG). I’m not a very organized person at all, I use my cell phone for appointments and keep a little notebook in my purse for my grocery lists.

Old School/New School Mom November 14, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I put everything into the calendar in my cell phone. Everything. It’s the only way I remember to do anything. Anything. I’m so crazy and flaky these days (pregnant brain + mom brain) that I can’t remember where I parked my car. So I put that in my calendar too!

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