Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How I stay organized (most of the time)

One thing that I have noticed about my new job is the need to get organized in a big way. Work, church and travel writing sometimes overlap but each job has its own level of time involvement. My best days are when I can leave home to visit a church member, drop off copying that has to be done for work and review a restaurant for dinner. Making that happen takes some organized advance planning.

Tools that help me get organized
My top organization tools are my netbook, phone and bulletin board. Of these two, my netbook and board are my favorites. Email reminders are easily set-up but one of the handiest tools to combine travel and work  is trip planning software. Several websites help me plan the quickest route and optimizes my stops so I save fuel.

Why I need a bulletin board
Combining these tools with an old fashioned bulletin board can work wonders for staying organized.
It can hold appointment reminder cards, a wall calendar with scheduled restaurant reviews and a small dry erase board. In one glance I can see the schedule for the week plus any travel notes that I may have added.

Back -ups for that help me stay organized  
There are times when a travel destination or appointment never hits the bulletin board. To stay organized, I set email and phone reminders to come in a day early. This gives me time to adjust my route or schedule if need be and to set any need reminders that keep me on track during the day.

At night, it's a simple matter to glance at the board and create the to-do list. I go to the route planning sites to set the route. After a couple of weeks a pattern starts emerging. At this point, it's easy to drop the route planning point of the process and go with what has worked previously.

Putting it all together
The whole process takes a lot less time to do than it does to explain. Whenever we move to a new home it always takes me some time to get readjusted. Sometimes the refrigerator can double as a dry erase board etc.

I'm trying to encourage my daughters to organize their lives. You can choose from tons of bulletin board styles at www.corkboard.com. So far, teaching them how to get organized hasn't worked out well. That doesn't mean that I'm giving up. They will see more need to get on board during graduate school and after college.