Monday, August 17, 2009


I am a huge jotter-downer... it is my technique for brain-dumping and brain storming. A doodler of sorts. My to-do-lists really help me focus & keep on track. I've tried other methods - computer lists, electronic calendars, etc., but I always revert back to my handwritten word. It's what works for me.

As a result, I live & breathe by my dayplanner and I just spent a good hour reorganizing it. Being a jotter-downer, I tend to gravitate towards writing utensils and materials so I have plethera of notebooks and pens with grandious ideas of how I'm going to use them. But somehow I just end up putting everything into my dayplanner and just bogging myself down with too many different notebooks & pens that are not being utilized. Whenever will I learn?

So tonight I'm feeling good about where I've landed. I've taken 4 different notebooks, including my dayplanner and shuffled things about a bit. I've got:

my monthly-at-a-glance calendar that is a huge help! Everything goes on this thing - my son's activities, birthdays, invites (whether we're going or not), work events, my husband's travel schedule, appts, due dates, renewal notices... If it's got a date on it, it goes on this calendar.

my monthly goals list where I list out what I hope to accomplish this month... also serves as a reminder of things to follow up on, such as something I ordered the month before that is due in the next few weeks. Very handy when the next month rolls around & it hasn't been checked off yet - reminds me to follow up! This is also where I list the standard things I need to schedule or accomplish this month (an annual doctor's appt, for example - I see my eye doctor every December). Planning ahead activities, too. In November I start my Christmas planning so I'll have things like "review address list," "order Christmas cards," etc. listed for that month. Time for a haircut - on the list it goes... my favorite magazine is about to expire, this is where I'll make that note. Very handy...

weekly-at-a-glance schedule - all my specific appointments & tasks for a particular day get written in here. This is also where I track my daily spending.

weekly goals list - if there is something in particular I need to get done this week, here is where I jot it down. These are for things I'm trying to squeeze in or aren't really necessary to be completed on a particular day. Just a running to do list... keeps these unspecified tasks on my mind and I usually end up assigning them a particular day anyway but this ensures they don't get lost in my aging mind...

my projects and annual goals list - these are bookmarked in the back of the planner. I have several pages: goals, wishlist (when I think of something I want to buy or do but don't need immediately), books to read, movies to see (right now there are 6 on the list that are currently in the theaters and 3 on the list that are out on DVD or coming to cable soon...), things to do/see, songs to download to my iPod, and lastly, a list of companies & businesses to pursue a business relationship with... ~sigh~

the next section has become my favorite and most frequented... it's my social media organization page. I've got SEVERAL (too many!) pages in this section, but I guess that is the direction we're going in right now. Between my personal blog, my 4 different (yes, 4!) hobby blogs, Facebook, Shutterfly (where I share pics w/family & friends), this blog - DESK - not to mention a silly thing I started (but with rave reviews) of my dog's blog (whatever was I thinking???) and all the blogs I frequent, this area is really taking up some energy and time! I needed to get my arms around it and thought having it in it's own notebook was the answer. Well, it wasn't so I've added it to my dayplanner and am so excited because I really feel like I'm going to be able to keep up with it better here... so wish me luck with this one! Social media is truly great but if it gets too cumbersome, it's gotta go...

Lastly, and this was a struggle, I added a "house projects" section to the dayplanner. As a decorator & designer, I am CONSTANTLY thinking of things to do around my house - ideas I see in magazines, or walking around town, or on a TV show. This was another project that originally had it's own notebook but I was jotting all my ideas down in my dayplanner to transfer to the other notebook... kinda seemed redundant, you know??? So hopefully, putting it in here won't be a hinderance, but a help. I'm not 100% sold on this idea, I'll have you know. I'm just doing this on a trial basis. I'm thinking this actually should be a BIGGER notebook, but that isn't convenient to carry around... soooo... we'll have to watch this one grow, I think. See where it takes us next.

And there you have it... my "brain dump" organization that I've developed and perfected thru the years. That I've run from more than once and just as quickly ran back to. It's what works for me and keeps me (somewhat) sane.

By the way, I still have a scrapbook notebook and a shopping notebook... ugh. Guess I'm not quite perfect yet...