Stuff, paperwork, bills, ideas come into my life. What do I do with it now? I need to put it all somewhere. The first step usually looks like one of these two. Random thoughts that I generate or stuff other people force into my life. Ideas, to do’s, reminders, and thoughts initially go into hipster PDA to get them out of my head, to deal with later, when I have time… Bills, Seed Catalouge’s, tax info, Contracts from Concordia get opened and usually put in mt wire “in box” to deal with later, when I have time…
Info in PDA ends up in one of these places, then card gets tossed. Feels good. “The Whiteboard”. Kind of a control center. Prioritized to do list for just that day. Checklists. I can determine what I can/should do at a moments glance. Magnetic, so I can put budgets, checklists, etc up on it. “Working folders”. Stuff I need all the time. Right now it’s Concordia Syllabi and notes for teaching. Travels with me in backpack. “Family Calendar” on the fridge. Time sensitive and appointments. Buddy Ron just emailed to have beer this Friday. I wrote it in PDA then put on calendar. Info can go directly onto calendar. Doesn’t have to go on PDA first. “The Spiral”. Web sites I hear about, books I want to check out, things I want to buy, long term plans, business ideas…Travels with me in backpack so I can dump PDA info into it if I have dead time. Could be Moleskine or Laptop.
Mail, bills, reference materials, initially goes into in-box then into one of these places so I can stop thinking about it. “The Whiteboard” if it’s super urgent. Almost never is. “Family Calendar” only if it’s an appointment. “Meet with accountant”, “Dentist”, Birthday Party”, “Payday”. Then toss it, because you trust the calendar. “Working folders”. Hardly ever. “The Files”. If I decide to keep it at all it usually ends up here. Tax statements, Bank Account Info, Projects On Hold For A While, Scrapbook Stuff, Insurance Info. Doesn’t have to be a metal file. Could be a big box. Hardly look at this stuff but when I do I’m glad I have it. More and more of this is getting digitized. Long story. “The Spiral” if it gave me an idea, then recycled. Pretty rarely happens.
The Whiteboard/Control Center Aka “I don’t want to hold this crap in my head”. The few “to-do’s” I’d like to accomplish today if possible. Day on top changes a lot without the list changing. In other words, days go by without ticking things off. That’s OK. The calendar is the only place where stuff goes that has to get done. Checklist I’m working on, so I don’t have think at the end of every month. Should be in The Spiral. Monthly budget. Incoming and outgoing so I don’t have to think at beginning of every month when we get paid.
When our last preschoolers leaves. Time sensitive. If someone calls and wants us to do something we can glance at calendar and know if it’s possible. Family Calendar Only stuff that happens on a certain date, or is an appointment where people need me to be there. Movie Night with our kids. Barb watches movies with the kids while I’m at class at night. Technically not a calendar item, but Abby likes to see it up there. To her, it’s an appointment that she can remind us about. Homeschool Roller Skating. We don’t have to go but it only happens on a certain day and time. My Concordia Class
If I had a laptop and more time I’d be tempted to digitize this. Make folders and organize it that way. Half of it is stuff I want to buy on Craigslist, books to put on hold at library, web sites. All that’s online anyway. I’d then have to back it up every month though in case computer crashed…. Hmmm…
This is “just in case” stuff and it’s starting to weigh on me. I do need it, but rarely. I scanned most of my Concordia reference stuff and I really like the result. Most of my bills are paid online now. It’s getting smaller and I like that. I want to get it down to super-important documents (Social Security cards, Passports, Mortgage, Birth Certificates) and just store that stuff in a small safe that we have. Something tells me Seth and Tim don’t keep this stuff cluttering up their lives. Tim says “Just in time, not just in case.” I like that.