As the conclusion of 2019 is quickly approaching and a new year is on the horizon, we wanted to take some time to talk about getting ourselves and you organized and prepared for 2020. I set many goals for myself in 2019 and was able to accomplish some, but not all. Sound familiar? Maybe we need to do a post on goal setting. I think most of the goals that I wasn’t able to accomplish was due to not having a clear plan or any accountability. But we’ll save that for another time. Let’s just talk about getting our behinds in gear before the new year hits.
I have adopted this organizational method from Jordan Page of Fun, Cheap or Free. It sounds all so simple, so why didn’t I think of it myself? It has truly made my life easier and I think you will like it too once you get it going.
Get organized with Google calendar
First, set up a Google calendar if you don’t already have one. Give your spouse and other family members as needed access to the calendar. You can give permission to others to be able to edit and add events to the calendar. I love this electronic calendar so much! Everyone in the family can see what we are doing and when. So it has really saved me the annoyance of my husband asking what our plans are or him double booking our time; he can just look for himself. Everyone has access to the calendar on their phone, so if anyone needs to schedule a follow-up appointment or when a friend asks if we are available, our schedule is at the tip of our family’s fingers.
With Google calendar, anyone with access to schedule events can then also invite other family members to that event (a great way to notify someone that they just got signed up for something) and set reminders to be sent to everyone invited to that event. I like to set a reminder to go off 1 day and 1 hour before an event. If you want to get super fancy with it, you can color code different types of events ie. medical, fun, school/work, etc.
Now that you have your electronic calendar set up, add in all special dates such as friends’ and family members’ birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I will set a reminder 1 week prior to any event in which I need to buy or send a gift. Log in any other upcoming appts. that you know you have scheduled. Looking at last year’s calendar is the easiest way to complete this. You can also set a to-do reminder for something coming up that you have to deal with that’s easy to forget about, like that bi-annual car insurance bill.
The best advice I can give, is to sit down with your spouse if applicable during this process. They may remember things you don’t or they may have ideas or to-do tasks that you don’t. Also, take a look at the year and go ahead and plan out blocks for vacations, holidays with family, and a weekly/ monthly date night. This will help you plan out your leave from work which seems so easy to use up in no time.
Get organized with a planner
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a paper planner! I do buy one every year that I use just for work- no personal info goes on my paper calendar. Just deadlines and important meetings pertaining to work. I actually prefer paper products and handwritten lists over electronic devices. I am not the most tech savvy person around. But the electronic version is more convenient when you have to share a schedule with multiple people.
2020 Planners available on Amazon
How to use a notebook to organize your to-do list
Finally, to organize your to-do list, get yourself a regular lined notebook. Nothing fancy or pre-filled out. Just lined notebook paper. I got a pack of 3 slim notebooks at Target for about $10. This notebook will be your running to-do list. As you finish tasks, cross them off your list…..oh that feels so good! By the time you get to the end of one sheet of paper, you are bound to have a couple to-do’s that didn’t get done. Just start a fresh list on the next page and carry over whatever you weren’t able to finish. I find that having this list 1. keeps me on track with what are my priorities and 2. having it in my purse at all times allows me to knock out a few tasks when I am out and about. Whenever I have down time, or I am waiting for an appointment I grab my list and see what I can quickly accomplish with the time I have available.
So let’s get it going and get ourselves together because before you know it, the year will be over and it will be 2020!