When my kids were growing up and I was staying busy with City Council meetings, volunteer activities for kids and community, as well as all the other daily things to do, I kept a “planner.” It helped me create lists, stay organized, and hopefully not forget something important like picking up a kid at 4-H.
The only extra lists I made was for trips to the grocery store. We lived over an hour’s drive from the supermarket so that list was important.
But times change.
The kids grow up. The activities revolve. More and more supposed-time-saving list keeping devices have been developed — cell phones, laptops, apps. And yet I seemed to be buried more than ever under lists.
Operating several internet businesses, without kids to take here and there, means I run around less and am tied more and more to the computer. You would think this would make it even easier to keep track of things with lists. There are all kinds of computer programs created just for that purpose.
I’ve tried them. They just don’t seem real.
And deleting a sentence on the computer doesn’t give much of a feeling of satisfaction. I know I’m behind the times but I like to see notes on paper. And that was the problem. As I became involved in more and more projects, there were more and more little pieces of paper with notes of things to remember, to look up, to do, and to create all over my desk. Occasionally, when I needed a note that I remembered writing, I would take the stack and sort them into neat little piles. This worked for awhile until they became all jumbled up once again into one big pile.
And then I had an idea. Not revolutionary by any means. Actually it goes back to the idea of that old “hold everything in one place” planner that I used when the kids were growing up.
I’ve never given up the bound daily calendar for each year. The latest is from Smithsonian and it works to keep me from forgetting that dentist appointment, a meeting, or other “get out of the house” events. I also keep a five-ring notebook for my marketing plans and calendar for the year. Otherwise, I would forget Valentine’s Day until a week or two before — much too late for marketing.
This year, however, I’ve created another book. It’s sitting on my desk in place of those piles of notes. It’s a binder also so that I can add and tear out pages so it’s constantly changing. But it has sections for notes on each of the many projects I’m working on.
There’s a section for the magazine that I publish–Gift Retailers Connection. There’s another section for the new website that I am creating to combine the magazine, the community, the vendors, the resources and everything else into one big website. There’s a section for Ebooks I want to write, articles I’m researching, new designs for my Ecommerce business, things I want to teach in my County Small Business Empowerment Class as well as for my workshop at CelebrateXpo in Vegas in August. There is a section for managing my Social Media marketing and SEO for all my many businesses and, of course, a very general “to do” list.
This book is becoming thicker as each day goes by. But the satisfaction of drawing a line through an item on my list or tearing out a page for a project that is completed is the ultimate in personal achievement and progress.
Are you a list maker? What works for you?