I've already posted about my decision to give FlyLady another try (and so far it's going well. My sink will be shiny before I go to bed tonight, and my refrigerator (the outside anyway :D) is spotless. I've already got tomorrow covered - we're supposed to go through and get rid of wonky tupperware containers (stuff without lids, or pieces that are melted or mangled). I don't really have any tupperware here, so that's easy enough. I'll probably try and organize my pots and pans cabinet, though. Plus, Connor put away all his legos before he went to bed tonight, so the living room is actually habitable.
I've also started on my Control Journal, and here's where it's getting interesting. A while ago, dilettantiquity posted about Lifehacking, and I was interested right away. It's taken me a bit of time to get myself motivated to find out more; today, I started doing just that. Basically, it's all about finding systems for time management, information management, schedules, etc. that work FOR YOU. It's not about following someone else's system, because no two people have the exact same needs. This really resonates with me, since I've tried a few different systems, but haven't been able to stick with one. Franklin is the one I liked best (I was using it before Covey became involved; I'm sure I'll incorporate things from that system in whatever I create for myself). I also love the idea of coming up with my own system, something that I'm making myself, the idea being that I'll be more attached to it, and more likely to actually use it, instead of neglecting it.
So . . . here are my ideas so far:
I've started using Google Calendar, or gCal*, and so far I really like it. It will be extra great when Kevin gets set up with an account, and we can share a calendar - so I'll know which nights he has business dinners, and he'll know which nights I have things to do, or when he needs to take Connor to art class on a Saturday because I have a class of my own that day, etc. I like having my calendar on the computer; that is easy for me in terms of inputting data, plus it pops up reminders for me if I ask for them. Trouble is, I can't exactly carry that with me, can I? And I hate the idea of entering all my data twice - once in the computer, and once into a paper calendar. Once upon a time, I could have used my Treo for this (I'm pretty sure it's possible to sync the information from one to the other) but I loaned it to Kevin when he moved out here, and he kinda never gave it back. :D
SO . . . I've come up with an idea to try. I got the idea from Pocket Mod, which allows you to print out tiny, somewhat customized planners. I just needed a calendar, though, that already has my gCal data, so I figured out how to print up four months-worth on one 8 1/2 x 11 page, in a way that I could fold it into a little book. It took a bit of time to figure out how to format things the first time, but I wrote it all down, so next time I need to print one, I should be able to do it quickly:
Here's how it looks folded:
Now, I can carry this with me, so I can check to see when I'm free for things, and also keep track of appointments I make while I'm out and about. It does mean that I'll need to enter data I write here into gCal (but I'd have had to do that at some point anyway). And when this page gets full, or unreadable for any reason, I'll just print out a new one.
The happy thing about this size is that it fits perfectly into the little book that I'm planning to turn into my first (modified) Hipster PDA. While I like the idea of index cards, a couple of weeks ago I bought this gorgeous leather book, and I really want to use it. So, I'm going to adapt the Moleskine hack and give it a try:
This book, btw, has a refillable journal inside, so I'll be able to replace it when I've filled up the original book. OR I can just make my own. OMG THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER. I want to make one NOW. Just think - I could include my own customized pages - to-do lists with check boxes, pre-printed contact information for friends and family, anything at all, really. Yes, it looks like a bit of a project, but I've tackled crafty things of this scale before. Sounds like a good project to try with Connor. He would dig making his own book! In any case, I like the idea of keeping track of projects and my running "to do" list in a low-tech book; somehow, I've never liked online "to do" lists. (Although I think I'll try to use Remember the Milk for lists that I want to share with Kevin; we can both build shopping lists online, so whomever goes to the store has a handy list right there).
Question, dilettantiquity: have you read David Allen's book? If so, what did you think? I've got it on order from Amazon, and I'm feeling like I don't want to get too carried away until I've at least read through his system. And yet, I'm excited about this and I want to start NOW. :D
Oh . . . but we're not done yet. At the start, I mentioned my Control Journal, and this is the other thing I want to incorporate. I think it will be handy for me to have my Evening, Morning, Afternoon, and each weekday routines incorporated into this system. I sure don't want two journals. I'm thinking that I'll put these at the *end* of my book, so that they're never behind the "processed" tag. Then I can check those pages first, at the appropriate time of day, and hopefully stay on track with the things I want to do.
Let's see. I think that's all the ideas I have for right now. Right now, I'm trying not to get carried away. Baby steps are good. Of course, it doesn't hurt to try things; if they don't work, I just make adjustments down the road. This is fun. And, ultimately, this will help me be more productive. There are so many things I want to do, and at this time in my life, I have the time to do a great many of them; I just need to be more efficient with the way I plan my days. (Well, okay, so it's more accurate to say, "I just need to start planning my days, period).
I'd love to hear thoughts from any of you, whether you've done similar things before or not. If an idea has popped into your head, share it here! :)
*I'm not sure what will happen when you click on that link; It takes me to my calendar, but I think you'll just go to the home page unless you already have a calendar of your own set up there. If it doesn't work at all, sorry!