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Using a calendar to help you organize

Posted by joann23456 (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 21, 10 at 0:00

Something Mustangs said on the current thread about grouping like with like made me think of this, and I thought it might be useful to someone. Mustangs was talking about making periodic inventory of stuff on hand, so you don't end up buying duplicates.

I agree with her. Further, I often make reminder entries that pop up on my calendar at the appropriate time to remind me of what I already have. For example, at the end of summer in 2009, I discovered that I had three hose diverters, bought at a dollar store, so I put a reminder on my calendar for May 1 of this year that said, "You have 3 hose diverters. Top shelf in shed." As another example, I recently had another reminder pop up that said, "27 Christmas cards left. Bottom shelf in office closet." I must have put it there last year, to remind me not to buy cards this year. I might see "No, you *don't* need more Christmas lights" in November, and "You already have a zillion sand toys in the shed" might pop up in May.

I also make reminders of other things in my calendar. This October, an entry reading, "Take socks for Chloe to Kids' Day" popped up, reminding me of last year when she had to take her shoes off for the bouncy house and she froze.

I also find calendar entries are great to organize certain notes. For example, if I have a doctor's appointment on my calendar, I'll use the note that goes along with the calendar entry to list what I want to talk to her about. Then it's all in one place, and since my calendar is on my cell phone, it's with me all the time. (Though, having had a lot of medical problems, I'm more likely to print out the list and hand her a copy at the beginning of our appointment.) I have an entry for "Books to Read" and another for "Movies to See" that pop up every month, also using the note feature. (I always kept a list, but I would forget to look at it. This way, it pops up right in front of my nose every month.)

I use an electronic calendar, so space isn't an issue. I don't know if this would work as well with a paper calendar, but I thought I might mention it in case it helps someone.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

That is a good idea if you have an electronic calculator, but many of us don't and many of us use a regular calendar for noting appointments.

Reading your post though I think I may get a day planner and make more detailed notes and put a star on my regular calendar. The star will tell me to look in the day planner. A very good idea!!


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

"I don't know if this would work as well with a paper calendar, but I thought I might mention it in case it helps someone."

it DOES work with a paper calendar, as I do the same things with one.


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

This is really a great idea, Joann! I love the notion of reminding yourself where things that you need seasonally or things that are only done once or twice a year. I do something similar to this, though not as much detail. I go through my "last years" calendar as I am beginning the new year and write down as much repeating information as possible. Also, I write things on the December page throughout the year to remind me of what is coming up in the new year, like dental appointments or other things that would slip my mind; change the oil in March, update medical records for Scouts (so that I remember to bring the forms to doctor appointments rather than having to make special trips) or school book drive in April.This way, I don't feel overwhelmed when things arise that I should have expected. It helps just having the reminders, and writing them down goes even farther. It's also a good way to keep track of gifts.... writing all of that down in November, say, and then putting it on your next November calendar to remind yourself what you bought your relatives last Christmas. I have always wanted to fully untilize the "Sidetracked Home Executives" SHE system, which is what Flylady is based on or a more detailed Franklin Covey type planner organizer. Maybe 2011 will be the year that I commit to a more demanding scheduler. And perhaps I'll graduate to an electronic calendar someday. I am all for whatever will lead to peace.


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

Great idea! When January comes around I take it and flip to November (or December) and make a note of where all my Christmas decorations are stored(fold-up tree in garden shed) AND what Christmas supplies I will need next year (have bows, need lots of paper and tape).


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

Great idea indeed! I use my on-line calendar much the same way but you have taken it up a notch--thanks. In addition to appointments, I add renewal notices (like Sam's Club, Costco, AAA only because the want you to renew 2 months ahead so I put it on the calendar 15 days before expiration), menu ideas for up coming family dinners, etc.

I use Google Calendar. It's simple to use and can be set up to send email reminders and pop ups.


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

I use Google Calendar, too, and I agree that it's simple to use. Love the email reminders. I also sync it with my cell phone calendar.


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

I need to make use of the calendar on my phone. I've never even looked at it. Come to think of it, I don't use any of the features on my phone except the actual phone itself. I need to keep up with technology!!

I've used a paper calendar sporadically, not really needing it, as I had a great memory and was only looking after myself. Now, though, I look after my disabled brother and mother and take them to all their appointments--medical and otherwise, as well as my own. So In the past couple of months, I've had to start using my calendar diligently. Just yesterday at the doctor's office, they wanted to schedule another appointment and at that time I thought, "Gee, I wish I had made use of the calendar on my phone so I could check my calendar to see when I'm available." Maybe today I'll figure out how it works and start logging my appts on it.

I have a small desk calendar that works well...when I remember to look at it. I also have a corkboard bulletin board on the inside of my computer armoire. The computer is the first thing I touch each morning. So when I open the doors, I see the bulletin board. I've thumbtacked all the appointment cards (or notes) in chronological order on the bulletin board. So if I don't happen to look at the calendar, I usually have the same appt on the bulletin board as a backup.

Sometimes I ignore them all and my brain is too cluttered these days to actually remember appts on its own. So once a week, I grab my small sticky notes and jot each appt for the week on separate sticky notes. Then I attach those to the bathroom mirror again in chronological order. Overkill perhaps, but I never miss an appt this way.

A program I used for a while is www.corkboard.com . It's a nifty little FREE program that puts a corkboard on your computer desktop and you can add post it notes to it. You can also set an alarm to remind you of important appts. It has some neat little features and you can modify it to look however you want, choose different kinds of notepads and thumb tacks and even put a clock on it. It's pretty cool. You might have fun playing around with it. I might ought to make use of it again. I really didn't need it back when I installed it. But it would get a workout now. LOL


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

How do you set up Google calendar to do pop-ups?


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

Jenswrens, when you're setting up an appointment, go to the section that says, "Reminders." Click on "Add a Reminder," and then use the drop-down box that starts out as "Email" change it to "Pop-up".


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

I used to save last year's paper calender at my work and use it as a guide to see what might be coming up. That way, I could ask people if they were attending a conference or hosting a particular event again.


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

FANTASTIC tips, Joann! (Loved the sock item--that's exactly the kind of thing that gets shoved to the corner of your mind and gets remembered only when you're standing in that school auditorium/gym the next year!)

The calendar function on my Mac has really helped me keep track of bill-paying, appointments, due dates for library books (with spaces for noting a new title I need to get when I go back to the library) and so many other daily-life tasks.

And you don't need an "electronic calculator," as has been noted (oops, pun not intended!).

IMHO, what you DON'T want to do is have a series of reminders. How many lists on little pieces of paper do you have now? Unless you really have a severe memory problem, it's a time waster to have one calendar you go to for the basics but one that forces you to look at ANOTHER piece of paper or computer site to get all the details. A second or third day planner or notebook is just one more thing you can misplace.

One alternative to a computer calendar and a paper notepad in your pocket is your cellphone. Even the basic cheapie phone that I have (it's not a smartphone) has a reminder alarm component. You can set a series of alarm clock settings for tasks, like "dr. appt" at 11 a.m. and "buy bananas" and prioritize them as well. I've used the phone to remind me of the next drug-dosage times, very handy when you have a cold and want to get some sleep but then wake up wondering how long it's been since you took your last dose of Nyquil!


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

Another nice feature on Google Calendar is that you can have several calendars going at once. I have "Household" (chores to be done, when to check stocks of basics like flour), "Business" (self-employed), and "Family" (birthdays, doctor appts, when shots are due, refull Rxs). When I'm on the actual computer, I get all three calendars, however, only Family and Business get forwarded to my cell phone.

I can quickly look at those calendars in the morning and forward anything that's on household to my phone, if necessary. I stock up on some staples when they go on sale, so I might forward and entry that says "check price of flour, refill buckets" to my phone as a reminder to handle that item today.


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

Lissa_z9b, that's a good idea. I'm especially going to create a "Household" calendar, and do reminders by cell phone.


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

I do the same thing with my desk calendar. Since it stops at the end of December, I use the Notes section at the back, writing messages I can import to next year's calendar. Often I include notes about what to do (and not do) in the garden next year. (More Burpee's Big Tetra Zinnias!)

These notes are especially helpful to let me know where something is when I need it.


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

The calendar idea is great. For things that aren't date-related I find post-its are useful. Right now, for example, I've got a post-it reading "don't buy more" on a box of ziploc bags. I have two boxes already in the cupboard, because I kept forgetting what size I needed to buy. When I go to throw the empty box away I'm sure to see the note. And right at the top of our christmas lights box there's a note saying "plug the strands into the extension, cord, not into each other." I can't remember why, but there must be a a reason!


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

Oh, I like that idea, too, Jsginbuffalo. That's funny about the Christmas light note, though.


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

This is brilliant!
and here I thought I was smart to put a reminder to top-up DD's cell phone at 85 days.


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RE: Using a calendar to help you organize

I have not read all the comments, but one thing that came to mind half way through reading this is - few of people mentioned that this idea would not work on paper, and one person mentioned "moving notes from old year calendar to new year calendar". I have a solution for you all -- a perpetual calendar, - it has 12 pages for 12 months, and dates but not week days.

It looks something like this
http://www.galison.com/Winterthur-Flowers-Perpetual-Calendar-P2540C76.aspx?UserID=31243539&SessionID=lrjyOfRjgJBkAXnKUdSi

I have to tell you -- three years ago, I thought to myself, "I need to create a calendar that repeats with no particular year. I would use it for birthdays and other annual events. And if I create it, I could patent it and sell it and.... " Well. Turns out, they were already available for sale from plenty of sellers. So there goes my plan to getting $$$.

But, anyway, you can use it for gardening to-do list, Christmas reminders, etc. I hang mine next to the actual year calendar (which I use for dr's appointments and vacation dates, etc). When I flip 2013 page to next month, I flip the page on perpetual calendar too.


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