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Getting Organized For the Whole School Year

Remember back in December, when I made my New Year’s Resolutions? One of them was to make sure that I don’t overcommit.

I failed.

This year, we went into the school year with the following obligations:

Me: Girl Scout leader, co-chair of annual Girl Scout Father/Daughter dance, PTA Vice President, room parent in two classrooms, Editor of SherpaReport.com, weekly contributor to CheapOAir’s blog, twice a month contributor to Hotel Scoop – plus my own two sites MomsFavoriteStuff.com and FamilyTravelMagazine.com.

Daughter: Travel softball, soccer, science, Girl Scouts, gymnastics, art,CCD

Son: Basketball, baseball, science, gymnastics, art, CCD

#Fail

As you may imagine, keeping track of everything – where we need to be, when we need to be there, and what’s due on what date – can be challenging. I have a system for staying organized, and so far, it’s worked!

how to stay organized

Here are my top tips:

  1. Find a system. It really doesn’t matter what system, as long as it’s something that works for you, and it’s something that you’ll actually use. Whether it’s momAgenda, an Erin Condren, a Filofax, DayTimer, Franklin Covey, online calendar, or something else entirely, all that matters is if you like and use it. The calendar should not stop at 2013 – make sure you at least have monthly pages through the first half of 2013.
  2. Use color coding. Not only does it look nice, color coding helps you quickly see what an event is. I color code by event type, but you could also use a different color for each family member.
  3. Add everything to the monthly calendar pages. Most paper planners will have pages for the entire month, as well as weekly or monthly pages. Add all of your schedule to the monthly pages first.
  4. Sync with the school calendar. At the beginning of the school year, I went through my planner and put every single important date into it. Include half days, vacation days, school events, and holidays.
  5. Add other essential events. Repeat this process for activities that your family is involved in. I added the entire soccer, softball, baseball and basketball schedule to my calendar, along with birthdays and family events that we attend. When my son’s field trip schedule for the year came home, I immediately sat down and wrote everything down in the planner.
  6. Pencil in tentative events. Even if something is tentative, pencil it in so you know it’s a possibility.
  7. Carry your planner everywhere. This can be tough if you use a paper planner, but it’s important. That way, when you make plans, you know exactly what is going on that day.
  8. Plan weekly. Since I add all of my important dates to my monthly pages, each week, I sit down with my monthly calendar and plan out the week.

Products in the photo above include (affiliate links):

Triplus Fineliner Pens

Erin Condren Planner

 

Comments

  1. I JUST found this list and it is incredible. I’m a busy college student and I’m always looking for new ways to keep organized. I’m a to-do lister. Once a week I put everything I need to do and remember to do onto a piece of lined notebook paper. After I do it, it gets crossed off. When it gets to messy or Sunday evening, I rewrite it. It’s totally helpful for me.

  2. Allison says:

    My family uses a website called cozi. It’s really cool because it color codes events and it makes it so each family member has their own sign in for the same account. you all share a password but you use your own email so you will get your own reminders to either your phone or email. You can either use the basic free one which is still really useful or you can pay monthly to have other, small, privileges. There is also a place to put family dinner plans and family to-do’s. I recommend it to anyone who has a full schedule.
    Website: http://www.cozi.com

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