Welcome to Week 11! Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel yet? This week, we’ll be organizing lists & notes.
If you are just discovering the challenge, feel free to begin with this week’s paper declutter assignment and complete new challenge assignments through week 13. You can then complete the assignments that you’ve missed after the Challenge ends (scroll down to the end of this post to access the rest of the Summer Shred assignments).
Today’s post will be short and sweet. Promise.
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This week’s paper declutter topic was inspired by a client who adored Post-It notes. Don’t get me wrong…I’m a huge fan of Post-It notes when they are used in the right way, but this particular client was using them in the wrong way. Every thought, reminder, task, and bit of contact information that came across her radar was dutifully written on a Post-It note and stuck in a random spot throughout her home…never to be found again.
My first mission as her professional organizer was to break her of this habit.
Photo © Depositphotos.com / grebcha
During our first session together, we established a temporary organizing system which consisted of 1) designating one central place (a spiral notebook in her case) for storing all of these random bits of information, and 2) affixing all Post-Its and hand-written notes to the pages within this notebook. Once she established a home for her notes/lists, she knew exactly where to find the information when she needed it.
After we established a basic paper organizing system in her home that consisted of an Inbox, action file, and household binder, the next step in the process was to help the client establish a habit of placing her random notes and lists in her Inbox. At the end of the day, these random notes would then be filed into their respective folder in the action file (Contacts, Calendar Items, To Be Filed, etc.)
Since her Post-It notes often consisted of task lists, we explored other options for keeping track of her “To Do’s”. Sine she was interested in the idea of keeping her running task list on her phone in some manner, I introduced her to several of my favorite task management apps including:
After a bit of trial and error, she chose Toodledo as her new task management tool, and slowly began to implement the habit of entering tasks into her app instead of jotting them down on the Post-It pad. Her story had a happy ending indeed!
But…what if you are “old school” and prefer keeping your To Do list in on paper? Not a problem. Just adhere to the cardinal rule of establishing one centralized “home” where your tasks will be recorded, instead of bits of paper scattered all around. That’s all I’m asking 🙂
There’s an endless universe of cute (and free) To Do List printables out there…spend a few minutes to find one that has a format/layout that works with the way your brain naturally categorizes tasks.
If you have not yet read the overview of the challenge, do that first before proceeding to this week’s assignment.
Your Assignment for Week 13 – Organizing Lists & Notes
1. Gather all random lists/notes and place them in your Inbox for processing
2. Toss any lists/notes that are no longer relevant
3. For lists/notes that require action, file in appropriate folder in action file
4. For lists/notes that you need for future reference, place in either household binder or long-term reference storage
5. Decide on either an electronic or paper task management tool for storing “To Do” list items
I want to hear about your progress and field any questions you may have! Drop me a line in the blog comments!
This post is part of the 13-Week Summer Shred Paper Declutter Challenge
Just discovered the Challenge? I invite you to read the Challenge Overview post first. You can then begin to work your way through the weekly Challenge assignments below:
Week 1: Mail
Week 2: Handy Reference
Week 3: Long-Term Reference
Week 4: School Papers
Week 5: Kids’ Art
Week 6: Memorabilia
Week 7: Manuals & Warranties
Week 8: Catalogs & Magazines
Week 9: Receipts
Week 10: Business Cards
Week 11: Lists & Notes
Week 12: Recipes
Week 13: Coupons
~ Happy paper decluttering Friends!