I am really pretty organized, right? I mean, I kind of started this whole blog based on the premise that I have tools that I rely on to run this large household, and many of these tools support ways that I stay organized (ICAL and Evernote to name just a few). But that doesn't mean that I don't have room (as in lots of room) for improvement! So when I heard of this great website called The Power of Moms, that offers a program called Mind Organization for Moms…. it sure sounded right up my alley- and I wanted to see what is was all about!
There were a few areas that I knew that I struggled in- one of them was my email inbox. Any time that I received an email that required a response, or a notation in my calendar, or some sort of follow up, I would allow it to sit in my inbox until I had time to deal with it. The problem is- it would get lost in a long list of emails that required a response along with a big bunch of other stuff like e-newsletters and sale notices from my favorite retailers, etc…… which made it difficult to ever work through the inbox.
Another area where I struggled was corralling all of the paperwork that comes my way that also requires further action. I had a great system for dealing with kids completed schoolwork, permission slips, and school notices. But when it came to my to do list- an IVoices bio that I need to write, and SEO guidebook that I would like to read and use, that card that comes in the mail that will pick up my used clothing and toys at no charge…. well, all of that just lived in neat little piles all over my kitchen counter (which kind of drives me crazy!)
And finally, I needed a good place to put all of the magazines, local newspapers, cool articles my husband brings home from work for me…. and my bedroom nightstand as well as the kitchen counter were not cutting it.
What Mind Organization for Moms inspired me to do:
1. Set up additional folders in email to serve as places where the mail could wait to be dealt with based on which category it is in- “Inbox requiring further action”, “inbox for Chinese School homework”, and inbox “for other”. And M-O-M gave me a system for keeping my main inbox perfectly empty!
2. I improved the set up of my “kitchen command center” to create a proper home for my paperwork….. check it out now!
I took the M-O-M program's ideas…. but made them my own. The program suggests folders and cubbies- but I am a clipboard kind of a girl (one of my old nicknames used to be “Julie McCoy”… for all of you 80's fans out there!)
3. I found one basket to hold all of my read and review items- no longer keeping them in a pile in the kitchen and a pile on my nightstand. I put the basket in a place where I can grab something to read on my way out to wait for the school bus, etc.
4. I stopped assigning tasks to specific days on my calendar. Instead I keep them on a list of “immediate next actions”. This helps me to not feel like such a failure every day when I realize that I didn't complete all of the tasks that I had assigned to that specific day.
The nice thing about M-O-M is that it works with many of the systems that I already have in place and have blogged about here… like using ICAL as both an electronic and printed calendar system. Like using Evernote as the place to keep all of my lists and ideas and “clipped” items from the Web. So if you are already pretty organized, this program helps you fine tune it. And if you need a lot of help getting started in the organization department- this program will be a revelation to you- I promise!
So today I have a giveaway to offer to all of you! Please check out the Mind Organization for Moms information page, and then come back here and leave me a comment describing the biggest organization challenge that you have, and what you would hope that this program would do for you! You have until midnight Sunday April 10th to leave me your comment, when I will select one reader to win a copy of the Mind Organization for Moms program!