My Own Personal Organizational Nightmare

Anyone who knows me knows that organization is not my strong suit. Time management? Nope. Keeping track of a calendar? I try. Meal planning? Forget about it. Homeschool planners? Hate them. Organizers? Hate them. If there is an organizational tool or system out there I haven’t tried, it’s only because I haven’t heard about it yet.

This is the point where you’re probably expecting me to announce the wonder system that I found that is saving my life and is turning me into an organized person. If you’re thinking that, you don’t know me well at all. I have been trying to implement Mind Organization for Moms (a GTD-based system designed by the folks at Power of Moms). It’s actually a brilliant system and would probably work really well for a lot of people, and I love the concept of GTD (note I said the concept), but it, like all its friends before it turns out to be a lot of architecture and structure and I find myself struggling to figure out how to make it all fit together.

About halfway into this process, I stumbled across an eBook called Paperless Home Organization. I was intrigued. I’ve always been convinced if my planner was completely based in my device, I would be a much happier person. The catch? I am not a fan of Google Calendar or Remember The Milk. Evernote? I’m an evangelist, but the rest, eh. I think the book is great and if you are a Google Calendar person, and you like Remember the Milk, then you are going to LOVE this and you should hurry to get it because it is on sale right now for $2.99. I grabbed her templates and tucked them in Evernote, but I’m still struggling with making Evernote work for me as my daily planner.

So, being me, of course, it uses things I don’t like so I don’t see how it will work for me. But I keep thinking if I tweak it, maybe I could make it work. And then I discovered Evernote’s Paperless ambassador Jamie Rubin and he discusses his use of Penultimate (an iPad app) to capture his To Do list (he uses a nine things model based on a concept of the website 27 Good Things (and yes, like Rubin, I think you should follow them if you aren’t already). And I thought, a ha, here’s a way I can use the Mindset for Moms formula as a paperless model, except, I couldn’t get behind it either. And I toyed with the nine things model for about two hours (probably should have been grading, but yeah), and figured out that nine things means I have to leave out some chunk of my life, which I would prefer not to do (you know, do you skip the homeschooling, the adjuncting, or the person — something has to give and I have to feed the dogs, you get the drift).

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My attempt to use Rubin’s concept with the GTD-based Mindset for Moms platform. I just don’t see this working for me. The spaces are too small my life feels too big.

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The nine things attempt. You’ll notice that me as a writer or quilter or whatever is missing here. Yeah, that’s not good.

I also, to make matters even more confusing have an ongoing thing with Motivated Moms. I have the 2013 app on my phone. I mostly love it except for the whole making me feel a little lost when I can’t get everything done on the whole list for the day. Also, not a total fan of the fact that I can’t make things happen every other day if I want to rather than every day. However, as a whole, my house is cleaner and I don’t forget as many common household tasks as I used to, so overall worth the money, but it’s a stand alone system. It doesn’t catch everything.

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Part of one Motivated Moms screen. I had it in edit mode at the time, thus the little blue arrows. I do love this way more than, say, FlyLady, so if you’re looking for something to help you remember the pesky cleaning tasks that no one remembers, this is your app :).

I want to get into meal planning, but I am not the chief cook around here these days — and the chief cook is not open and welcoming to my ideas about menu planning. I have tried introducing him to Plan to Eat and to Ziplist. He likes neither, so that’s an avenue I guess I should give up on, except that man it would make things easier. Though, if it just ticks him off the ease is probably not worth it.

If at this point, you’re starting to think, my God this woman is a ferret — distracted by the bright and shiny, you would be so right.

So, for a time Mondays are going to be focused on my travails at trying to set up an organizational scheme that works for me and maybe, just maybe, with that as my motivation, I can cobble together something that will work for me — eventually.

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The one thing I did do this weekend, that scared me half to death, was make a list of roles that I am currently filling. Maybe, just maybe, that list is part of the reason why I have such a hard time finding an organizational system that will work for me.

Next time: my journey through the world of paper planners — God help us all.