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Organize your school year calendar YOUR way

by Meagan Francis on August 10, 2011

family calendar.jpg

 

photo: photosteve101

I’ve put it off as long as possible, but considering some of you are just a week or so away from the beginning of the school year (!!) I figured it’s time to finally launch our back-to-school theme for the rest of August.

Just saying that has me feeling a bit queasy. I mean, it’s not even the middle of August yet! The summer is still in full swing. And yet, I know part of meeting the school year feeling prepared and (more or less) in charge – instead of scattered and frazzled – is taking a few steps to get ready.

Don’t worry – if your family, like mine, doesn’t start back to school for a while, I’m not going to tell you to step away from the unplanned afternoons or iced-tea jug just yet. But it can’t hurt to give some thought to the details now, so that after sending the kids off on that first day of school you can sit back on the sofa and let out a peaceful sigh, instead of rushing around to drop off forms or pick up supplies you forgot about.

Here are some back-to-school calendar planning tips:

1. Set an intention for the school year.

Think about the words you’d like to use to describe your fall. Do you thrive on a burst of frenetic energy at the beginning of the year, or are you better off easing into the hustle? If you’re at home during the day, how do you want your days to go when the kids are at school? Will you participate in fundraisers? (don’t feel guilty if the answer is ‘no’.) If you want to read to your child’s classroom or visit the classroom, when will you do it? Will you exercise? Just envisioning how you’d like your fall to look can help you make plans fall into place.

2. Check in with reality.

Now that you’ve thought about how you’d like the fall to go, make sure your plans are all going to fit. Check your calendar against the school year calendar, and make sure your schedule is realistic. Remember, nobody can – or should – do everything. That includes your joiner 13-year-old who wants to be in five clubs and two sports all at the same time.

3. Create a time management system that works for you, and plug in the details.

No matter how cool that jumbo organizing system with eighteen different compartments, a zip-out change purse and a built-in calculator might seem, it’s utterly worthless if you won’t actually use it. Ditto that amazing new phone app into which you keep forgetting to plug your appointments.

It took me years to realize that I’m actually not a hopelessly disorganized, scatterbrained mess – I simply wasn’t using the right tools for my work style and personality type. After a lot of trial and error I realized a few key things about myself:

  • Any planner held closed with a zipper simply never gets opened
  • Ditto purse-sized calendars
  • While smartphone technology is great for on-the-go scheduling, I need to write appointments and to-do lists down -with an actual pencil or pen, and sometimes more than once – for them to really “stick”
  • I need one place to keep track of scheduled deadlines and appointments and a separate place for brainstorming and list-making – and it’s best when those dates and lists are hanging where I can see them many times throughout the day.

I used these self-discoveries to create a planning system tailor-made to the way I work best:

  1. The first piece of the puzzle is my Blue Sky Susy Jack wall calendar, where I keep track of recurring deadlines and family-oriented dates – things that involve more people in the house besides just myself, or things that I really need to be reminded of with a quick glance.
  2. I also have two white boards – a large one that I use as a “master task list” to keep track of ideas and one-day goals rattling around in my brain, and one that offers a week’s worth of spaces for planning out the coming week.
  3. Then I tie all the components together with my Susy Jack weekly/monthly planner, which opens flat, has no closures and offers plenty of blank space for notes and to-do lists.

Even though it’s got a lot of moving parts, once I really figured out what I need in an organizing system, mine was a snap to create (and I had one of those “Duh, I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before!” moments once it was all in place.)

My personal system is great for me because it really helps me quiet the noise in my distraction-prone brain. Each different “type” of information has its own place, giving me space to separate long-term goal-setting from short-term to-dos. If I have a deadline coming up next week, I can fill in a day to work on the project on my weekly whiteboard (and move it easily if I need to.) If I have a few minutes available and can’t think of something to do, I can quickly glance up at my master list to grab an idea of something I’d like to be working on. If I need to check whether a deadline conflicts with a family event, I can easily cross-reference the family calendar with the planner. And I can take the weekly/monthly planner with me when I work at the library or coffee shop. It also doesn’t hurt that the designs on the Susy Jack calendar and planner are beautiful and I love the color scheme, which makes the different components a pleasure to use.

But that doesn’t mean you should copy my system wholesale, unless of course you totally identify with the way my brain works! Maybe you are the person who likes to keep it simple with a single planner or wall calendar. Maybe you need wall-to-wall whiteboards for doodling and brainstorming. Maybe you really are the person who can keep track of everything on a smartphone.

When it comes to organization systems, we all have unique needs. I love technology, but I’m a pen-and-paper girl at heart. I’m a “if it’s not in front of me I’ll forget” person. I’m a “the less possibility of me misplacing a calendar the better” person. How about you?

* * * * *

I’m thrilled that today’s post and giveaway are sponsored by Blue Sky, a company that makes beautiful, simple-to-use wall calendars, planners, checklists and more. I’ve been using their stuff for a while and it’s been key to creating a system that works for me, so I’m happy to announce that two readers will be winning a Blue Sky organizing package too.

I’d love to hear what would go into your perfect organizing system, and why! Comment below for a chance to win a back-to-school organizing package from Blue Sky. If you tweet or Facebook about the contest and leave a separate comment to let me know, that will count as an extra entry (or two.) The contest will run until 1:00 PM EST on Monday, August 15, and two winners will be randomly chosen using the plugin “And The Winner Is.” Good luck!

CONTEST CLOSED. Check back soon for winners!

Dianna Brady August 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I would love this! With three daughters and a daycare, I need all the help organizing that I can get!!!

Barbara H August 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Oh to feel organized again!

Michelle August 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Meal plans!! Without a weekly meal plan, I end up in my kitchen at 5 o’clock staring into the fridge and pantry, wondering what the heck I’m going to serve for dinner. I’m a low-tech organizer – have to write everything on paper and have lots of lists :)

Emily August 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I have been trying to find the perfect organizing system for YEARS and I have yet to figure it out. Currently I have a running to-do list (on paper) and keep a google calendar. It kind of works, but I forget stuff on the computer calendar because it isn’t paper, and the running to-do list makes me crazy sometimes because it is all in one place, instead of separated by “do today” items and “sometime in the next month” items.

Maybe Blue Sky has the answer? ;)

Rebecca August 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm

This is funny because I too have gone through a few different organizers. Lately I’ve thought that my system was a lot, but it is similar to yours. I use a combination of my iCal, my iPhone calendar, a small wipe board, a wall calendar, and a planner. I used to even have a smaller purse calendar, but that was getting crazy. Somehow, this system works for me too. I would love to try out a BlueSky product. The shopping list alone puts my brain at ease, and I’m a chef. :)

Emily August 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/emoothart/status/101403243862687744

And I also found something that looks amazing over at Blue Sky…July 2011 – June 2012 Blue Sky Home Weekly/Monthly Planner 8 x 10

Now that looks like something useful!

Lisa August 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I would love help getting organized!! I have a DH, three year old DS, and a new-ish job starting soon. I have found that paper calendars in full sight work best for me. One question: I lve the wall calendar you showed in the post but cannot find it on the Blue Sky website. Is it still available?

Meagan Francis August 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I know the whole series is available on Target, and some of the items are on the website as well. I also found Blue Sky products at my local Office Max last spring.

Emily August 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Jaime Longo August 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I love this idea. I too need everything written down! I can’t wait to order my own set!

Rachel Ambler August 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Last summer I experimented with using a calendar on my smartphone. I wanted to have less to tote around with me so it made sense to combine my “must-have” phone and diary. With fewer commitments than in the Fall, I figured Summer was a good time to try something new without risking forgetting too many things. I had a few false starts then finally found a calendar which also has a “to do” list incorporated. As this is the way I have always used a paper diary it works for me.

I also have a wall calendar just for appointments and we say “if it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening”! I have to periodically sync the wall calendar and my phone – usually when I turn the page for a new month. I must confess, sometimes this causes problems if I forget.

The flaw in my system is a lack of “big picture” organisation. I like the idea of a white board for brainstorming ideas – might try that one, thanks, Meagan.

SusanP August 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm

I need help in this department too.

We have a big white board in the kitchen which I sometimes use for to do lists for out of the norm tasks… but lately it’s not updated.

I have one of those calendars on the fridge that is a matrix with the days of the month listed down the lift and room for 4 or 5 family members across the top. It is rarely used and often a month is nearly over before it’s flipped to the next.

Doctor appts usually go into my work outlook calendar since I call to make the appts from there and then it will remind me that day since I have to leave work to go to the appt.

I work full time and have four kids … oh and a husband who works from home and always ends up scheduling business meetings on the same day I’ve scheduled kid dr. appts! He uses outlook for everything but I don’t ever look/see his schedule since it’s on his work computer.

So yeah… I need help!

On a separate note, I’m one of those with kids starting this Monday the 15th and am really struggling with it. They have been at home with my husband all summer. I loved school as a kid and want my kids to love it too, but as a mom…. I HATE SCHOOL for them. I’m having anxiety about Monday and all that comes with it for me… I have to get up 45min earlier, my morning commute goes from 15min to 1hr 15min, homework, making lunches the night before, having to track down uniforms/belts/shoes every night, rushing through the evening for early bedtimes (or deal with cranky boys in the morning). Ughhh… I’m afraid my negative feelings are going to influence the kids. Any advice?

Tara August 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm

My best organization is when I only have ONE calendar going at once… I also have a folder in my e-mail called “Calendar” and when I have an e-mail that relates to a calendar item, I file it in there only AFTER I write it on my paper calendar. I, too, am a paper kind of gal.

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

Stephanie Renz August 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Would love something to help with my goal of staying organized this new school semester/job quarter… what a treat!

PS – Love the blog!

Andrea August 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I am the write everything down with a pen or pencil kind of gal. And I need to see my calender…to have a whole system down with my to-do list and menu planning ideas in one place would be amazing…maybe once my 2 oldest go back to preschool I will get on top of it all ;)

Tara August 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I use a single, personal organizer book. I keep track of appointments, etc in it. For meal planning I use a white board that has a whole month on it. It works for now. I imagine when my son is older I might need a bigger organizing system, but for now we don’t have a lot of appointments to remember!

Jennifer August 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I have many sources of organization/planning…regular calendar, binder agenda, teacher calendar (I’m a 1st grade teacher coming down from 3rd grade last year), dry erase calendar, notebook. UGH! I’ve tried the COZI thing, apps on my phone, etc. Still nothing seems to be just right. This is going to be a school year of big adjustments. I have one son starting Middle school across town, after being at the same school as me for the last 3 years, and the other 3 kids and myself have been moved to a new school from last year. My youngest son is starting kinder, one daughter in 4th, the other a special program for the children of teachers, at my school called the Early Childhood Collaborative. Changes for each of us (not my hubby though! lucky him). I feel the stress creeping in and I want to do everything in my power to be stress free as a parent and a teacher!!! I want to savor this relaxed summer feeling throughout the school year!!! Is that possible!!??!!

Jen August 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm

I need a central location for all my lists — your system sounds like a good one. I’d love to try the Blue Sky products.

Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri August 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Love this organizational tool. Would nice to have everything in one place. Thanks for an intro to these products.

Elizabeth Hosto August 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I am constantly revising my system since I have yet to find the perfect fit for me, I homeschool so I made a lesson plan book for this year that I think will work but for all the other daily things I need to do and keep track of I am still working on. I use Google for our calendar since I can see what my husband is up to as well as notify him of our plans easily, but I still feel like I need a paper calendar on the wall to look at and write on. I am working on a daily book or check list thing to try and keep myself on task and work in time for myself, two things that I neglect but I would like to have everything all in one place without being too cumbersome.

Susy August 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Wow. What a nice post. I am so pleased that you like the line, and the features we were able to add to it. It’s very cool to see it actually being used! One of the best things about working on this project, for me, was the amount of research that went into creating each product…Blue Sky actually went and interviewed tons of Moms and busy ladies. When I actually got to work on the color and designs, it was nice to know they items were actually going to be useful and thoughtful. Thank you so much for featuring them here, today. I hope you enjoy them. x Susy

Shari August 10, 2011 at 6:05 pm

I’m very visual and kinesthetic and beginning to realize my calendar on the computer just doesn’t work well for me. I need to write it and see it. In the past I’ve led moleskin products, but will take a look at blue sky for ome new ideas

kate August 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I think for me a big fridge, or desk, calendar works best. One I can write lots of things on, as some days we all have different things! I do use my iCal, but like you I still need to physically write things down. I tried white boards as I love them, but I just didn’t use them as much. I use sticky notes, both on my computer and in physical reality, love them. I don’t facebook or twitter, so this will be my one entry :)

Natalie August 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Ditto mostly everything above…but I also like a spot for frequently used addresses. Yes, I know I can keep them in my smart phone, but it is handier (for me) to have it written down in front of me, especially if I at the post office with belated birthday cards.

Megan August 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Oh my goodness, this sounds like exactly what I need right now to alleviate the feeling that I’d lose my head if it weren’t attached! I love my iPhone but I too need to physically write things down and having it all in one place would be awesome!

Priscilla Cavalca August 10, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I am nervous just thinking of school starting… and I only have 2 kids! They are going to have a lot of activities, though, and i would love a system that works!

Angela August 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I’ve tried keeping up with things on my phone calendar that syncs to my computer, but I still can’t do it. I need to write things down!

Kate August 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I would love this! I am also a “write it down” person!

Ruth Ann August 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I have 4 kids that play 3 sports, church activities, Special Olympics, my husband’s home based business and my own activities when I can fit them in. I must have a calendar/organizer that I can carry with me at all times! It must have a monthly calendar, as well as a week at a glance with larger boxes to write things in. I need a grocery list/meal planning section and a To Do area. A zippered binder on the smallish side works for me.

Robin Riley August 10, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I have to have at least 2 calendars — a large, hanging one for the family to see what’s going on, and one just for me to jot down activities that “might” happen but I don’t want to put on the large calendar yet.

Karen August 10, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Thanks for sharing the tools you use. I have tried many tools over the years, but always come back to writing out a weekly to do list. I have grown to love my Google Calendar but also include the activities on my written to do list because I am afraid I will forget them. I am always looking for ways and tools to help keep me organized.

Maureen August 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

For any time-driven appointments I use what my husband calls “the little black book” which is a Ordning and Reda calendar about one-fourth the size of a piece of letter-sized paper. It has a week-by-week view with room for notes on the bottom. It’s small enough to take everywhere and is considered the family master, even though I now do google calendar so my husband has access even when he’s not around me. My must haves list includes a built-in catch-all spot for little notes, receipts and such. For anything not time-specific, I use toodledo online and on my iphone. It’s great for lists and planning because you have to write things only once and can always shift or edit.

Crunchy Con Mommy August 10, 2011 at 11:04 pm

I do much better if I write stuff down, and I need one place for date-specific things like birthdays and doctor’s appointments and a separate place for my must do/want to do list where I can write things like scrub toilets and sew felt fruit for my son that can be done any day or time. I’d also love room to write my menu plan for the coming week!

akash August 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Me too have got this planner. It is handy and you can do lots of things with it . If you got multiple things on same day, just divide and mark .

Angela S. August 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm

That looks wonderful! I intend to start doing just a little bit of “school” everyday with my two year old. I would love to get organized with this.

Kym August 11, 2011 at 2:38 am

I think the designers of diaries/planners need to remember that mothers aren’t just jotting down a few things to do, or dealing with only a couple of projects at a time like most working people are. We need to manage our family (it may be three to ten people or more) and the day to day running of a home and our children’s lives, our own goals and needs, family time and events, as well as one on one time with partners and individual time with our children. In addition to that we want to keep on top of projects (family and our own), finances, birthdays, gift buying, to dos and goals…. We really are family MANAGERS and need to keep track of info for the whole family.

It infuriates me when I’m searching for a diary/planner that I can never find one with everything I want in it!! I’d like to keep track of my weekly to dos on the same page as the week to view section but also have somewhere to keep a master to do list and/or monthly project list in the same diary/planner. I also like to jot down other things to remember (like memorable moments, funny things kids say etc) each day. On top of that I need to keep track of monthly menu planning, items we need/want (to buy), gift giving and expenses. I handmake a lot of my gifts and do other craft projects so would love a section on the week to view to add this information but usually the to do note section is never big enough!!
Would love to win a better planning system than the one I’m using.

Debra Dane August 11, 2011 at 3:37 am

My organising system is almost identical to yours – I use a Moleskin pocket sized planner for all my appointments and random notes etc as i carry it around with me. I have a weekly wall calendar that has spots for each of us in the family and space for a to do list for the week, then I have 2 massive white boards behind me at my desk! I would do a whole wall of white boards if I could – they are my #1 organising tool (i also have a small one + 1 large one each in my 2 girls’ rooms)

I am a paper and pen girl through and through – I have tried google cal and my phone but never think to use it! writing down information reinforces it in my brain – I can accidentally leave a hand written shopping list at home and recreate it exactly because I can visualise my writing.

Abby Taylor August 11, 2011 at 4:19 am

2 hours in the morning before anyone else is up…that’s my most important organizing tool!

Tara August 11, 2011 at 4:34 am

I’m still trying to figure out how to organize our life- 2 jobs, daycare and life… It’s so true that you have to try a few different option before you can really figure out how you work…. I’m still working on it but getting closer to a “perfect” organization system! Great Post Meagan!

Leah August 11, 2011 at 5:38 am

Organization is definitely one of my biggest struggles. The google calendar app on my phone helps, but I still struggle with missing things.

Stephanie August 11, 2011 at 6:24 am

I would love one of these organizers! I use my wall calendar and a notebook in my purse for personal stuff and Outlook at work, but meshing them together is a challenge.

Kelly August 11, 2011 at 7:26 am

I have a wall calendar that keeps track of everything going on in the house. I just use a plain notebook to make to do lists and shopping lists. I would love to have some prettier stuff. :)

jill August 11, 2011 at 7:46 am

Meal Planning – I can’t live without it.

susan August 11, 2011 at 7:49 am

OK, I guess I had better update the back of an envelope system. Thanks for some great ideas. susan

Melissa B August 11, 2011 at 8:32 am

Once upon a time, I was organized . . .and then I had kids and stopped trying. For a while it didn’t matter too much, but with one in kindergarten this year and the other starting preschool, I could really used some help. I feel stuck getting a true system in place. I tend toward hard copy, but find too many calendars gets confusing. My meal planning – or lack thereof – is in need of serious help, too. So I appreciate your post and highlighing of a systematic approach. Thanks!

Cee August 11, 2011 at 8:35 am

Right now, I keep track of things with a teacher planner (just something I picked out because I liked the layout; I no longer teach). I don’t know that this is the best system for me. In terms of things like bills, I’ll organize the bills physically in a stack as they come in by due date, and this has helped some, but I know I need a better plan. I’ve tried automating bill payment, but our local utilities companies charge between $5-12 per transaction! It’s cheaper to send a paper check in those cases!

Angela August 11, 2011 at 8:50 am

I am a mom of two beautiful kids, a full time graduate student and trying to adopt number three. I need help keeping my crazy life organized! Came over from Kelle’s blog. Love your ideas!

Andi August 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

I use a boring wall calendar at home, with an identical one at work on my desk, & COZI online to tie the two together. I’ve been contemplating something different for a while now, though, because BORING is bad! And with a college freshman, high school senior, & 1st grader to keep straight, I need all the help I can get. I love Susy Jack stuffs!!! :)

Amy Cartwright August 11, 2011 at 9:42 am

I am definitely a pen and paper gal. Maybe it’s because I feel too “plugged in” when I use online calendars and such. They were great when I was in college and on the computer all the time. But, now I want to spend more time with my husband and my baby son. Being online every time I need to check off a to-do list item hinders that for me. Though, if it’s something that needs to be done one my computer (i.e. send and email, pay a certain bill, check facebook–ha!) then it’s best if I put it in a google task list.

Miranda August 11, 2011 at 9:44 am

I just started using a calendar with words and stickers for my son. We would love to also have a family one in the kitchen.

Kirstin August 11, 2011 at 10:18 am

I just got the pottery barn system for my wall and love it. However, we just moved and I havent been able to put it in my kitchen. So, now I want to put it in the office. Hopefully I get it up soon. I use the calendar and white boards daily! I would still love to find the best system for me. I am a technology gal too, but pen and paper work best for my “lists”. :) I am going to check out BlueSky. Thanks so much!!

Brook Feist August 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

My perfect organizing system has been a work of art since I had kids. Twin girls born 6 weeks early. I have a couple of things that work currently in my system and a couple that don’t. I love my monthly meal plan, a white board which I write the month on and then what is for dinner every day for that month it is great and my girls love it too as they help plan the months dinners. And I have a family calendar much like yours that tells all the appts, games, and important dates on it. I am still trying to figure out if my blackberry calendar or my little purse calendar are better for me. And checking out the Blue Sky stuff I am getting all kinds of ideas. Love your blog you help keep me grounded some days.

Heather August 11, 2011 at 11:55 am

What wonderful resources! At school (work) I use a big desk calendar/blotter, which usually gets covered up with important items within the first couple days of student arrival. As you mentioned, the purse sized calendar rarely gets opened, lost in the shuffle between mom goodies and other misc items, and google calendar – forget it! I find myself getting notifications for events while I am either at them, or days later. You have showcased a variety of options, in easily usable formats – thanks, Meagan!

Amber August 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I love the Susy Jack wall calendar you showed, I think I may need to buy one of those. I have a similar style of calendar now, but it’s a dry-erase white board & I find myself wishing I could flip to the next month, rather than having to erase the days that have passed & write in the new ones.

Becky August 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Getting organized is at the top of my to-do list–especially with the looming start to the school year! Eeeeek

Meghan August 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I am in need of a major revamp in the organization dept. I am generally an organized person, but I feel like you about the upcoming school year…not prepared, more scattered and frazzled. I need some system, that is pen and paper, big and visible, with a pocket version to go along. I love the idea of the Blue Sky ones you showed on your blog. I want to research more for sure. It would be fun to win too!!!

Emily August 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm

For me, the perfect organizing system IS purse-sized. I need to be able to take it with me anywhere and everywhere, or it simply won’t get written down. I also keep a monthly dry-erase calendar on my refrigerator that I write everything down on for the whole family so everone can easily see what’s going on.

Kim August 11, 2011 at 9:02 pm

My organizing system for family events and appointments is a calendar that is placed on the refrigerator. I then transfer the information to my google calendar. I am able to view this information via my smartphone. As you stated, the purse calendar never gets opened. I had a palm pilot which never got opened either. With the calendar on the refrigerator and on google, my husband is able to view for himself. I am always open to new ideas that will help my family run smoothly and more organized. I need something that my husband can use without him asking me or double-checking with me what is going on when or if anything is going on. (Though I think it is just his way of being polite and making sure nothing is really going on.) Your suggestions are helpful for my family to get organized especially with our busy schedules of ballet, gymnastics, work, appointments, school, and other events. Thanks for the suggestions!

Meagan August 12, 2011 at 9:40 am

I am not organized, but I am trying. I need a monthly calendar I can use at a glance. Pen & paper girl here. To-Do lists should be incorporated along this calendar in some way. Trying to use a monthly/weekly calendar this school year & transfer from the monthly to the weekly as the week is starting. Next up is something on the wall, to help my husband get on the same page as me & someday for my kids to use. Kindergarten is starting for my 1st in a few weeks & with 2 siblings right behind him, I’m hoping to use this year to find those tools to help us stay organized.

Carrie August 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I created a schedule using Post-Its (like a kanban board) and love it. I’m very visually oriented so I think it’s going to work great. If we need to change things up I won’t have to recreate it, just move the Post Its around.

Kim August 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I don’t think I’ve found my perfect organizing system yet, but it is definitely pencil and paper, not technology, based.

Janet August 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm

My organization/planner system is a work in progress. I am looking for new ideas…so this contest looks great. Keeping my fingers crossed. I do carry a purse planner that is easy and I am able to access at all times.

Kim August 13, 2011 at 3:40 am

This sounds perfect for me. I have a simple calendar with added lists popping up everywhere. The simpler the better for me. This sounds perfect!

julie August 13, 2011 at 4:49 am

We have a ‘family’ calendar in the kitchen & for “on the go” I use color note notepad application on my HTC phone. I am a pen & paper girl at heart but when someone told Mr to try this app, I Love it!! Def has made my life easier.

ErinK. August 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I am new to being an organized Mom…but I know that as things are getting busier I am for sure going to need a better system…

Emily August 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Oh no! I just went to order one of these (after thinking about it for a few days) and now it is out of stock! Do you know if they’ll be stocking more of these, since clearly their blog-driven business has been significant?

Courtney Crane August 15, 2011 at 7:43 am

I use my ICal at work and love it. But I can’t seem to get everything transferred to my ICal on my computer at home. I just don’t stop long enough to add things or check them when I’m at home. I bought a calendar which has a space for each person in the family on each day of the month so I could keep it all straight. Unfortunately I learned that I need a calendar that looks like a traditional calendar. The one I have lists each day along the left side and I just can’t glance at it and figure out what’s going on. I like the idea of a white board as well as a hanging wall calendar. I could quickly add things to lists as to what I need to buy when I head to the store. I always think of things but then forget them when I’m at the store! Or maybe it would be better to do that on paper so I can grab it on my way out the door.

CourtneyC August 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

Is that kid’s writing on the wall under your calendar? I love it! THAT is real life. :)

Is anyone else having trouble finding the wall calendars on the Blue Sky site?

Meagan Francis August 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Yes! I’m not sure if you can read it, but it says “bring Pinata out on Saterday.” LOL. My 7-year-old son William wrote that a long time ago and it was so cute I left it there. I’m not sure which Saturday he meant or which pinata he’s talking about, but I AM impressed that he included a tilde over the n!

emmay8 August 15, 2011 at 8:39 am

My system is in the process of being revamped….I’m going back to work after 7 1/2 years at home with my daughters. I’m a teacher, and I know how much stuff teachers can wind up bringing home, so my first plan of attack is to get as much done and organized NOW, so that I can do my school work at school and bring home only the absolute necessities. I also need to improve my time management, and that, for me. means lists. I have a notebook that I carry around. I am most efficient when I use that to write my lists and cross off the things as I finish them. the sense of satisfaction form crossing things off the list is enough to keep me motivated and I get way more done. Days when i don’t refer to my list, I usually get very little done.

Dresden August 15, 2011 at 8:39 am

I love the Blue Sky weekly/monthly planner soo much! I had no idea they made a wall version. Oh we need that!!

Beth August 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

The perfect organizer for me is purse sized, gives as much space for Saturday and Sunday as it does for the rest of the week, and is something that my husband will look at.

Hmmm. I don’t think that exists.

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