Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Using Your Calendar as a Brain Dump

I use my calendar to:
See the current date
Record scheduled events
Remember birthdays and special anniversaries
Plan projects like parties and my home zone plan
Remind myself of standing monthly meetings
Keep up with when I plan to pay annual fees or donations
Remind myself of future tasks that will need scheduling

At the end of every year I look at my calendar for the upcoming year and put all birthdays, anniversaries, and standing appointments into my calendar in red ink. I also put at the top of the page the zone of my house that I plan to work on during that month.

But there are many other ways that I use my calendar so that I don't have to worry about when tasks should be accomplished. I log in when I need to schedule all doctor appointments and procedures. Often when you have a doctor or dentist appointment they set up the next appointment, but some procedures like eye exams, mammograms, bone density tests, or a colonoscopy you may have to remember to schedule yourself. Some of these procedures are not done every year so choose the month you last had the procedure and make a note to schedule it again in whatever year it will come due.

I also use the calendar to remind myself to renew my driver's license or passport. Near my birthday I set a note to renew my license and put in the year it will expire. When I had my tankless hot water heater installed, the plumber told me I should schedule a maintenance check in 2015 - so I made a note right away on my calendar.

I use my calendar to keep up with when magazine subscriptions come due and when annual bills will come due. I keep up with when to renew my donations and memberships as well. Often organizations will start to bill months before the due date and often don't make it easy for you to figure out when your current membership really runs out.

I had a little problem with Social Security a while back. They assured me that they would look into it and call be back within 45 days. I put a reminder on my calendar to call them back after two months if I had not heard from them. (and I hadn't)

And then I also use my calendar to keep up with benchmarks on projects and my party planning timeline.

The more information that I put on my calendar, the less stress for me. One important tip is to write clearly and use different colored ink for different types of data. I use my notes section for the month or empty calendar blocks to put in considerations for the month that don't yet have an actual scheduled date. Another important tip is to took at that calendar to see what you have recorded.

Happy Calendaring!



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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