Thursday, January 1, 2009

Organizing for the New Year

I love a new calendar!! Every year I enjoy putting together my new calendar and this year was no different. I get out my stickers and special calendar pens and write away. I love the potential of a new year and creating a well-organized calendar. It truly is one of my joys.

Here are some of the things I do to make my calendar more organized:

Use different color pens.
* I use green for birthdays and anniversaries. I also use them for births and weddings as they will go into the birthday/anniversary category next year.
* I use red for school events. That includes sporting events at the area middle schools and high schools (I'll talk about organizing these later) and for my husbands deadlines at seminary (this helps me keep him on track without nagging).
* I use blue for any church events. This includes middles school and high school church youth club activities, meetings that take my husband out of town, women's ministry meetings and events, church worship service changes or something we're participating in that Sunday, and anything else church/work (for husband) related.
* I use black for our family stuff. If there's something that involves cooking deadlines I usually put a box around it and if it's a doctor's appointment I circle it twice so it stands out. That's something I don't want to miss.

Use stickers.
Over the past several years I've purchased calendars that included stickers. This year my calendar didn't come with stickers, so I'm just going to use my leftover stickers from previous years.

Put phone numbers next to appointments.
I know the ped's number by memory, but not the ENT, ophthalmologist, plumber, electrician, etc. I always put their phone number on the calendar by the apt. so that if I'm running late, they're running late or I need to change the apt. I can call them easily without having to take the time to look the number up.

Daily schedule goes right on the calendar.
I am using a desk calendar this year so it's easier to do. I use the left-hand column reserved for notes to put a printout of my daily schedule. It's just a quick reminder for me. Also, I put the library hours, weekly cleaning schedule on the non-numberd days of the calendar. Another friendly reminder.

Highlight special birthdays/anniversaries/weddings...
For special days that require more than just a card, I put a little doodle around the day. This helps me to easily see if there's a gift I need to purchase or a special phone call I need to make. Otherwise I'll forget. I also put the date next to certain birthdays/anniversaries. This helps me to remember if it's a milestone that needs to be celebrated as well.

Ok, on to the organizing of sports schedules. My husband works full-time at our church with middle school students. He also helps out with the high school students, and so do I. We think it's really important to show our interest in the students outside of "church" time and it's a great way to get to know parents and the community we're serving. Our students attend different schools in the area, so we try to make it to at least one game of each school/gender/activity. We even try to go to games that our students aren't actually involved in because we know there will be students and parents there that we know. And it's fun. Our oldest son must think he's going to an NBA game when we go to a middle/high school sport. We get to have popcorn and cheer with an excited crowd. It's a fun thing to do as a family.

So, this is what I do: I print out all the schedules of the actvities: boys basketball, girls basketball, wrestling for middle school and high school (this year it's mainly two schools). I then print out a blank calendar using Microsoft Publisher (I use the basic black and white calendar). I use different color pens for each event boys and girls. I write out all the home games on the days we would be able to attend (no Thursdays as that's our designated date night). This makes it easy to see the events better. Here's our game schedule for this winter:

Jan 5 - AHS 9th boys basketball
Jan 9 - AHS 10th/varsity boys basketball
Jan 12 - GHS 9th/jr varsity girls basketball
Jan 16 - GMS 7th boys basketball
Jan 26 - GHS 9th/jr varsity girls basketball
Jan 31 - AHS wrestling
Feb 2 - AHS 9th girls basketball
Feb 3 - GMS 8th boys basketball
Feb 6 - GHS varsity girls and boys basketball
Feb 9 - AHS jr varsity boys basketball
Feb 10 - AHS jr varsity/varsity girls basketball
Feb 23 - AMS 8th boys basketball

Mind you, the kids and I won't be going to all the games, but my husband will.

And here's an issue that I really struggled with this year:

Desk vs. Hanging Calendars
After a long deliberation, I'm converting back to a desk calendar. When I was a nurse at the hospital, I relied on a desk calendar because I could take it with me so I could write my work schedule down. But since I've been at home, I haven't really "needed" a desk calendar and have enjoyed having it hanging in the kitchen. But this year, I'm finding myself making appointments that require me to have a calendar along (doctor appointments, church meetings, etc). I don't want to have to bring my hanging calendar everywhere, so I decided to make the switch. I think I'm really going to like it. I will still have a birthday calendar hanging in my kitchen (my sister made me one from Snapfish). That will be a helpful reminder for sending cards on time and she put some great pictures on there.

Well, that's my calendar excitement. Like I said, I really love a new calendar. I look forward to creating ways to make it more organized so I can be more efficient and productive with my time. It's just fun for me!!

Anyone have any exciting calendar ideas?

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