I'm joining pals Sarah and Elizabeth to write every day in the month of December, feel free to join in any time! Today's prompt: Planning. How did you plan your schedule this year? Did you use a paper planner? An electronic calendar? Both?
Am I a planner? HA!! I am THE planner.
I'm sure it's part culture/upbringing and part my math brain, but the intersection of my need for a plan and my need for electronic organization as mentioned yesterday leads me down a very narrow, tidy path. Sometimes people can find this aggravating about me, but the benefits far exceed how annoying I am in 99% of cases. If you know me, you know that you can make a coffee date with me for the morning of Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 10am at the Peet's Coffee in Vienna right now and I will show up for it, ready to celebrate the long memorial day weekend and remind you that it's our friend X's birthday coming up in a week. And if anything comes up between now and then that would prohibit our meeting, you will know the instant that I do, hopefully a full year in advance. lol. I don't ever over book -- or worse -- double book and I am always reminded of birthdays, anniversaries and other important milestone dates one week in advance of the date so I have time to appropriately respond with a gift or card.
I am entirely electronic with planning, and it all goes in one of two places- on my personal iPhone, or on my work iPhone/outlook calendar depending on what type of date/task/list it is. The reason for this is simply that it is the height of efficiency to not have to have anything other than what I already have with me in order to access, change, or record information. I also hate clutter, and stuff. I don't want to have to carry around a paper planner. I don't want to have to rely on whether I have a working pen or not. I don't want to be limited to the year 2016, or however far a paper calendar might go. And I want G to be able to be invited to calendar appointments so they show up on her calendar too, how do you share a paper calendar??
It goes farther than a calendar with dates, though. I use the notes and reminders apps to make lists, like names of members at the gym that I'm struggling to recall, gift ideas for friends and family that I get clued into throughout the year, the name of that wine I had at The Wine Kitchen that is nowhere to be found- but I will ask for at every wine shop and niche restaurant I go to for the next ten years... It is endless. The lists I have right now are:
Furthermore, anytime I can use an app to further organize a list that I could have written for myself, I use that because it usually contains useful features specific to the task at hand. Such as THE WEGMANS APP. I've been using this gem for more than 2 years now. It changed how I feel about grocery shopping- seriously... I went from having a nervous breakdown in the olive oil aisle to confidently zooming around the grocery cart trucks with screaming kids straight to the item I need. I have a list in there of everything we have ever bought, and most of that stuff we need to buy on a regular recurring basis. It organizes itself by aisle (by store- you tell it which one you go to!), so I can easily scroll as I go and check off items that I've put in my cart. When the store decides to shuffle things around and relocate items, I don't even notice, because I'm on aisle 14a and I know exactly what I need on that aisle, regardless of whatever aisle it was last week. I've actually helped other customers who are desperately looking for items that used to be right here. I tell them they are doing themselves a disservice by not having this app. Each week, when I take inventory or plan for what we need to purchase, I uncheck the item in my list so that I know to purchase it again for the next trip.
I use the 1Password app to organize all of my 4,836,992 passwords for various websites. It requires a fingerprint ID to access so all is secure. I NEVER not know what my passwords are thanks to this amazing invention.
GoDocs I mentioned yesterday, it is how I organize my Les Mills Choreography notes so that I can organize and access them anytime I like.
Evernote App I use to store pictures, articles, web addresses, and recipes of all things- I have a recipe specific notebook that is organized by Appetizers, Breakfast/Brunch, Crock Pot, Dessert, Entrees, Salads, and Sides. I usually copy the recipe off of the site I'm using and put it in there because I like to write in the adjustments that I made to make it healthier or more our taste.
Anyway, you get my point. I could talk to you for days about electronic organization- this just brushes the surface. It would take me a whole separate post to explain and show you my excel spreadsheet(s) of the planning for our trip to New Zealand. It's one of my favorite things ever (planning. And, New Zealand for that matter). The only thing left I have to say is that I back up my phone at least once a quarter but if anything ever happened to it I would be totally fucked. That's the only negative I can think of.