With a month into the school year, I thought I would take a look at the systems I’m using to stay on top of papers, family stuff, and homework and see if anything needs changing or tweaking.
- I keep a running list of grocery items in Evernote which I can access on my smartphone. This is working great!
- I’m on my second month of a monthly menu plan, and I love having the month ready in advance. Of course, I tweak meals, especially side dishes. My goal is always to stay on top of what’s in the fridge. If there’s a side dish or meat dish that needs to be used up because no one wanted it for lunch, on the dinner menu it goes.
- Springpad is my online organizer for my menu plan and recipes. It’s a little clunky since I can’t repeat tasks. Repeating tasks would allow me to enter the entire month into Springpad, plus reminders about making bread, yogurt, and kombucha.
- I put together a homework box for my preschooler and Kindergartener which contains glue sticks, crayons, scissors, and a few pencils. I keep this in a cabinet in the dining room, and have the two kids do their homework at the dining room table. Having this box has kept me out of looking for supplies every day, plus the kids can get the box themselves.
- Every day when the kids get home, they empty their backpacks and put their take home folders in bins in the dining room. After I finish with snacks and emptying the lunch boxes, I go right in the dining room and review the folders. Anything that needs more attention goes on my office desk for after dinner. Putting the responsibility of emptying backpacks on the kids has helped so much!
- I started having the preschooler and Kindergartener keep their homework in the dining room bin, too, after I forgot to pull the homework out of a tickler file in my office one Friday. The school library book also stays in the bin. We remember to read it more often.
With the 2 younger students in the dining room, I have my 2nd grader in the kitchen doing his homework. Having him by himself allows me to help him while doing my kitchen tasks. The other 2 kids are less likely to interrupt us, too.
- My tickler system is working great for collecting school papers and other papers like invitations.
- I love, love, love Evernote for organizing my info online. Along the lines of GTD, I’ve been moving my family notes into 2 notebooks in Evernote – Next Action and Project. I’ve been playing around with the types of files I can put into Evernote. I was so excited at the beginning of soccer season to realize that I could keep the PDF of the kids’ game schedules in Evernote. I also keep secure information in Evernote with password protection – information that I’ve used several times already!
- I’ve found that I need to have a paper calendar to track everything my family is doing. I have a small 5 x 8 one on my desk in a cookbook holder which goes in my large purse when I go to doctors appointments. In the kitchen, I have a paper wall calendar. It took me awhile to decide on the calendar. I wanted a calendar that ran with the school year and had blank boxes. I found the lined boxes to be too limiting. The employees at Staples thought I was a bit weird! I still update my Google calendar though I don’t depend on it. However, now that my husband has a Google email, he may be more willing to look at the Google calendar to see what’s coming up.