Sunday, January 1, 2012

Now, where did I put that……..? Or the Edna Syndrome

My grandmother (Edna), God rest her soul, was one of the most giving, loving, unselfish women on the face of this earth, but she had an illness. It was called “where did I put that I must search until I find it or go crazy” syndrome, aptly named, Edna’s Syndrome. She seemed to have this attack every single day. I cannot tell you how many Saturday afternoons I spent in her store (or house) looking through scraps of papers for something she misplaced. There were even weekly trips to the attic in hopes that the little elves had picked up the grocery receipt and taken it up there! I think that poor woman spent more time looking through papers that anything else – including eating those cheese sandwiches she loved. When she passed away, it literally took months to go through all the papers, hand written notes, scraps of newspapers and stacks of files to see what we needed to keep and what could go. THAT is another story. More on Edna is just a sec…….

Pre-Planning for the Simple Life Series

As I posted yesterday, today we are going to get ourselves geared up and prepare for tomorrow’s Simple Life series.

Like most of us, you probably have at least one method of keeping track of your days. It could be a desk calendar, a binder, your iPhone, your desktop organizer or maybe just a notebook with scribble all over it. I have always been an organizer/bound calendar type. I have year’s worth of journals and spiral calendar books in a box that I hope I can remember to burn before I die so my children won't read all the gory details of my life!

 I wish I could remember the name of the book where I found this tip so I could give her credit, but to be honest, I’ve read so many books I have no idea. This method has saved my life. I an a list-maker, note taker, write it on a scrap of paper maker – and the paper trail used to follow me down the street.

The life-saver (and paper saver) goes like this – chose ONE method for written reminders. You can have a computerized method that you transfer everything to, but start with trying to write everything down in one book. The book should contain a calendar, even if you just hand draw one in a divided notebook or label the top of each page with a day. Everything you need should be written in this book. EVERYTHING. From doctor appointments to grocery lists. If you go to the dentist and they give you a card with the next appointment, write the date in your book and recycle the card (even better, when the nurse starts to grab the card in the first place, tell her to save the card and write it directly in your little book.) Did you write a message on a little piece of scrap paper while you were on the phone? Immediately get your notebook and THROW THE SCRAP PAPER AWAY. In the bank line and hear a great song you want to download? Instead of writing it on the back of your checkbook, grab your book and write it in it! Get the idea?

Later, when you sit down to check emails – go through the day’s page and transfer any appointments to your computer and/or iPhone system. Go ahead and set the automated email reminders – even if it’s just to remember milk tomorrow. As you transfer the appointment, complete a task, buy the things on the list -  mark them out. Anything that is left over, highlight for the next day or transfer them to the next day’s page. In my notebook, I have sections. The first section is the pages of my on-going daily lists. The next section is where I transfer short term items, such as books I want to remember to check out, projects I have running around in my head and gift ideas. The third section is long term projects that don’t fit the current to-do list criteria such as all the things I want to do in my daughter’s room or future trip plans. If I find a color swatch I like I staple it to a page in this section.

The point is to get rid of the hundreds of loose papers, scratched notes, magazine clippings, etc and keep the information tidy in one place. My book goes with me everywhere. If I forget it, then as soon as I get home, all the notes I made go immediately into it.

I wish that I had discovered this organization method when my grandmother was alive. It would have saved me YEARS of my childhood from searching for something for her; And she could have spent more time eating those cheese sandwiches instead of looking for her grocery list, which incidentally only consisted of bread, mayo and cheese slices!

Your assignment today is to go out and find your notebook. Go quickly now before your symptoms of Edna’s Syndrome get worse as those Christmas shopping statements start piling in!


Destri said...

I sooo need to follow your advice here, I am the queen of loose papers, randomly placed all over the house!
I hope you had a great holiday!

Jayde said...

Great idea! I will have to look into getting a book for all my notes. I am the worst at forgetting things. (even when I write them down!) Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

bless their hearts mom said...

i think the edna syndrom is universal and comes with age!

i think i've got it!

i like the idea of consolidating- i HAVE to get a grip on all the lists and notes I have everywhere- i think its a genetic link- mom is same way!LOL