Family & Life Organization

In a flurry of attempts to organize my life as a lawyer/mom/businesswoman/political junkie/friend/person and actually make progress on my to do list, I have implemented the Jones Family Notebook and am using My Life Organized to keep track of all the things I am attempting to juggle.  Although it appears to be directed more to full time moms, I love, love the “mommy blog” http://simplemom.net/, especially the posts on the Home Management Notebook, the Daily Docket & the Chore Chart for Preschoolers.  Seriously great stuff!!

Our Home Management Notebook is a 4 inch binder with a bunch of general info at the front in plastic sheet protectors.  The general info includes Key Contacts, a Daily Activity Sheet where we write down the kids meals and nap times, Notes for Caregiver which is instructions for my nanny, the Jones Family Grocery List template which is filled in with things we need to replace as the week progresses & the following tabs:

  • Calendar (printed out by month from Time Matters, my law firm calendar software – I put the kids activities and family info and appointments under my nanny’s name and only print her activities so it’s not too busy looking with all my work appointments included)
  • Contacts (just play dates and neighbors, the rest are in my PDA)
  • Kids – info on programs they are enrolled in, preschool handbook, schedules for programs at Hollyburn & the library)
  • House/Cars – key info
  • Health Care – kids immunization print outs etc
  • Finance (just our monthly budget & gift cards in an envelope – the rest of our info is paperless & password protected on our home server)
  • the Good Life (sheets where I write restaurants & wines to try, books I want to buy, movies to see, wish lists as I think of them)

On the To Do list front, I am a follower of GTD and accordingly was looking for software to automate the process somewhat.  I previously used the Outlook add-in, but it didn’t synch with the Time Matters practice management software we use.  I tried out Life Balance, Achieve Planner and then settled on My Life Organized.

Whereas I liked the general concept of the first two, they proved to be unweildy in practice and had too high of a learning curve. I like MLO because it is the most intuitive and not too cluttered.  I did like the time management course for Achieve Planner, and it reminded me to block out chunks of time to do my most important tasks, rather than lose my day doing urgent but non-important things.

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