what I do

what I do

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chic organizational tools

One of my favorite things I used to love to do with my girls when they were in school was to go to Target and get supplies. We would go through every department and check out all the new things, looking at the clothes and the school supplies and even the toys for fun. When they were young it was fun to pick up a new t-shirt or pair of shoes - and as they got older we spent more and more time in the cosmetic section. So, Saturday when my oldest all-grown-up-daughter asked if I needed anything from Target I jumped on that trip and tagged along.

We spent the most time in the school / office supply and stationery section! Have you been there lately? The notebooks are incredible - geometrics and Ikat patterns ... in wonderful colors. They reminded me of my new pillows :) 

Of course I couldn't resist bringing a few home! I always carry a notebook when I meet with a client to take notes, write measurements and keep track of lists of things I need to do. And it is so much more fun if the notebook is cute! Notebooks can be a great organizational tool ...

A perfect example of using notebooks is with a client of mine who is memory impaired. We are in the process of organizing her home office.  She uses notebooks to record things she needs to remember; a phone number, a book she wants to pick up, someone's birthday ... and lists of things she needs to do. She started using them years ago because if she doesn't write things down she will forget. Prior to the notebooks she was using sticky notes but those notes were all over the place and she was having a hard time finding the information when she needed it.

For example, when she needed to jot down someone's phone number she would write it on a post-it note and put it on a wall or desktop. When she went to find it, it could be anywhere ... most likely covered by other post-it notes. Today, she will write the phone number or other information in her spiral notebook where it is contained in one place. 

But the spiral notebook is really more of a holding place for information. Eventually she will need to enter that phone number in a phone book where it will be stored permanently, or if she has jotted down a list of things she wants to do, or buy she needs to transfer that information to a 'to-do' list. The key to using a notebook is to have the information in one place until it gets transferred.

Another thing we discovered while trying to organize her office was she had a lot of on-going projects. Nothing big that warranted a file or a binder but little things that piled on a desk or in a box might get lost. In a previous post (which you can read here) I talked about how I advise clients to have two boxes for their papers that aren't yet filed or put in a binder. A to-do box. One for time sensitive materials (like bills or invitations) and the other for things that need to get done (or things you want to get done) but it won't hurt if you don't get to it right away.

A good sized to-do box ... from See Jane Work

But with this client, the box wasn't working. It was getting too full and things were getting lost. So we decided that we would put them in plastic see-through envelopes to give them more presence. We labeled them and put them in a file box. I like the way each project is contained and that you can see inside the envelope to easily identify the contents. 

Staples Poly Envelopes
I decided that the plastic envelopes were a good way for me to keep track of things too. I filled one with all my discount coupons (like the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% coupons that come in the mail) and gift cards and I keep it in my car. I like that it is see-through (to remind me to use them!) and I have them when they are needed.


Jerico Jien said...

great design.. amazing ^^

Marianne said...

I'm making a trip to Target today, so I'll be sure to check these out! Great designs!

traci zeller designs said...

Oh, I love school supply shopping! I have always found great notebooks with that greenroom at Target brand!!

L said...

Love all the things you found, I think I will have to check them out at Target. You always find the most amazing illistrations for your blog, love the one with all the post it's! That would be me if I hadn't found a better system of list keeping. I keep a clear zippered pouch in my purse with all my coupons going through it weekly when I am stopped at red lights.

Unknown said...

It's all about being organized. I love that. Isn't Target great?