So I have set my standards high for 2012. In order to get everything done, I am having to plan. And just when I think I am done planning, I have to plan some more. I have always been a list maker. I made out our family grocery lists in Kindergarten during church. I made out my Christmas list in March. And I think I have bought every highlighter and note pad that Staples or Office Max has produced.
So this is the combination that currently works for me. I love electronic but I still love to make out lists and have a paper (and electronic) calendar for my blog.
Google calendar works well for our family. Jeff’s work schedule and meetings, my work schedule, my blog scheduled postings, and the kid’s activities are all included. This is extremely important for Jeff as he is self employed and schedules his meetings around my work schedule. Now that I am working part time, it is much more manageable.
I love how Google calendar allows you to color code items. I have swimming, blog activities, entertaining, school, and both work schedules in different colors. It’s like an electronic highlighter. Have I mentioned I love highlighters?
Benefits: Easy to use, love the color, and you can make it accessible to other family members (if you want to).
Cons: It’s only as good as the people who input the schedule. If I write something down on a piece of paper, then it needs to be put inputted into the google calendar that night or it gets missed.
I read quite a few blogs and it was getting hard for me to manage them through email or notes written about them in my inspiration journal. Or worse, I was going to a site, forgetting about it, and then kicking myself for forgetting the name of it. So I have switched over to Google reader this past week. Oh how I love thee, Google reader.
On the left hand side are some of the blogs that I am subscribed to. Notice how some are black with a number in parentheses. That means that that particular blog has that many new posts that I have yet to read. If they are not bolded, then I am not missing any new blog posts from that blogger (I’m caught up!).
I also chose to alphabetize my blogs, but you can arrange them however you see fit. The other feature I love is that at the end of a post, you can click on a star to favorite a post so that it will be stored for you in a favorites category. Love that.
Then you can go back and just reread your favorites for inspiration, recipes, photography tips, places I want to go, or items I want to add to my life list.
Benefit: I no longer am missing blogs. I subscribe right away (takes seconds) and know that it is captured. I am able to star all of my favorites and keep them organized for future inspiration.
Cons: I must make sure to click over from the reader and leave a comment to show my fellow bloggers some love. I must remind myself to do that often as there is no greater compliment. I know my friends who blog read and treasure every comment they receive. It means that their readers are are engaged and appreciate their work.
Question: In some of the Google readers, I notice that some of the bloggers choose to have their posts only partially shown in the reader, so that the reader must click over to the post itself to read the full post. What are the benefits to the blogger for that? I found through my twitter post that most readers prefer to read the full post in google reader, so I am certain there is some sort of business reason. I would genuinely like to know.
Martha Stewart has come out with an amazing home and office organization system offered exclusively through Staples. I bought one of her binders and inserts to make a blog inspiration and planning journal. I took some of the sticky notes off my intentional wall, stapled them onto a page, and then started my planning process. They are then filed under each month that I plan on doing the activity and blogging about it.
If something doesn’t get done one month, no worries, just move it to the next month. I just want to be intentional about getting the items done that I say I value and want to learn and/or experience the most this year.
Some items take time and money so plans must be made for both. Example: Money for entry fees for races (5K) and childcare arranged if necessary.
I find it easier to be a little over prepared so that I am just enjoying the moment when the event comes.
A dream will only happen if you make yourself vulnerable and ask for the opportunity. It is scary to say some of our dreams out loud. It was scary for me to tell everyone my weight last Friday, but today there is an empowerment that came with being vulnerable.
So today, I’m going to tell you four things that I am dreaming about in 2012. I want to dance with Ellen DeGeneres, I want to fly with the Thunderbirds, I want to attend the Survivor’s Parade and Kentucky Derby with Jeff and the kids, and I want to have a Smilebooth in my living room. Those are big dreams. They require opportunity, contacts, $, and a little bit of luck. But if I don’t make the attempt, then I will have failed. I have to at least try. I owe myself that.
You owe yourself those opportunities to do those things that you hold onto in secret. Write those things down this week and share them with someone. Perhaps it’s just one item. Perfect. Start there. But please start now. Then at least it’s not a secret anymore. And there will never be any shame on this site. They are your dreams. And dreams are powerful. Never underestimate their power.
Paper calendar and To-Do Lists
Last, I love my inexpensive paper calendar from Staples and my various paper To-Do Lists. I often have a list made out for the day (or a couple of days) of things that need to get done. I function best that way. In addition, I use the notes application on my iphone to add to my to-do list or blog inspiration journal if I’m away from my desk and something comes to my mind.
So the picture above is often what you would see when I am working on my plans for my life list and blog. It works for me as I’m getting things done.
Do you have something that helps you plan for yourself or family that is different? Please share. I’m always open to new ideas.
And not to forget, the giveaway of the miniboook from Nicole Reaves is:
Amanda S. who said, “I wish I had more pictures of me with my Grandma when I was younger. She passed away 10 years ago around the time I graduated from college. That minibook is awesome! Thanks for the chance to win!”
Congratulations Amanda S! Please email me at jenny@jennymeyerson(dot)com and Nicole will get that amazing minibook out to you!
Blessings sweet friends – Jenny