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other people's stuff???

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  • other people's stuff???

    Kids' school work needs to be filed but easily retrieved by them and by me, but I don't want kids in in my personal or business files, so theirs are in a separate box. Using labels with their names, subject and month or marking period has worked best. But, any better ideas?

    Also, other family members have the bad habit of leaving various papers of great importance about the house and car. When they encumber me, I
    put them in folders, scribbling in pencil their initials , the general topic (e.g. Sewing Club, Passport) and date I found them , followed with a question mark. Then I put them in a stack on the persons' desk to whom I think they belong. Any thoughts on this approach?

    Each family member has a "mail box" or "in box" for incoming mail and messages. What can we so about people who look at their stuff and then just put it back in the in box?

  • #2
    establishing family norms of expected behavior

    Originally posted by Jamie Elis
    Each family member has a "mail box" or "in box" for incoming mail and messages. What can we so about people who look at their stuff and then just put it back in the in box?
    I think having separate boxes makes a ton of sense, but I'd be nervous taking on responsibility for organizing someone *else*'s paper. In our house we have boxes for our five year old, and that's where her incoming goes, but she hasn't learned the phases of GTD yet, so she doesn't check it. With school age kids like yours, it would seem they'd be able to learn what's expected of them. However, this won't happen if someone's doing it for them. Better would be if they were motivated by their own needs. For example, if they can't find important papers before a test/assignment, they might be more open to seeing how *your* filing system works. (Teaching via modeling.) Another random thought (apologies if I'm vague or inappropriate - I have a cold): Get them their own labelers? The famous DA "gadget factor" might motivate them...

    Please let me know what you finally figure out. This is coming up for us here in the near future

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    • #3
      For adult family members, I'm strongly in favor of making their organizational failings their problem, not yours. That means returning papers from common areas to their owners, but otherwise not worrying about them. *And* letting the owner be the one to do the heavy lifting to replace a lost passport on short notice if necessary. It also means putting something in the person's designated inbox and not worrying about what happens to it next. (For critical stuff, like bills, get the other person to commit to a due date, set a reminder in your own system, and otherwise don't worry about it.)

      For kids, your system sounds fine to me as long as it works for you. Again, the goal is to have the responsibility be theirs, with you just providing backup and oversight.

      Katherine

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      • #4
        Kudos!

        I think it is awesome that people are implementing GTD wiht their families. I am the only one that isn't in chaos in my household. I am adding this to my project list right now!

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        • #5
          I am sorry, but I do not think that finding something that you do not know who it belongs to, putting it in a folder, and marking a name on it that you guess it belongs to, and putting in in that persons room is a good idea at all.

          One day you are going to be blamed for putting something important in the wrong persons room or in the correct persons room in a place they did not check.

          You need a lost and found box.

          You need inboxes and a lost and found box in the family common area that have to go to empty every week at a specific time.

          For some family members this may mean that you have to sit beside them and actually oversee them dealing with their stuff and looking through the lost and found. For others this may mean putting the common area inbox stuff in their room in a holding box. There could be a weekly family dinner when you go through the lost and found box.

          The key is to find a process that helps YOU keep the common area orgainzed first, the younger kids learn organization second, and the system breakers last or not at all.
          Last edited by tim99; 01-06-2006, 05:15 AM.

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