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  • Advice for stay at home mom managing multiple schedules

    As a new stay at home mom, I am trying to figure out the best method for managing my family. Half my information comes to me via email and half while on the phone in the kitchen. If I use traditional paper in the kitchen, I have to write down what comes to me via email. If I use electronic, I have to input what comes to me via my phone in the kitchen. Computer is about 25 ft away and often in use by other family members. Any suggestions on the best way to reconcile these two sources?

  • #2
    What do you want to eventually do with the information? Is that purpose best served by an electronic or paper version?

    I tend toward paper systems, so my answer would be to print information that comes in via email. Once printed, I could file it in a binder, stick it to the refrigerator, or whatever.

    You can also integrate paper into a primarily electronic system by scanning it. If your handwriting looks anything like mine that's not an ideal solution, but you might want to look at image-friendly programs like OneNote and EverNote (for PCs) or Circus Ponies Notebook (for Mac).

    Hope this helps,

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Emails and phone calls are "capture" operations. You can use anything you want to capture that information; it won't be in your permanent system. You'll process the information into your system later.

      You'll need a digital inbox (like e-mail) and a physical inbox (for physical mail, notes to self, etc.) somewhere in your house anyway.

      I suggest putting a pad of paper next to the phone. If you use the pad, when you're done with the phone call, tear off the used sheet and put it in your physical inbox for processing.

      Your lists (Projects, Actions, etc.) can be electronic, paper, or something else. You'll be processing all your paper, emails, etc. into those lists at a different time than processing.

      Does that help?

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      • #4
        I would recommend a paper based system.

        For a calendar, look for a "mom's family calendar". It list the dates down the side then has columns for each family member (mom is already printed). Add a couple of colored pens on string and you have the bases of a good system - the string keeps the pens in place otherwise they will walk. Sandra Boynton via workman publishing has one (my wife use it).

        Also get yourself a basket for a tickler file. Will allow you to consolidate paper etc in one place.

        As to reconciling your two capture locations. I would suggest that you make the kitchen your primary spot. Carve out some counter space and keep it neat. I would go as far as to tape out the area ... contact paper works well.

        For the PC set up a schedule of when you get to check the emails. 2 to 3 times a days for 15 to 30 min. should be sufficient. You may need to be assertive in moving the others off the PC at "your time" but it's worth it. To use this time well, I would have the calendar with you and enter as you go. Break the 2 min rule aim for 3 min (egg timer is a great help). Otherwise print out, highlight and place in the tickler file.

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        • #5
          thanks for responses--more input welcome

          Thanks for your replies. I have actually been using the Boyonton's "Mom's Family Calander" for the last three years and have found it helpful. My husband is wanting to get more in the loop on our schedule and prefers to get his information electornically which lead me to start thinking of ways to improve my system, as there is always room for improvement.

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          • #6
            Set up for you not your partner!

            Nice to see that your partner wants to get involved. However, your system needs to work for you and not somebody else. If your comfortable with paper say with it. Your partner can copy the details down once he gets home .... and it's his responsibility to to that!

            I would also note that your PC is not conveniently located for your use. It's 25 feet from your key station (the kitchen) plus it gets used by others. So if you are going to change, get a PC in the kitchen and make it your own (laptop). By your own, I mean that you are the only user.

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