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Day 6: The Best Way to Remember Everything You Need To

When you forgot that today was the homeschool co-op field trip and that you had signed up to bring snacks for afterward. Equals trying to apply mascara while simultaneously screaming at everyone to get in the car NOW and arriving late cuz you had to stop at Walmart to pick up some Oreos.

When you don’t have a gift for the birthday party your child needs to be at in 30 minutes because you thought it wasn’t until tomorrow.

When you neglected to make sure the trash was at the end of the driveway for the third week in a row. (And the dog got into the bag that was sitting next to the overflowing can and joyfully decorated your lawn with the flotsam and jetsam of your life.)

This is one of the most foolproof tips for how to remember things better. As life hacks go, this one is right up there with all the best ideas! It can be done quickly and yet will have a big impact. Check it out -- and sign up to receive the whole series!

All of these things and more have happened to me at one time or another — and probably to you, too; am I right? There is one thing that helps me avoid circumstances like this, and it is my organizing tip for today.

It’s not rocket science, but it does take a little bit of discipline. But not a lot, or it wouldn’t be a tip I can use regularly, lol.

Here is the best way to remember everything you need to: WRITE IT DOWN.

And further, write it all down in the same place. Every deadline, every commitment, every appointment, every “hey we might do that” — write it down in a planner or your phone or a bullet journal or whatever works for you. But DON’T expect your brain to remember it. Write. It. Down.

Welcome to 31 Days of Practical Organizing Tips for a Homeschool Mom's Life!
Every day there is a new organization hack to help calm the chaos.
Find links to all 31 days here: 31 Days of Organizing Tips.

Y'all, I have to write down that I want to take a walk every day. True confessions. Every day on my planner I write the word “walk.” Otherwise I would proceed through my morning and then realize at about 4pm, just when it is time to start dinner, that there’s a reason why the dog is so hyper — because I never took her for her exercise.

You may not be quite that forgetful, lol, but it’s so easy to get busy putting out the fires of our everyday homeschool life that we forget what we’ve signed on for outside the home. Or we spin our wheels inside the home because we never wrote down the things that popped into our head that we need or want to get done.

I discussed planning in some detail already on Day 2, but the nutshell is that I try to plan out the specifics of my day each morning, as part of my morning routine. Prior to that, however, I’ve been making a general to-do list, so that by the time that morning rolls around, I already have a basic idea of what needs to happen that day. The general to-do list comes about because I've been writing everything down as I think of it along the way.  Life runs much more smoothly when there are no surprises — at least that's been MY experience. :-)

You can use a planner, if you like a pre-set format. I have tried several over the years. I even made my own, which you can see here: Free Printable Weekly Planner. Most recently I've been using one that allows me to review my goals often, which is another way to not forget the important stuff!

Or you can try a bullet journal. If you’ve never heard of one, it is a plain notebook that you organize as a planner to accommodate your own style of life. The people who use them swear by them. I confess that these are too much work for me, but if you are crafty or artistic you might love doing your planning this way. My friend Heather at WellerMomma Blog has great stuff about bullet journals.

Not to mention all the wonderful phone apps that will organize your life for you. I have discovered that I am a paper and pen person, but I will still sometimes input a note into my phone (or a voice memo if I am driving), so that I will remember something to enter into my planner later. But many people live their entire lives with their phone as their memory aid — you can sync with Google calendar and set reminders to beep at you, and it’s with you all the time. So yea.

But don't get too crazy with multiple calendars or notebooks. I do keep pads of paper in several locations, so I can write down things as I think of them — but then I carry that piece of paper with me until I can get that thought entered into my planner. It can get confusing very quickly when you have to consult more than one source for your list of things to remember.

Experiment with different methods of recording your commitments, ideas, and wanna-do's, and pick whichever one works best for you. Obviously nothing is going to help if you don’t then discipline yourself to write EVERYTHING down, AT THE MOMENT you are encountering it for the first time. But once you get into the habit and see how much more smoothly life rolls without you trying to remember everything on your own, it will become easier to remember to take a moment to jot it down.

Won't it be nice to have the trash picked up EVERY week? :-)

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4 thoughts on “Day 6: The Best Way to Remember Everything You Need To”

  1. Yes! An option that works better with some things than others is to set an alarm on your phone as a reminder. I have a weekly alarm set to remind me/my child to take the trash bin to the curb (…after, of course, missing it a week! And since it’s an alarm, I can hit “snooze” if I/she can’t get to it right away). My phone calendar’s “tasks” feature’s reminders aren’t nearly as insistent as I need them to be. :)

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