Monday, December 20, 2021

Managing your tasks

I think I am like a lot of people, and there are days when you feel like your to-do list is totally out of control, and you don’t know how to get it back in order.  For some people it is easy to manage if they have one focused job, but for a lot of us now, we are juggling multiple jobs, so it means that it can be a challenge to get things achieved or at least in some sort of manageable fashion. When I start to feel that I have too many things that I have put onto a list, I decide to sit back and that becomes my focus before I try and tackle anything else.


Here is what I do.

  1. Grab small pieces of paper or post-it notes for writing out the various to-do items
  2. Write one to-do item on each of the papers, and don’t worry if you repeat yourself.
  3. Once this is done, sort the items into the various categories that you want. E.g. Work, personal, crafts, etc.
  4. Now that things are in the various categories you have a choice of how to handle them, but here is the easiest method I have found and that is to write all of one category onto a piece of paper either in a notebook or loose-leaf.
  5. After getting each category onto its own piece of paper, it makes it a lot easier to see what you must do for each category. Now, when you are working on a category, you don’t have everything else on that list.
  6. Keep some small post-it notes always available because when you are working on things and something else comes to mind you can write them done quickly.
  7. Mark off the items as you get them done, and you will start to feel a little more under control. You can add to the list at any time and then rewrite when you want to.


I have found that doing the quick brain dump of all the things that I need to do makes it so much easier to get things done. It gets the items out of my head and down onto paper so that I can see them, and marking items off the list also makes me feel better as I can see proof that I am getting things done.


Of course, this method might not work for everyone, but I have found that it works for me, and it helps keep me organized and productive. Sometimes I have lots of pages of various categories, but other times my lists are small enough that a category can be more general. The categories that you use for your lists are going to differ each time, but at least it is a way of controlling the various projects.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Who is that person

 Who is that person that is on the phone with me?   They say they are related to me, but I don’t remember that voice. They know so much about me, but I don’t believe who they are. They say that I am ok, but I don’t understand anything that they are saying.

That person tells me where I am, but it isn’t where I am.  I am scared and alone and don’t understand what is happening.  The person that I thought would be there to support me isn’t there right now.  The voice on the phone says it is them, but I don’t believe them because I think they are reading the information about me off a piece a paper.    

I wish I knew who that person was on the phone talking to me because maybe then I would feel a little better.  I know that I am fine even when everyone else tells me I’m not.  I don’t know that is happening other than I am scared and alone in my world.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Gettings things organized

 Yes, this seems to be one of my biggest challenges, and that is getting my planner organized and into a method that makes me happy.  I know that I have tried quite a few different planners that I purchased, but all of them seem to have something missing that I want in my own planner. 

Standard daily planners

I have tried the standard daily planners but that just doesn’t seem to work for me because my work isn’t based on a time in the day, it is based on getting things done that need to get done when they are needed to be done.

Blank books

I have turned blank bullet journals into my planners, but again they just didn’t seem to work for me. When I was sitting and looking at the last bullet journal that I used, one thing stood out to me about why I didn’t like it, and that was it wasn’t organized.  Yes, a bullet journal isn’t something that should be super organized as it is meant to capture tasks, ideas, etc.  For me, the bullet journal ended up being something that I just couldn’t seem to handle. 

For me a structure is something that I like, and now I am going to try another method and something that I tried to try last year, but it just didn’t work with everything else that was going on in the world and my own life.

Traveler’s Notebooks

When I first heard about these notebooks, I immediately thought of something very large, where you wrote about all your travels. Yes, it can be used to do just that, and I know that there are people that use this set-up to document places they have been and places they want to visit.  For me, it is a method of getting a little more organized and have things in sections. The purpose of a traveler’s notebook is to capture inspiration, ideas, thoughts, journals, and everything else.  Yes, the magic words for me are “and everything else.”

This summer I decided it was time to pull out the cover for my traveler’s notebook and start to set up my own version of what I wanted and now to see if it is going to work for me.  The first challenge was finding the books that I wanted to use for the inserts in my notebook.  I had made some in the past, but I have to admit that took a lot of time, and it started to get frustrating, so that just didn’t work. After some looking on various website for sizes and layout, I finally found what I wanted on Amazon.  I ended up purchasing the Coopay 24 Pack Journal Notebook Kraft Brown Cover Dot Grid Bullet Notebooks for Travelers A5 size. I compared a lot of things, and what I wanted was basically a standard letter size piece of paper folded in half.  That was the size of notebook that I was looking for, and the A5 was just that.

Once the books arrived, it was time to figure out what I wanted my traveler’s notebook to contain, and I ended up with five books in my cover.  To make a traveler’s notebook work, you need an odd number of inserts, so that is what I did.  Here is the list of the inserts that I have and the basic idea of each of the inserts:

  1. Notes – this captures all the quick notes and thoughts that I have.  I normally am writing down all those quick ideas that I have so that I can either get something done later or work on setting something up.
  2. Writing – here is the book that I normally use to capture the various blog ideas that I have.  I have more than one blog, so that means that I have lots of ideas and need a method of making sure that I can capture them when they occur.
  3. Calendar – this is a weekly calendar that I have set up and on one side of the page I note all the things that need to be done that week.  It is set up with each week day having its own block, and then the weekend is combined.  On the other side of the page, I work on documenting the accomplishments that I have made that week.  I find if I can note what I did, it makes me feel like I am making progress, even if it wasn’t something that had a deadline that week.
  4. Reference – this book is used to capture the things that aren’t going to have to be written too often such as the list of patterns that I have for cross stitch, the fabrics we have for our ETSY shop and items like that.
  5. Spare book – this book is available when I need it, and it is currently just empty and will see when it either gets its own name or when it is used because I have filled out one of the other books.

General thoughts

One of the biggest things that I have discovered through trying to figure out my planer is I am not alone in this journey.  There are so many people that are having problems finding what works best for them.  Being able to sit back and figure out what you want your planner or organizer to really be.  It will probably take a few tries to get something that might work for you, but you learn so much during this.

I know that I am still learning what works best for me, and that doesn’t bother me.  What I have learned is that I need the information that I need, and it is going to be different from another person. My notebook is always beside me at my desk and the calendar is open so that I can see what needs to be done and document what gets done.

A planner or organize needs to be something that works for you, and you have to first figure out what you want and then look to see if it is available and if not don’t be afraid to make your own.  My journal probably isn’t over yet, but I know that at least I have something that is working for me right now, and that is what is important.


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Where have I been?

As everyone knows that there has been a Pandemic that affected the entire world and yes in my little part of the world it has impacted us as well.  We are still around but have to admit things have changed so much over the last 16 months.

I am happy that we have been lucky enough to continue to work which is great and now to see when things start to get back to what everyone is calling the new normal.  We are slowly starting to have things open up here again in Ontario, but of course it is being done very slowly to ensure that we don’t have a 4th outbreak, but only time will tell.

One thing that is different now is how people interact with others, there are more and more meetups via the computer instead of the in-person meetups.  Also, some people that you saw in person have disappeared, and you don’t hear much from, but I guess that is how they are dealing with everything that is going on in the word.

I know that things will start to improve as long as we are all careful and remember to take care of ourselves and keep the social distance up where possible. It does feel good being able to get back out and at least do little things, so now to sit back and see when we are back to going to conferences and actually being able to stand next to someone else.  I know that it is going to take time for that to happen, but at least now hopefully things are getting better.

As I think here and think about the last 16 months, one thing that I can say is that I have learned a lot through this time.  I have spent some time working on various passions as well as learning other things, and I think that it has helped me handle all the time that we were at home and are still at home.  Deaths and illnesses in the family has also taught me a lot over this time, as I was spending time trying to understand the illnesses so that I could better deal with them.

Moving forward, I would like to get back to write more of my blogs, but I know it is going to take some time for that to come back. I also know that I have a lot of different thoughts that I want to write about, so now to slowly start to document things and maybe then the blogs will start to flow again.  Until then, I am still around, just taking some time to make sure I am doing everything that I need to do.