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organized chaos – my kind of headache

August 16, 2008

i am not a spread sheet type person. i’d like to be. but it’s just not in me. i make lists. then i forget about them. i try to retain things in my brain – but, that seems to only work 1/2 the time. im a simple person. i don’t stress easily and i take things in stride. i don’t like to get fussy over things and am rarely uptight. this isn’t about being tidy. i’m very tidy and organized – but i am horrible at to-do lists…appts, phone calls, emails, things like that.

so…i was wondering if any of you had some tips for me? what works for you?

55 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2008 10:58 pm

    Yeah, for me … everything has to be visible. Which means … I have multiple wipe-off things on the fridge. As well as magnetic paper. No system. No method. I just know if I have any hope at all, I have to see it. So … I guess you could say I’m a work in progress. I’m really a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. Organization doesn’t come very easily.

  2. August 16, 2008 11:00 pm

    Ahhh!! I got first comment! Did you know you have … 66 Google Reader subscribers? That’s competition!!

  3. August 16, 2008 11:52 pm

    We are totally soul sisters.

  4. August 17, 2008 4:16 am

    tam! thanks for this post. need the tips your readers will share as well. hehehehhehehe!

  5. August 17, 2008 4:18 am

    i think i’m worse. i’m organzed but not organized, if you know what i mean.

  6. August 17, 2008 4:41 am

    I am fairly well organized – it drives mama nuts! She is more like you. The first thing I would suggest is trying to keep things put away – when you lay something down, go back pick it up, start over and this time put it away. As this improves the other issues may start to fall in line, just a thought. Love you – see you before too long.

  7. August 17, 2008 4:52 am

    you are very organised in your home..I have seent that…as for the other things..I totally stink at keeping up with my calls..etc…i only do well when I schedule things..but then I can’t remember where I put the schedule!

  8. LSOF permalink
    August 17, 2008 5:29 am

    Okay well, I have no organization skills, and chaos…so here’s my question..
    how to I chaos organize?

  9. Jim2 permalink
    August 17, 2008 5:40 am

    It may not work for everyone, but I have found 3M’s Post-it program to be a lifesaver. I spend a good amount of time on the computer and have a boocoodle of things that have to be done the same time every week and 100’s of (business) birthdays to keep track of – so having that little alarm pop up really simplifies my life. It’s not a cure-all, but just knowing that all those picky details will definitely be covered takes a lot of pressure off so that I can focus on more important things. Alarms can be set to repeat or just be one time reminders – and you can snooze them, too!

  10. August 17, 2008 5:53 am

    As long as your family is happy and you don’t forget to blog…I don’t really see what the problem is! LOL

    Lost lists are just God’s way of saying you didn’t need to do that stuff anyway. Hee hee.

  11. August 17, 2008 5:59 am

    I’m with you Tam…I’m so bad that people don’t get angry/upset if I don’t call them back. I’m the type of guy where you have to call me…I don’t call you….its bad, I know, and only applies to my personal life for some reason. At work, I’m the man at follow ups…if you can actually be “the man” at follow ups…that’s a bit weird, isn’t it…

  12. August 17, 2008 6:01 am

    I forgot to provide a tip….

    Get your hubby to buy you one of these –

  13. August 17, 2008 6:29 am

    Hey Tam;

    For one, try to add the reminders both to your cell phone and outlook calendar (if you use outlook).

    My phone will actually beep its way dead until I dismiss the darn reminder.

    This my sound crazy but I have left myself voicemails for those dates or appts I HAVE to keep.

    Keeping a to do list is sufficating for me. So what I also have done in the past is do a weekly done list.

    This way when I look at it I feel that I have accomplished everything that I had intended.


  14. August 17, 2008 7:07 am

    See… that spreadsheet stuff just gives me a tummy ache. My husband is(was) organized like that, but the poor guy married me. I used to be able to keep it all in my head. Now it falls out. 😦

    CJ… i want a Sven!

  15. August 17, 2008 8:37 am

    As much as I abhor endorsing anything Microsoft spits out, I would actually recommend Outlook. I have horrible memory (see this post) and have to rely on Outlook to “remember things for me.” When I have a list of things to get done, I use the ‘Task’ feature of Outlook to manage them. For each task, I can add a ‘due date’, ‘reminders’ (which flash at you at a predetermined time/date while you have Outlook open), and can even group my to-do items within categories (i.e. ‘personal’, ‘work-related’, etc.). The beauty of this is that once I’ve gotten the task entered in Outlook, it’s no longer swimming in my head, and I’m no longer having to stress about remembering it or possibly forgetting about it. (This is probably why my memory stinks…but I get things done. :))

  16. August 17, 2008 9:45 am

    i guess I missed the tidy and organized part! best advice? Hire a personal assistant! I usually just sit down and take a little time to put that “stuff” in order and return the calls.

  17. August 17, 2008 9:52 am

    ugh. I am horrible at being organized. And tidy. Horrible. I should be a man. 😯 Well, not really. 😆

    Sorry, NO advice here.

  18. August 17, 2008 10:31 am

    For housework I use Simple, quick, effective.

    I don’t return phone calls. Instead I ask everyone to communicate w/ me via email. I check those first thing in the morning, at lunch, while dinner is cooking & before bed. I go through & delete all those that need deleting. File those that fit under certain categories & then return ANY that need a response. It takes about 5 minutes each time. But I really only get maybe 50 a day to tend to.

    Nothing ground breaking here, just quick & easy.

  19. August 17, 2008 11:45 am


  20. August 17, 2008 1:31 pm

    Well, my husband is much like this, but this advice actually could work for anyone. Make your lists of to dos then prioritize them, you can even do this in your head. Then only focus on number one until it is done.

    Yes number 2 and so on are important, but the truth is most people try to do a number of things and never really do them well or get them done. I am a simple person to, although I get stressed, so this system works for me because I know I made my list but all I have to remember is the one I am working on for the moment.

    Everyone I have told this to and actually implemented it has done the things they set to do and really made great changes.

  21. August 17, 2008 1:43 pm

    hey. this might be over the top for you, but you can add “remember-the-milk” to your gmail account, and it’s like an internal to-do list to the side of your email. tell brent to hook you up.

    and if that doesn’t work, you can always just write it all on the back of your hand i like i do!

  22. August 17, 2008 2:04 pm

    ok. home from a long, but glorious, weekend at church!

    im like annie, fly by the seat of my pants. and i seem to think that works for me. but it has proven to have some holes in it. my personality, in my own personal “structure” is to just go with it. then…i realize how much i need to attend to, and i try to tackle everything at once but none of it really gets my full attention and ultimately remains unfinished or unacceptable. which is super uncool in my book. my life should poor out more than that if what i do i do for Him.

    i do have a calendar in my entourage program i have used a couple times last week. it was helpful. maybe i need to pick a night a week where the family gives me their schedules, i take mine, input it in the calendar do-hickey thingy and see what happens.

    eerrrr…just more work.

    im gonna read through all your comments again…and again…cuz im procrastinating doing laundry (which is ALWAYS on my “to-do” list!!)

    you all make me smile!

  23. August 17, 2008 2:16 pm

    doesn’t seem to me that you need any tips, you seem to make it work, and that’s what matters!

    if you want to improve on anything, i am sure the iphone could do it for you. let brent know that i think that is the solution to any problem you might have. if he’s feeling generous, tell him i have the same problem and could also use one! 🙂

  24. August 17, 2008 2:23 pm

    brandi – YES! thats it! i will get him over here to read comment #23, STAT!

  25. August 17, 2008 2:27 pm

    Cool! So right now we all need to dig deep into our pockets and donate to the Tam & Brandi iPhone fund. Email me to start the fund.


  26. August 17, 2008 4:49 pm

    Do you take credit cards or would you rather I just send a signed blank check?????

  27. TheNorEaster permalink
    August 17, 2008 4:53 pm

    Umm…an iPhone can “improve anything…?”

    What do those things DO anyway?!?!

  28. Heidi permalink
    August 17, 2008 5:08 pm

    Hey… I have 4 loads for you to do here!!!

    HMMM…. YOU HERE and Me here… no laundry would EVER get done!!!

    I’ll just do it myself (pouting)) .

    Where in the bible does it say, we have to be organized or do laundry??

    I write on my hand alot!!!

    Honestly and seriously, I use my outlook all the time, I have a spiral notebook anywhere I go. Since my stroke, I tend to forget simple things like taking out the meatloaf. But I remember a face from a zillion years ago… can’t figure…
    so a spiral or 3X5 cards, or post it’s are from GOD!!

    Don’t stress… turn on your phone… and do your laundry!!! 🙂

    love you!!!

  29. oneDirection permalink
    August 17, 2008 5:18 pm

    I would see you as one of the most organized people I know! I love sticky’s too, but I hate how they don’t stay sticked, so I download this add-on thing for my computer that I can add sticky’s to the desktop, it has done wonders. Other then that, I think making a list still benefits you because it helps for it to be stuck in your brain, that way if you forget the list, the memory of writing everything down is still there! Speaking from someone who has OCD!

  30. August 17, 2008 5:29 pm

    sticky notes or a franklin covey is my life….or carry a tinnny little note pad around with you…one that’s cute and girly so that it won’t seem so stuffy like being organized. Use your girly book to make your lists to run by for the day.

    And put on it: Call Kim! 🙂

  31. August 17, 2008 6:04 pm

    Papa, go ahead and send cash 🙂

  32. TheNorEaster permalink
    August 17, 2008 6:33 pm

    I use Post-It notes, notepads, notebooks, and pretty much any piece of scrap paper that I can get my hands on to remember what I need to do. It works wonders because once I write something down and stick it by the door, I don’t have to keep it in my head anymore…

    …and it’s pretty crowded in there as it is. 😕

  33. August 17, 2008 9:14 pm


  34. August 17, 2008 9:14 pm

    i am

  35. August 17, 2008 9:14 pm


  36. August 17, 2008 9:14 pm


  37. August 17, 2008 9:14 pm


  38. August 17, 2008 9:15 pm

    is about time

  39. August 17, 2008 9:15 pm

    for me to

  40. August 17, 2008 9:15 pm

    dare i say it…..

  41. August 17, 2008 9:15 pm


  42. August 17, 2008 9:16 pm


  43. August 17, 2008 9:16 pm

    your bloggg hear

  44. August 17, 2008 9:16 pm


  45. August 17, 2008 9:16 pm

    ok TALL

  46. August 17, 2008 9:16 pm


    hostile comment take-over from my sweet trinalove!!!!

    ok…you have officially made my day!!!

    i love you!!!!

  47. August 17, 2008 9:17 pm

    Misssssss TAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. August 17, 2008 9:17 pm

    oops. did i interrupt something 😀

  49. August 17, 2008 9:17 pm

    hahahahaha awe i have been caught in the prosses of hi-jacking……… 🙂

  50. August 17, 2008 9:18 pm


  51. August 17, 2008 9:18 pm

    i think the evidence is all there for ya! lol

  52. August 17, 2008 9:19 pm

    next timeeeee 😉

  53. August 17, 2008 9:19 pm

    now that ive got you here….do you have any organizing tips for me? or dare i ask??? 😉

  54. August 17, 2008 9:22 pm

    ah-ha! – just as i thought 😆

  55. August 18, 2008 1:59 pm

    I use things like Jott ( where you can call from your phone and add an item, then they’ll email you a reminder. There’s also a thing called Sandy ( that will send you an email each morning of all the things you need to do that day. It works well for me because I don’t always look at my calendar or see notes that I leave myself, but I do check my email multiple times a day.

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