Guest Guru: bneato – Remembering Events
By Beth Ziegler of bneato.com
We’ve all been there (or at least I have). We have a sneaking suspicion we’ve left the house and forgotten something. Was it our sunglasses, an important list, or a pack of gum…? Nope, we have all those items. Then we get a phone call with someone on the other end confirming our worst fear: “Where are you? You were supposed to be here an hour ago with the ice!” Talk about stress-inducing words. With all the events and digital invites we get these days, it’s no wonder we lose track and forget to show up. There’s Evite, Paperless Post, Ping, Facebook, email (and don’t forget, we still get invites in the mail). So it’s super important to have some systems in place so you won’t be left wondering, “How the heck did I forget?!”
Keep One Calendar
It’s usually the case that my clients are keeping more than one record of an event on multiple calendars at the home office. And while this may seem like a good idea at the outset, it can actually hinder our attempts at organization. If you’re in the habit of keeping multiple calendars, every time you get an invite or important event to remember, you’ll have to update each individual calendar. And when you go to check one or more of your date books, an event is bound to slip through the cracks. At home, I like to keep a digital calendar and add important items all in one spot (just make sure to consistently sync your phone’s calendar). This helps me avoid the dreaded double booking (almost as frustrating as missing an event altogether).
Write it down
You’d be amazed at how many folks rely on their memory to remember an important date or event. You’ll never find me doing this—ever. I’m never found without my one notebook (for to-do’s and client notes) or my trusty Blackberry. And if I don’t have my notebook on hand to jot down an important tid-bit, I’ll simply send myself an email. This guarantees that the note is waiting for me when I get back to the home office (love)!
I live and die by Google notifications (and so do all my Facebook friends). When I polled folks for this article, I got a resounding “I use my Google Calendar” to notify myself of important events. Easy to set up, plus you can choose to receive your reminders as an Email, a text message—or both.
My friend Heather reminded me of iCal’s cool subscriptions feature where you can download a holiday schedule, your favorite sports team, or EVEN create and share your own birthday calendar with family and friends. I use iCal Share, which has plenty of calendars and categories to choose from. You’ll never forget a family birthday again!
When email reminders and calendars aren’t enough, I say go visual! A chalkboard, corkboard or magnetic wall has saved my sanity countless times. If you create one of these spots in the home, make sure it’s in a high traffic area. For example, we have a giant chalkboard wall in the kitchen where we can hang invites or write down important events for all to see. We regularly update our wall to prevent chaos and ensure easy navigation. If a display wall is too showy for your taste, try creating an active file to store your invites. But don’t forget to also write these events in your calendar—the more visual you get, the more reliable your system!
Author Beth Zeigler
Beth Zeigler is a Professional Organizer and a regular contributor to Apartment Therapy, Los Angeles. Her blog may be found at bneato.blogspot.com.