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Pastiche Family Portal HomeGet Organized with Lists and Planning Calendars

If you're always busy like me, you have dozens of things to keep track of and remember from day to day and season to season. I've always created lists and worksheets to organize my schedule and busy life. I'm constantly making a list - I make lists for shopping, tracking appointments, scheduling upcoming events and planning tasks to complete in the upcoming season.

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When I was a busy career women with two teenagers at home, I used a Franklin Planner System to schedule business meetings, appointments and all the various family dates and personal tasks I needed to track in our hectic schedules. Moving on to the 21st century, I use a combination of apps on my phone and paper checklists to stay on track of appointments and shopping.

I used wedding planner software to help set up my wedding. My daughter also used it to organize her wedding, reception and honeymoon. I moved 13 times in 15 years, so I relied on moving planners and checklists to help keep track of what to sell, what to move, address changes and utility service arrangements.

I'm a work at home grandmother now, and I still rely on planner books, checklists and calendars to keep my life organized and to set personal goals.

I plan trips to visit out of state family members weeks and months in advance; those activities also require their own set of lists to set up pet care, home and garden maintenance and the myriad number of things that need to be taken care of while I'm not at home as well as reminders for those places and people I want to make sure I see while I'm on vacation.

Recently I started to use both printable planning lists and electronic checklists to help myself stay on track, and to also use as a reference from season to season or year to year to plan ahead for upcoming tasks, events and expenses. I use handy organizer apps for my portable devices and laptop computer to set reminders and keep track of tasks, expenses and upcoming events.

I faithfully carry my shopping lists and cross off items as I purchase them. I carry a small calendar in my bag to keep track of upcoming appointments, birthdays and holidays. I even have two separate spring and fall cleanup lists: one for inside the house and one for the garden tasks. I have a lovely garden planner where I record information about plants and birds from season to season, year after year.

Along with my love for making lists, I've discovered or designed a treasure trove of printable lists and helpful organizers to help me stay on track.

Here are just a few of the favorite checklists and worksheets I use for keeping my life organized and on track:

  • Household cleaning tasks
  • Garden chore schedules
  • General to do lists
  • Grocery lists
  • Harware lists
  • Appliance service lists
  • Party planners
  • Wedding planner
  • Gift lists and records
  • Birthday calendars
  • Immunization charts
  • Appointment lists
  • Auto care lists
  • Pet care lists
  • Packing lists (travel)
  • Moving checklists
  • Future lists / Bucket lists
  • Personal goals lists

It's easy to design a checklist for your own personal needs. You can use graph paper or regular paper, or design one using a word processing program or spreadsheet software.

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The simplest checklists I've created are just drawn up with pen and ruler on a sheet of three-hole binder paper. I mark off columns to describe the task, then add columns for when it needs to be done, check boxes for completion, and a column area to make notes. I file my master checklists in a three-ring binder and use a photo copy machine or scanner to print them. I make my most frequently used lists into PDFs so I can print them as often as needed.

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