Why scheduling in my life is a mess without writing things down

Flora & Fauna.pngSo Husband and I are volunteers at a food pantry, and at some point, we were asked to sit at a table at a fair and tell people about volunteer opportunities at the pantry. We thought we’d be there anyway, and we were happy to do it, so I said yes. We were planning this a while in advance, but I assumed – so dangerous – that I would remember.

This just doesn’t work in the Messy Mapmaker household. Sometimes, I have a problem with making too many to-do lists, and sometimes I have a problem with making too many plans, but once in a blue moon, I remember why I tend to overcompensate with the documentation-of-the-future thing: because I forget! I let things slip out of my mind like a sieve, and honestly, Husband is even worse. He remembers things later than I do, so in practical situations, I am always the first line of remembering.

Except when I’m not; we were both feeling kinda “meh” on the day of the fair, and so we decided not to attend – if we’d remembered our commitment, we would have gone for sure, but because we’d assumed in the first place, we forgot how compellingly we needed to go. We only remembered an optional event, not a required-attendance commitment. We let down some friends (it wasn’t the end of the world), but what bummed me out was that I want to be reliable among my friends. I want to be a person who you know will show up.

And that’s why I’m redoubling my writing-it-down efforts: not just writing commitments down somewhere, but writing them all down in my planner (I will share about my planner soon; it’s amazing). That way, when I get that creeping feeling that I’m forgetting something, I can check and not be surprised. It’s so simple, to either make sure I write it on a piece of paper and transfer it later or immediately add it to the planner.

How do you make sure you don’t let others down when it comes to planning for the future? Share your best tips in the comments.

8 Comments, RSS

  1. peacefulpinesessentialoils September 13, 2017 @ 6:38 pm

    I thought I was the last person on earth that still uses an actual paper planner! I keep my planner on my nightstand, open to the next days page, so when I wake up in the morning I can check it and see what I have planned for that day. I wouldn’t get anything done if I didn’t do this.

  2. Growing for it September 13, 2017 @ 6:59 pm

    Too many of these experiences have lead me to become a planner fan as well. If I’ve made a verbal commitment I’ll sometimes ask the person to text me (or I’ll text myself) so I can either save a screenshot of the message or add it to my phone’s calendar. I like how you turned a lousy experience into a learning moment =)

  3. My Way Home Life September 14, 2017 @ 3:16 am

    I tend to be forgetful and MUST write things down as well, as soon as I think of them–such as shopping list items–or appointments, as soon as I make them. So I have a large monthly desk calendar on my office desk and write all appointments in the right day’s slot, as well as when to pay certain bills, attend kids’ practices and other meetings, etc. I like being able to see the entire month at a glance. For shopping list items, I keep a master list right by the calendar.

  4. beth September 14, 2017 @ 6:59 am

    Being a person who write everything down, I totally get this. I have a paper diary I carry around everywhere plus a to-do list that I keep in my work bag so that I have it at work, at the gym and at home. I’d be such a failure if I didn’t write things down. xx

  5. writegardener September 18, 2017 @ 12:03 am

    I also write things down (and have missed appointments when forgetting to check the day’s activities) but often have too much to accomplish in one day or fit on a written planner. I sync a smaller written planner (that I hand carry for appointments) with a month at a glance paper planner of appointments, and a master electronic spreadsheet of appointments and all To Dos. Adding new activities or reprioritizing is quicker this way than erasing or using white-out.

    In all actuality, you have probably joined the masses in being overloaded with tasks. It’s embarrassing to purchase concert tix, note it on the calendar and then not remember who the performer is. And similar to your experience, we signed up friends to volunteer at Christmas time only to have someone forget their time slot and throw off all of the following volunteers. We were not asked to help again. This certainly wasn’t our intention and we felt awful for being so unreliable. A lesson to be more cognizant for sure. And such is life.

  6. Downsizing Help September 18, 2017 @ 8:15 pm

    In our household we have double coverage for any event. My wife writes appointments on our kitchen calendar and I enter them into my Google Calendar. (That way I can see them on my phone or any other device. It also reminds me on the day/time.)

    For simple reminders that are not scheduled appointments, the “Reminders” app on an iPhone works well. For example, if a book is due at the library next Tuesday, I’ll enter it into the Reminders app under the category “Library”. I have also found this app useful for on-going downsizing with daily reminders to keep at it in bite-sized chunks.

    For more serious organization, you may want to consider the free Trello app, available at Trello.com. There are lots of on-line tutorials that show you how to use it.

    Remember, the first rocket to the moon didn’t travel in a straight line. If you traced its route, it would be a “messy map” too!

  7. thursdaysinphilly September 20, 2017 @ 12:49 pm

    Thanks so much for liking our blog Thursdaysinphilly.com! Love this post!!! It’s so nice to know that there are other folks who still use paper schedule books and to-do lists. I thought my mom and I were the only ones. My kids think it’s very embarrassing & old fashioned when I take out my schedule book in public, but electronic versions just don’t let me see the big picture (or give me the satisfaction of crossing things out).

  8. Jyothi September 27, 2017 @ 10:46 pm

    I can’t function without writing things down and having a list visible to me. There’s just too much going on during the day. Thank you for following my blog.

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