Welcome to the central brain of my house (otherwise known as the left side of the office). I thought I'd give ya'll a peek inside. I get the "how in the world do you do it?" question on practically an hourly basis, so… figured I'd share some things that have worked for me along the way- maybe it will help someone else out. But please, please, don't think for a hot minute I am saying this is the only way to do things- this is just what I have found works for me and my family.
I think this is pretty self-explanatory, but from left to right, you see my "to-do" whiteboard, some scrap supplies (white cabinet), some reference books (magazine holders from IKEA), my drying wire (also IKEA), my bulletin strip (with a bunch of cards and things from my Happy Mail girls), a current project I am designing/proofing (the printouts over the desk), and on my desk, my household notebook.
Today I thought I'd focus on my "to-do" board. It's named that for lack of a better description, really. But since James, my husband, is very visual, this helps him "see" what is going on. I transfer to this out of my household notebook (more on that later) and our Google calendars. It's broken into six different sections. On the business side of the board, there is Current Earnings (kept by quarter), Current Projects (usually the three biggest ones, in order of importance (or labor intensive, depending on what the project is and for which business), Integrity Solutions (my husband's computer work, and all of his requisite "to-do's"), Memoria.Arts (my graphic design/photography business and all of its tasks). On the household side, there is a list tracking James' school assignments, a list of current household chores and or projects (usually big, non-chore related projects that take more than a few days) and a "to purchase" list.
I won't dwell on the business side of the house to long, but I'll throw a few things out there. One, the current earnings. It may seem strange to have this on the board, but it helps in a myriad of ways for us:1) We can see how much is coming in at a glance, and this encourages to try harder/do more/make one more phone call, etc. 2) We can see the fluctuations over a three month period, and 3) It makes filing quarterly sales/income tax a breeze. Our "Current Projects" help us keep focused on the 'big fishes' as small business owners (it is so easy to get distracted!) Having a to-do list up visually also helps us to "see" what is going on in a week.
On the household side, we have James' school assignments (He's finishing up his BS in Computer Science, and is a full-time student). We also have a "to purchase" list: most recently, that listed clothes that my kids needed for spring and summer and a car seat for David. We do this to avoid impulse buying. If we run across things (non-grocery related) that we need/want, we write it up on the list. We can then plan for the purchases, discuss them (the wants) and eventually get the purchases at the most cost-effective place (which, increasingly, is online).
I think the best thing about the board is that it gives a fast and dirty glance at our week- James and I both can see how things are going, what we need to focus on, and what each other is doing, where the house is at. We've had this in place for about three or four months now, and our whole work/home/family life is running a lot smoother.
Tomorrow, I'll give you a peek at my household notebook.