The New Year Planners

Since the New Year is just around the corner, for some people, they already know that the new year is going to be eventful and they need to stay organized and ready for anything that comes their way. For those that are, say planning a wedding, going back to school, or even beginning to think about starting up that new business. It is always important to stay organized and keep everything in order, because sometimes if one thing goes wrong it could have a spiraling effect.

The first thing I did for the new year was get a New Planner! I am one of those people that have to have a planner; I have had one since my middle school days and have not had a year without one since. I love my planner,  I love that I can flip it open when I am scheduling an appointment and know when the perfect time is. This helps me with my time management for all the different things that I have going on.

Many people find having a planner almost more difficult because “it is just another thing to keep organized” and that is fine that some people feel that way, but in all honesty that is now how they are supposed to feel. They are supposed to help free up the space in your brain where you are mentally keeping that schedule. Now picking the correct planner can have a huge effect.

There are a couple of to keep in mind when deciding on a planner to use:

  1. What is the level of detail that you want the planner to have? Do you want it to have multiple days on a single page, or do you need each page to be broken out by every hour for a single day?
  2. The size; how large do you need the planner to be? Do you want it to be small and compact, or do you like it to be the standard size of paper and have more room to write notes and other tidbits?

There are many different types of planners out there in the word, and it has taken me some time to discover which style work the best for me. I find that having a style with a full day on a single page broken out by the hour works the best. I will right when the appointment starts and will block out the amount of time that I believe the appointment will take. That way I have a better idea on scheduling my next appointment. I have used this to my benefit, because if I schedule something from 11:00- 12:00, and then go to schedule my next appointment I will try not to schedule anything before 1:00. The reason I do this is I want to give myself some extra time in case the appointment runs a little longer than expected, or I need to run a quite errand. I also want to have enough time to travel to the next appointment, if traffic is crazy or I get lost finding the location, I still have plenty of time and will not be late.

Now although this style of planner and scheduling format works well for me it does not mean it will work for you. I would do a little research, block out some time where you can go to your nearest office supplies store and just start looking through them, each one has its own unique page layout, size, and even color. This past year I tried to down size to a smaller planner because it fit better in my purse, unfortunately this did not work well for me, I have big handwriting and found myself writing on all of the margins and it just was messy, so I had to go back to a standard size. Although it is slightly more difficult to carry around (that in, it does not fit in my current purse), I have found it to better fit my needs. So when you find a style of planner that you think will work, and it turns out it does not, please do not hesitate to go back and buy a different planner. The nice thing about planners these days is no matter what time of the year you can always find a year round planner, so it will not feel like such a waste of money.

Now some of you may not even really need a planner but merely just a calendar. I have seen this system work for many people, my dad in particular. His level of detail is not near as extensive as mine, so he keeps a fairly large calendar on his desk that he writes simple notes on to keep track of his schedule, and he is a professional abbreviator. There are many times I can look as his calendar and have no idea what half of it says, but he knows what each abbreviation is, and this system suites him very well. So as I said before just because a system may work for someone else does not mean the system works for you, it is important do decide what your needs are and find a system that meets those needs.

 

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Wedding Coordinating

cropped-logo1.jpg  One of my favorite parts of organizing is Wedding Coordinating! I love seeing so many different things come together for a wonderful event.

Wedding Coordinating steps:

1. Schedule a coordinator at least three weeks in advance.

The reason three weeks is the minimum for scheduling is because there needs to be adequate time frame to go over all the details between you and your coordinator. Make itineraries for the Family, Wedding Party, the Bride/Groom, and a more extensive version for the coordinator.

2. Have meeting with coordinator to go over there list of details.

By having a meeting with your coordinator early will make the entire process faster, and easier on you. Of course during your meeting you may not always get through all the details so it is important to have open line of communication between you and your coordinator, whether it be via email, phone, or even texting. Just one detail that the coordinator is waiting to hear from you could instantly begin to put your organizer behind schedule.

3. Work with coordinator to make a list of contacts and itineraries.

The list of contacts if very important for your coordinator, and this needs to be completed no later than one week before the wedding. Typically the organizer will call each of the contacts to ensure that they know when and where to be and let them know that from that point on, they are the point of contact for any questions or concerns.

The itineraries need to be complete and sent to the appropriate parties with enough time to get any questions or concerns taken care of before the day of the wedding, typically one week before. Itineraries are a very important part of making a wedding run smoothly, not only does your wedding party need to know where to be but all family members need to know when they are needed. One key part to itineraries, that people often forget, is address of all the locations, not only is this very helpful for friends or relatives that are from out of town and unfamiliar with the location.

4. Let myself worry about the rest.

The rest of the work is up to the coordinator, now is the time for the Bride, and mother of the Bride can sit back, relax, and enjoy the celebration.

 

Below are a few snap shots from weddings I have coordinated.

Photo’s Complimentary of Fern Photography of Great Falls, Montana.

Photo done by Fern Photography out of Great Falls Montana.

Luwe Wedding, 2014, Great Falls, Montana

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Liggett Wedding 2014, Great Falls, Montana10608757_950392981654205_1881696767598100217_o

What is a Professional Organizer?

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The number one question that I get asked is “What is a professional organizer?”

Professional Organizers are really a jack-of-all-trades, and what you need done may change professional organizer you hire. Each organizer has a main area of focus and specialty areas. I would like to give you a definition of a Professional Organizer, and the best definition I have is from NAPO.

“Professional organizers use tested principles and expertise to enhance the lives of clients. By designing custom organizing systems and teaching organizing skills, they help individuals and businesses take control of their surroundings, their time, their paper piles, their lives! An organizer’s services can range from designing an efficient closet to organizing a cross-country move. For homeowners, he or she might offer room-by-room space planning and reorganization, estate organization, improved management of paperwork and computer files, systems for managing personal finances and other records, and/or coaching in time-management and goal-setting. In business settings, an organizing pro can increase productivity and profitability with improvements in paper-filing and storage, electronic organizing, work-flow systems, employee time-management, space design, and more. Some professional organizers work with specific populations, such as those with Attention Deficit Disorder, the chronically disorganized, children, seniors or students.” ( http://www.napo.net/our_profession/about_professional_organizers.aspx)

I focus on several different areas such as: Wedding Coordinating, Commercial filing systems, full Residential organizing and much more. I often work with clients on a hands on basis during which the client and I work directly with on another, which is the most common and most efficient. I can also work on the main area based on consultation. Additionaly I provide consultations where the client completes the work based on a system I have put together to support their specific needs. Being a member of NAPO I have a large amount of knowledge at the tip of my fingers from other Professional Organizers in my area as well as great information for Certified Professional Organizers (CPO). If I do not have an immediate answer for a particular organizing project or question, I can generally use this resource to find the many different options.

I love organizing and am happy to help those who may not love it as much as myself.

Please Contact with any questions.

Thanks, Jillian Duffey

Professional Organizer