Kohl says that keeping a checklist enables your mind to be in the moment with your children and that the key is to find the type of checklist that works best for you and your family. There are a variety of ways to keep your tasks in order, and what works for you may not work for someone else.
My personal favorite way to keep my list is to work from whatever scrap of paper is handy, and then tape the ripped sheets of paper all over my kitchen cabinets. Rarely is my cabinet free from notes, reminders, and grocery lists, and it's certainly not a decorative display, but you can bet I rarely forget anything.
You may keep your list on the family calendar, or carry a spiral notebook with an ongoing list of things to do. Others choose the more technical ways of keeping track of appointments, grocery lists, and phone numbers by keeping their lists in their Blackberries or iPhones. Still others admit that the most important things to remember get written on their hands.
These suggestions may help to streamline your process and organize your time so you can accomplish all those tedious chores that must be taken care of each day.
Doreen Fera, mother of two in Turnersville, New Jersey, calls her list system a "catch-all list that reads like a maniac wrote it." She uses whatever bound book she has handy and says it has no categories and is just a stream of consciousness. "I cross things off as I do them, and boy, do I love doing that!" Fera says the biggest advantage to her catch-all list is that she never forgets what needs to be done. "Having a list doesn't mean it gets done, but I rarely forget it's out there!"
Diane Seltzer, an attorney and mom of two from Bethesda, Maryland, admits she is a "total organization freak," and that her husband affectionately refers to her as the Office Manager in their home. She had a calendar for work-related appointments and a separate planner for family activities. When she realized she was scheduling depositions when her son had dentist appointments, she knew she had to simplify her system. Now she uses her Handspring Visor to list and keep track of all her appointments, phone numbers, and contact information. "No matter where I am, I know where I have to be on a given date, and I never have the problem of not having a mom's, doctor's, or client's phone number with me," said Seltzer, who also keeps her to-do list in her Visor. "Every brilliant thought, from 'buy a dehumidifier' to 'revise wills' is on that list," says Seltzer.
Tiffany Brueggemann, of Temple City, California, makes lists for everything she needs to do and admits she has several methods to her madness. She keeps a calendar on the computer, uses a PDA, and also writes notes on Post-Its, which she then tapes to her cell phone. "Oh, and the important things I have to remember I write on my hand," she says. For Brueggemann, writing everything down helps keep her life in order. "Even if I don't look at that list again, writing it down does help me remember what I need to do." And about writing things to remember on her hand, she adds, "People always laugh at me, but it works!"