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Flyladies and Flybabies
Control Journals 
11th-Jun-2011 11:17 am
Control Journals: How do you use them?

One of the things that I always half heartedly tried with Flylady was a control journal. The one I have now has a lot of good information in it; insurance information, car information, emergency numbers, etc. However, I've found that it just seems too bulky for every day use. I know, flipping through a binder is TOTALLY HARD, but, really. I'm like electricity; I take the shortest route to get things done.

I checked this comm for a few ideas and read that one flybaby has her routines taped up on the inside of her kitchen cabinets. I might wind up going that route. But, it's been about a year since this topic was last discussed on this comm, so, tell me: how are your control journals working out for you? What do you use? What do you like or dislike about it?

Though, speaking of Control Journals, Happy 2011 Hurricane season! Don't forget to update your evacuation plans and supplies.
11th-Jun-2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
Maybe you need two seperate control journals? One with the reference information like insurance and car info that you use occasionally, and one with only the day to day stuff. I kind of have been finding the same thing, that most of the info in my control journal I don't use frequently, and its getting too fat and full...so I've been meaning to pull out the stuff I actually refer to often and make a second binder, but I haven't gotten around to that, yet...been working on trying to get the hotspots under control and stuff first
12th-Jun-2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
That's probably the best idea. And it has bonus points for letting me buy a cute little binder to put the daily routines in! I love me some office supplies.
11th-Jun-2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
Like the previous poster, I kind of have two.

The first is a large folder like the OIB (but not the OIB, shipping worked out too high for the UK) with important documents, contracts, receipts for major purchases, passports etc. and also supplies like stamps, envelopes and an assortment of birthday cards.

The other is a detailed task list and a set of notes on my smartphone (I use Google Tasks, Cozi just didn't work out for me though I intend to check it out again to see if it's a better fit once it's been developed a bit more). As my smartphone automatically synchs to my Google account and hence to my laptop, I'm in no real danger of losing any information and it's always all up to date.
12th-Jun-2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
I can't say I was a huge Cozi fan, either. I tried it before Flylady started touting it and I think it would have been okay for just me, but, I was trying to keep a calender for three other people at the time.

Keeping an assortment of cards onhand is a really good idea. Even though I use a physical callendar, I invariably forget to buy birthday cards for someone about once a month.
11th-Jun-2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
The big binder was also too awkward for me, but I had been using a Daytimer planner for years that went with me everywhere. I would always have it open wherever I was working because without a visual reminder I could never remember what I was supposed to be doing.

So I changed my Daytimer from a spiral-bound pocket size to the 5x8 2-page per day loose-leaf, and put all my routines and lists in the back. By making my own pages in Word, I could get a lot of info in without too much bulk.

My best idea was the "Today" page. It was a tabbed page that I would move every morning to the current date in the daily calendar pages. On the "Today" page opposite the appointment/to-do side of the current date, I had my daily routines: Morning, Afternoon, and Evening. The kicker is that this page was inside a page protector (cut-down an 8x11 and punched new holes) and thus I could use a dry-erase marker to cross off the items as I did them. This made for a lot less thinking because I could see at one glance what was left on either my daily routines or my PODA (Parade of Daily Adventures).

I used this system for YEARS until I had followed my routines for so long I had finally internalized them. Even so, I would still often need a reboot of one kind or another.

NOW, I have my *SHINY*. It is an iPod Touch (iPhone w/out the phone). Here are the apps I use to replicate my control journal:

* HomeRoutine, which is designed to work with FlyLady and is FABULOUS. It has customizable Zones and everything.
* The built-in clock/alarm app
* Google calendar and Gmail address book synced up with built-in calendar/address book
* Due
* Mobilenoter, which syncs up with Office's OneNote on my PC.
I keep TONS of info in Mobilenoter:
"Getting Things Done" style context lists
"Getting Things Done" style trusted "capture" system
FlyLady checklists/directions/etc
exercise routine
book/movie lists
Homeschooling lesson plans/info

Goodbye, bulky Control Journal; Hello, everything I ever need to know in the palm of my hand. And it BEEPS to remind me when I need to do something. Basically, it reminds me even when I've forgotten to check it, which my binder never did. ;P

12th-Jun-2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
Wow. All that sounds just amazing.

I wonder if there's something like HomeRoutine for a regular PC. It sounds like a really nifty program. I'm so far behind the technology curve at the moment, my cell phone doesn't even have a data plan. It is just so amazing that you have so much info at your fingers! Having the recipes on your iPod touch must really make grocery shopping easier.
11th-Jun-2011 11:58 pm (UTC)
Ditto to the two-book version -- something to travel with, and a "home reference". And I'm putting a lot into my email account's to-do calendar. Cozi doesn't work at work because of the overly enthusiastic corporate firewall, and I'm not having much fun with it at home because I'm on a Linux box with scripts locked down tighter than Fort Knox. (That's what I get for marrying a computer guy, I guess.)

Must I'm not great with this. I restart periodically, and each time I seem to do better about routines, but then I flop on something else. It made a huge difference for me when I started carrying a calendar and a tiny notebook like when I was in college... it worked then, I don't know why I gave it up. One problem is remembering to transfer everything to the main calendar in the kitchen.
12th-Jun-2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
I've all ready threatened hubby with the death penalty if he takes the control journal out of the house. Having so much info in one place is comforting and scary at the same time.

12th-Jun-2011 04:00 am (UTC)
We have basically nothing but a record of our household bills in there right now, because we're just starting it and needed a way to track bill paying when we both travel constantly and are just now combining our accounts. I think next month we may add a family address book or something... I've embraced that neither of us are ever going to stick to routines for long, with our work schedules it just doesn't happen. Crisis cleaning is much more par for the course.

& Lowe's has pre-made hurricane kits in backpacks, duffel bags, and buckets if you you don't want to piecemeal your kit together. You need to order them off the website, though.
12th-Jun-2011 11:48 pm (UTC)
Same here with Crisis Cleaning. But, doing something is better than doing nothing, I guess.
13th-Jun-2011 11:29 am (UTC)
I have a control journal, but I hardly ever have to use it. I use my phone for routines. Nothing fancy, just a checklist app, one checklist for each routine. Before I got that, I had an extra routine page in my day planner.

Adapt, adapt, adapt!
15th-Jun-2011 01:34 pm (UTC) - Try a Photo Album
Try a 4x6 photo album.

Write your routines, zones, inspirational quotes, and important #s on 4x6 index cards (unlined side so you can do it portrait rather than landscape).

Then slip the index cards in the photo album pages.

Add a post-it flag to each page so you can easily flip to what you want.

Lay it on your kitchen counter. Don't carry it with you. Since it is only 4x6, it doesn't take up much room.

Use a dry-erase marker to cross of things you've done if that is helpful. Wipe clean.
15th-Jun-2011 01:45 pm (UTC) - Re: Try a Photo Album
Now that's a great idea! Thank you!
18th-Jun-2011 03:36 am (UTC)
I have a household notebook that hasn't been updated in 3 years - the family address list is still accurate though. Half of it is holiday-planning type stuff that I look through when I get an inkling but don't actually use.

At some point I realized that the binder idea wasn't working for me (Loving the 3x5 photo album idea though) What I have now is index cards... a la SHE cards, only without following all the rules. I have the cards divided into those that I have to do, and those that anyone can do (meaning the 4 and 5 year old can help). So, each of them picks a card from their stack, and I get one from mine. We all work on theirs together, and then they play while I do mine. For example, on a vacuuming card, they pick up the room(s) that needs it while I get out the vacuum and work towards them. I have to set a time limit on some of my cards (like paperwork/finances/menu planning) to keep things moving along. In only use the cards when the boys are involved, and I go through the once-a-quarter/year cards before we get started to see if any of them apply. The boys still talk about the day that we got out the ladder and they helped me change all the burnt-out light bulbs!

My routine isn't written down, I guess - it involves laundry, kitchen and bathrooms; leaving everything else until it I binge-clean. That amounts to: one load of laundry a day (started before work, dried right after work, folded and put away right before bed), kitchen duty every night (load the dish washer and wash the rest by hand every night after dinner, empty the dishwasher while planning or cooking dinner right after work), bathrooms once a week (during the boys' bath). Binge-clean refers to everything from cleaning the kitchen/dining room floor and wiping down the cupboards to spending fifteen minutes on a hotspot. It is not planned well enough to qualify as Zone work!

I actually had a binge-clean on the kitchen counter on Wednesday. The 4yo played by himself with the 8 dice that came out of the medicine box for two hours! Other positive result was my revelation that the envelopes can and should be kept in the kitchen with the stamps and address labels (instead of upstairs in a file drawer with blank paper and stationary). Wow.

But now I'm way off topic. The other thing I use is a Palm Zire for my grocery list. Because the Palm case doubles as my wallet I no longer forget my list when I'm going to the store. The calendar in there beeps at me 7 days ahead when there is a birthday or anniversary coming up. I keep my husband's work schedule in there, and the neighbors' phone numbers. I don't have a data plan for my very-basic cell phone, and it isn't attached to my hip like my Palm!
5th-Jul-2011 06:46 pm (UTC) - My Control Journal
I recommend doing exactly what FlyLady says...I've made my control journal fit my needs. I'm a combat veteran with both PTSD and TBI which poses additional challenges in daily life. My control journal includes reminding myself of the littlest things like eating...no kidding...I forget if I've eaten or not. I've put my control journal into a booklet format using regular sized printer paper. I laminated it and stapled it down the center fold. Now I have all of my routines in one location, slips easily into my purse and doesn't take up much room on the counter. Oh and my hubby has all of the important info in a separate location; I don't touch it...I would most probably forget where I put it. :)
5th-Jul-2011 06:55 pm (UTC) - Re: My Control Journal
Thank you for your service and you have my best wishes.
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