By Wendy Bishop
Organize your to-do lists in minutes a day using simple, affordable software programs already installed on your home computer! Keeping track of all the things that need to be done in your daily schedule and around the house is a never-ending project. As soon as one item is completed, you’re thinking about when it needs to be done again, not to mention tackling the next task to be crossed off on your list.
You may find that the most valuable resource to help keep your life organized and your home clean, and uncluttered cannot be found in the broom closet, under the sink, or in the garage. It’s in your computer!
In today’s computer age, there are hundreds of software programs available to help you maintain organization of your life and home. However, using simple, affordable tools that may already be installed on your home computer, you can create to do lists and set reminders for yourself and other family members so no appointment, chore or maintenance task slips through the cracks.
For keeping your life and home organized, some of the best tools on your computer can be found in contact managers, e-mail programs, spreadsheet creators, and text editors. Use these programs to make lists of tasks to be completed for today, next week, next month, and next year!
Contact management software can be downloaded from the internet, or you may find you already have a program like this installed on your computer. A computerized contact manager is an excellent place to store valuable notes and contact information about doctors, insurance agents, interior designers, contractors, plumbers, auto mechanics, landscapers, friends, family, and more! Don’t lose an important number or e-mail address when you can have it stored in your computer, ready at a moment’s notice!
Most computers also come equipped with a default e-mail program. Even if you don’t use this program to send e-mail, you can use it to create calendars, task lists, and reminders for yourself. Add other users to this program, such as spouses and children, so that each person can see what tasks they have been assigned to complete. Check the program’s help function to find out the best ways to use the calendar and reminder features.
Spreadsheets are well known for keeping even the most complicated data organized. You can create a very simple spreadsheet in just a few minutes to keep a list of items that need to be completed around the home. One of the best features of a spreadsheet is the ability to sort each column chronologically or alphabetically so that you can quickly organize what needs to be done next. You can also create multiple sheets within one spreadsheet and name them for certain months or seasons so that future tasks, such as changing the smoke alarm batteries or applying lawn fertilizer in the fall, won’t be overlooked when the time comes.
At the end of each year, save a copy of your spreadsheet with the year listed in the title. This way, you will always have an easily accessible record of exactly what was completed last year and the year before that. These records could prove very valuable if you need to show what type of maintenance you have done on your home if you put it up for sale. Also, you may find that keeping detailed records of completed tasks will be very helpful if a household item, such as an appliance, breaks before it should. You can show the manufacturer or installer that you have kept up recommended maintenance on the item.
Finally, you can use text documents for all kinds of things when organizing your life and home. Make chore lists for each person in your family. Create to-do lists or shopping lists so that you are more organized as you begin tackling your daily tasks. Compose a list of weekly activities for your children. It is generally said that typing is 50% faster than handwriting, so you’ll gain more time just by typing up your to-do lists. Plus, you can avoid re-writing lists if something needs to be added or moved to a different day. In your text document, simply delete a line, add a line, or use the cut and paste function to move a word or line to a different location in the document. Text documents are also excellent to use for the organization of recurring tasks. For example, if Timmy has the same chores every day after school, simply create a text document for him. You can print it off each day for each child, adding or deleting tasks as they apply. Now you are keeping yourself and your family members more organized.
In addition to the computer tools mentioned in this article, many software products are available that combine several organizing tools into one easy-to-use program for creating to-do lists, family chores, and more. These programs are typically available for a small fee and simplify the process of entering information about your home and schedule, eliminating the need to move back and forth between different organizational programs on your computer. As you begin to familiarize yourself with the computer to organize your daily tasks and schedules, consider purchasing one of these time-saving, comprehensive programs.
At first, you may find it difficult to use new software programs to keep yourself organized. But, with a little bit of patience and practice, you will soon realize that your home computer is a very valuable resource for keeping long-term records, reminding you of tasks to be done, and for simplifying the organization of your home, life and family.
About the Author: Wendy Bishop is one of the creators of Task Impact, the simple software program that allows users to create to-do lists and tasks, track home maintenance, store home inventory and pictures, and record valuable contact information. Download the Free Trial at TaskImpact.com
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