Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Solutions Notebook

How do you plan to stay on track with all those New Year's resolutions you've made?  Do you have something around the house that irks you every time you see it, but you can't get to it then because you're on you way to something else?

I have a little corner piece of base molding in our upstairs hallway that drives me nuts.  It's come loose from being kicked and hit with the vacuum.  The problem is I only see it when I am coming up the stairs and it's at eye level...and I'm carrying a large basket of clothes, or a child, etc.  I always think to myself, "Make sure you grab the nail gun and pop that sucker back into its place."  I ALWAYS forget.

And there are a million little things like that around my home that, alone, do not add up to any big deal.  But taken together make me feel like chaos has taken over.

That was why I created the Solutions Notebook.

[caption id="attachment_1256" align="aligncenter" width="560"]My handy, dandy notebook! My handy, dandy notebook![/caption]

I purchased this one from Wal-Mart.  I chose it because it's smaller than the standard notebook and more rigid.  It also has some tabs, a folder pocket, and envelope which comes in handy, dandy.

[caption id="attachment_1257" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Oooo, ahhhhh..the functionality! Oooo, ahhhhh..the functionality![/caption]

Then I went about my home writing down all the problems I saw (I was originally going to call it my Problems Notebook, but you can probably guess why I did not!)  I have a section for each area of the home.  I just write the room at the top, skip ahead a few pages, repeat for the next room/area.  Don't forget that your cars, garage, front lawn, back yard, etc are all part of your home.

[caption id="attachment_1258" align="aligncenter" width="418"]Inside the mind of Kristal Inside the mind of Kristal[/caption]

I fold the pages in half and write the problems I see on the left.  "Problems" are really anything I want to change or improve.  Sometimes it's something that is broken or in disrepair, like the molding, other times it's just something that could be better, more efficient, prettier, etc.  On the right side I write down ideas to create a solution for the "problem" listed.  When I've solved the "problem", I cross it out.

So what's the timer for?  Well let me go all Forest Gump on you and tell you what my mama playfully says to me: "It takes a special kind of stupid to forget to eat."  Something I often do when I get into a project or chore that just HAS to get done.  I use the timer to remind me to take breaks, stretch, eat, and - most importantly - walk away for the day.  I'm notorious for ignoring all else until a painting is done.  The timer helps me avoid that and get dinner on the table.

It's really just a brainstorming notebook but I like this system for a few reasons:

  • it's on paper - you could do this on your tablet or phone, but I like that I can forget about in a digital file or Pin Board

  • it's small enough to fit in my purse - I can write down measurements of the curtains I need and have them on hand.  Also, I don't always write the solutions down right away.  Sometimes I don't know what the solution is right away.  I like to pull out the notebook when I'm waiting at the carpool or a restaurant and think/write while I'm waiting.

  • did I mention it's on paper - I like to doodle solutions as well!

Currently I use it for my domestic solutions, but you can create a section for any area of your life.  Did you make a reSOLUTION to lose weight yesterday?  Name that section "Weight Loss" or "My Body/Health".  Did you make a reSOLUTION to hone a skill or hobby?  Name that section "Music" or "Running".

How would you personalize your notebook? What SOLUTIONS will you come up with?

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