If you’ve ever been in an office supply store, they always offer the latest gadgets and gizmos to help you stay on top of your business whether in an office or at home. Keeping ahead of the rush doesn’t have to involve putting out a lot of money for things electronic gadgets that will only confuse you more until you get used to how to use them. Sometimes, the tried and true methods still work the best.
As a work at home mom, you are saving money on childcare but also building a business that you can be proud of. To that end, you need certain equipment to make it happen. For the sake of scheduling, stop looking at that PDA and go to the calendar aisle. Yes, we said calendars. Oh, and planners are good too.
Have you seen the new calendars lately? They aren’t just those pocket ones your mom carries around or the one that comes in the mail from the insurance company (not that there’s anything wrong with those). Calendars have taken on a functionality that is quite exciting.
Speaking of calendars, two that I’ve found to work well are Mom’s Plan-It Calendar by Avalanche Publishing and Mom’s Family Calendar by Sandra Boynton. These calendars are fun to look at and come with stickers and pens to record everyone’s schedule. On the latter calendar, there is a space to write in every family member’s name and their activities each month.
Family calendars help you mesh family life and business commitments. Since the kitchen is the central meeting place for a family, the calendar can hang there for everyone to record what they are doing. Or, they can give all their information to you and you can do it. Mom, you can even list your work hours each day on the family calendar so your beloved husband and kids know when you are not to be disturbed.
Now, let’s talk about planners. A planner works better for business and can also be used in conjunction with a desk calendar. In your business planner, each day is broken down by hours. The time slots that you listed on the family calendar can be broken down into specific project commitments in your planner. A planner can go everywhere with you so you are never without your schedule.
Choose a planner carefully. There are many on the market and some have features you don’t need. Franklin Covey offers a line of planners for all sorts of needs. Look for:
• Removable pages
• Section for notes or notepad
• Address book
• Place for business cards
• Tabs for easy look-up
• Vinyl pouch for bills, messages, etc.
Keeping your business schedule straight is not an easy task, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an expensive one. You can still stay on top of your daily work with the ever handy, even if they are considered “old fashioned” by your kids, calendars and planners made for the job.