Index Card Update:My Hapless Attempt at Organization

Awhile back I talked about my passion for index cards, and how I use them for every purpose except those they were created for: organizing stuff. bringing order, sorting things.


I hate to- do lists, scribbled on post-its or an a page torn from a notebook, Or, more likely, the back of an envelope the contents of which will get lost 20 days before the due date. They sink to the bottom of my bag, just another ingredient of Purse Soup: grocery receipts, empty matchbooks, loose change, and even older to-do list envelopes.

Remember way back,  when the online computer calendar was meant to be the answer to our organizing prayers? Just pull up the date, enter the task into the time slot, and print it out every morning. I have two problems with this . First, I remember when I used it in my professional life. Bummer, Man!  Let me try to recreate a typical day:

  1. 8:05 — review yesterday’s stats.
  2. 8:30 — Meeting with Tonya to give her a written warning about attendance
  3. 10:00 — Team Meeting — discuss falling stats and attendance.
  4. Noon — Department lunch to discuss falling stats and attendance.
  5. 2:00 — Safety Meeting.
  6. 3:oo —  Training Session.( Try to make FICA fun!)
  7. 4:30 — One on One with boss about my stats and attendance

This is a melded calendar from a few jobs. The second drawback is that the printed to-do list got lost in the paperwork on my desk, or got stirred into Purse Soup.

But here’s the thing: No one needs a to-list more than I. I’m lazy. I’d rather spend eighteen hours on my tummy reading a thriller cover-to-cover than wash the patio door windows. I can putter about in the garden on a nice day with the hours flitting by in weeding, deadheading and drinking lemonade on the patio. I have a long love affair with the internet. I like picking up a piece of fabric or a skein or yarn (or a roll of toilet paper) and making mischief. I need a to-do list right in my face, and I need it now.

That’s because there’s an Event coming up: My father-in-law’s memorial service at St. Therese Catholic Mission Church in Au Train, Michigan on June 25th. It’s a long drive and both of our cars are acting up: I guess we’ll try to fix the brakes on one, not the power steering of the other.But what I need is an In My Face to-do list, and I figured it out today with some 4X6 index cards and a piece of so 2006 photo display wirework. I was about to throw out that wire tree, then thought again. And pulled out my 4X6 index cards and made a cool, crisp rectangular to-do list. Then one for tomorrow. The cards are the right size for anything we really should accomplish in a day, and the wire holder keeps them in our face on the table. It’s the in-the face thing that works And the check-off boxes.

Here are the pix. The table was so cluttered and so hopeless as a shoot locale that I planted it a pot of rosemary. Bonus shot of Ajax lurking. We didn’t do so bad today, all in all.

But check out tomorrow:

I have a plan for saving these cards for a goofy diary . It will be cheap, primitive and cheerful. But that’s another post.





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6 responses to “Index Card Update:My Hapless Attempt at Organization

  1. Does the “Driver’s License—June 17” mean that it’s your birthday?? Ours always expire on ours.
    (for ours and ours of fun!)

    If so, then have a HAPPY, and if not—what the hell—have some anyway.

    This is the closest I’ve been to coherent and vertical since Monday, so take it as it is. Happy Juneteenth!

  2. I love the check-mark BOXES, awaiting so expectantly and significantly UNchecked for now. Witnessing.

    Check marks in general: Bet you like ’em. I do. More than like.

  3. Rachel: My birthday’s July 8th, but I’m trying to get things taken care of early — the end of the month and early July promise to be very busy. I’t will be a challenge to get to the DMV, though;as of half an hour ago BOTH our cars are in the shop!

    Priscilla: Yes, I adore check-off boxes. They nag so well if they’re empty and look so smug when they’re checked.

  4. Kim Shook

    Homegirl!!! My birthday is July 9th! And I love checkmarks, but never thought to make my own boxes for them. That will happen – though, how many will actually get checked is questionable.

  5. absurdoldbird

    Good idea – let me know if it works! My problem is actually having my consciousness take notice of notes written on anything at all. I had a sheet of paper with a cartoon I’d drawn of myself turning into something horrible from sitting too long in one position (like at the pc) and did I take any notice? Not one iota. It just became another thing that I took for granted, just another piece of paper on my desk. I’ve put these things on my wall, on my monitor, on clip frames propped up against cushions, it just doesn’t work for me!

  6. Patty

    I love your lists….but all I want to know is if that pound cake will be going to MI?!

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