Digital Organizing

I love paper. I love beautiful books and fountain pens. I love writing things down and turning the pages in my planner. It’s sad that handwriting has become so obsolete that they don’t even teach in schools anymore. 

Freakonomics has an interesting podcast about handwriting called, Who Needs Handwriting?

Since people don’t use it like they used to, handwriting has turned into an art like never before. I follow several calligraphers on Instagram that are mesmerizing to watch. @seblester is one that is amazing and wildly popular.

I had horrible handwriting my whole life until a few years ago when I stopped to re-teach myself this basic skill. I used a style I found on Ambleside Online and simply practiced. I had to stop writing the old way and only write the new painfully-slow way for two years before it got easier and I’m still not very fast because I don’t practice often enough. I could show you before and after samples but it would be too embarrassing. It’s funny that my handwriting affects me so strongly.

Just like all the hard things I have done in life, changing my handwriting was worth it. Since then I’ve taught my children beautiful handwriting because I want them to be confident with their writing and now we are learning calligraphy together.


I have gone back and forth, organizing with paper and technology, over the years, but as sad as it makes me I have finally given up the pen and given into the convenience of the smart phone. Probably for good this time.

It is simply too easy not to use it. I finally got an iPhone and an apple laptop last year so they work together smoothly. You probably already have this all figure out but I’ll tell you what I do anyway.

I put absolutely everything down in my calendar, setting reminders and repeats so nothing is forgotten. I have a separate calendar for my appointments, our daily schedule, weekly schedule, special events, bills, etc., and my daughter and I share calendars with each other so we always know what’s going on.

The other half of my organizing magic is the Wunderlist app that you can download free. I make lists for everything. I use folders and organize my lists inside them. I have an Action folder that has a list for Groceries, Phone Calls, Errands, etc. I have an Organizing folder that has lists for Packing, Meals, Books, etc. I have a folder for Studies. Each of my children has a list of the studies they do every day and they get to check them off as they finish them. It’s funny how motivating it is to touch a little square, hear a happy little sound and watch the words disappear. If you didn’t know you accomplished something before, you do now.

Like my calendars, I can also share my lists with people. My daughter can check my grocery list when she is at the store and pick up the things I need and I can share my packing list or book list with a friend. Love it.

I stopped using my email as a to-do list. 

I try to never use email. I unsubscribe from every list I can and I auto filter the rest of the junk right into the trash so I never see it. I turn off all email notifications and get everything possible by text.

I cleaned out my inbox once and for all. I went through my email on my phone a little bit at a time until I had deleted or filed all of them.

I use a lot of folders. After I read an email I either reply immediately or I file it and write it on one of my to-do lists. If it needs to be dealt with by a certain date I add a reminder so I don’t forget about it. It’s lovely and it works.

The trick is that you have to have the habit of using these things if you want them to work for you. Funny how that is.


What habits are you working on this week?


Sleep! As usual.

I wish there was an app that could help me with that. And now it’s my bedtime so I should post this and go to bed.

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