Saturday, July 15, 2006

~Getting Organized~

Well, summer is almost over and school is about to start back up here in Georgia. Yep, you read that right - school starts back EARLY in these here parts! My kids return to school on August 1 (much to the relief of stay-at-home-hubby, hahaha!). School is starting back up for me beginning August 21. This semester, I'm taking all online classes. I hate online classes! But its the only option this semester. My college isn't offering many night classes this semester- at least, not the ones that I need, late enough for me to get to them! haha! And (a continual thorn in my side), VERY FEW Honor's Classes are offered at night (and again, the ones that are offered, I can't get to them because of my current work schedule). I guess they think all the smart people go to college only during the day... hmmm... is that discrimination against older, non-traditional students who are Honor's students? hahaha! Anyway, I signed up this semester for historical geology (studying fossils & dinosaurs & such) and World Religions. These are two classes I've wanted to take approximately FOREVER, haha, so I'm excited that I finally can. :)

So, in the spirit of "back to school," I've begun trying to figure out ways to get organized. I took two semesters off, which is roughly a seven-and-a-half-month break. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO out of the swing of this school thing -- I got used to sleeping and eating on a semi-normal schedule. I'm trying to plan ahead as much as I can, and figure out some kind of a "schedule" to be on, to hopefully make my life easier. Haven't gotten that figured out yet - still thinking. :(

But, on the bright side, after I wrote all of my letters for this week, I did get my "portable office" updated and organized today! What, you are asking, is a "portable office?" I'm glad you asked, since I was gonna tell you anyway. :) My portable office is nothing more than a gallon-sized Ziplock baggie that contains all my letter-writing stuff: My master address list, address labels for everyone I write to, a return address stamp and patriotic return address labels, envelopes of varying sizes, stationery, blank cards, stamps (when I have them -- I need more, I'm totally out!), and a pen or two.

First, I updated my master address list & organized it. It's 2 1/2 pages long, haha! I made a three-column table in a Word document and have it broken up into different sections: Deployed Troops, Veterans, Wounded or Sick Troops, Family Members of Troops, and Chemo Angels patients (only have one). In the first column, I put the address of each person I write to. I include as much info as I have: birthday, if known; when I sent the first letter to this person; how long their deployment is supposed to last (if known); phone numbers of the family members I know, if known; etc. The second and third columns are left blank. Each week when I write a letter, I hand-write the date the letter was sent in the second column... when column 2 is full, I move over to column three. When I've filled up the whole thing (or if there are significant changes in who I'm writing to), I toss it and re-print a whole new, updated master address list. This way, I have all my addresses in one spot, and can tell at a glance when the last time I wrote to each person was. Some of the addresses on the list (the family members of troops, mostly) are not people I write to every week. But I keep their addresses handy so that I can send a card for special occasions or if needed for extra TLC. :)

After I'd completed the task of updating my Master Address List, I went and printed out address labels for each of them - I was running low on several, and didn't have any for my new troops yet. This makes life simpler: when I'm finished writing a letter, all I have to do is slap a label on the envelope, stick on a return address label, and away it goes! :) So, I got those printed. I clipped each peron's address labels together, and then rubber banded them together by group: deployed troops, wounded/sick, veterans, family members. This should, in theory, make life easier, especially when I'm in a rush.

Then I went ahead and added several new envelopes in assorted sizes to my Portable Office (a/k/a, the Ziplock Baggie), along with blank cards, stationery, etc.

My Portable Office resides in my purse. That way, I know exactly where it is at all times, and when I'm on my lunch break at work, I can write letters or send cards or whatever is needed easily.

All of the above is WAY less fun that what I had originally planned today (that secret, super-sneaky Kat adventure), but I needed to get it done anyway. :)

Well, time to run for now -- gotta get some other stuff done. Have an awesome evening y'all!


Georgia Blogger