Spinning Platters – Those Pesky Little Buggers!

If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t get done. It’s as simple as that.

I use a planner because it makes me feel like I have a semblance of control. I know that’s not true—control is an illusion, or should I say delusion?—but it seems that way, and our perspective is our reality.

Spinning Platters - Those Pesky Little Buggers by Laurie Buchanan

Spinning Platters – Those Pesky Little Buggers by Laurie Buchanan

In my planner, I keep track of my daily appointments, and things that I’d like to get done on any given day. Please notice I said “like to get done” instead of “should get done.” If any psychotherapists are reading this, you’ll observe I’ve loosened my death grip (a bit).

In my home office, there’s a dry erase board on the wall for “the big picture” platters I spin as they relate to writing—blog, articles, curriculum, manuscript, queries. It’s color-coded—I’m a Libra, it makes me feel good.

To-Do List by Laurie Buchanan

To-Do List by Laurie Buchanan

In my moleskins (one in my purse, one on my nightstand), I write down ideas that race through my head, teasing me, “Catch me if you can!” Like a butterfly net, I capture them as quickly as I can before they elude me.

Moleskine by Laurie Buchanan

Moleskine by Laurie Buchanan

What system do you use to keep all of your platters spinning?


© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

29 thoughts on “Spinning Platters – Those Pesky Little Buggers!

  1. How do you have time to do anything else when you are so busy keeping list, writing things down, giving yourself things that might get done?
    Ha, list, ha, I may write them, yet usually they are forgotten somewhere else. Question lies in “do I have platters spinning?” at the moment not so much, yet If I have an exhibit or a project I write a list on the back of an old piece of mail, recycle, I write about it on my blog, or I could just tell you and you will remind me! LOL!

    It is all magic, sometimes I wonder how any of it gets done!

    • Jeff – You’re final question, “I wonder how any of it gets done?” is really the bottom line on top. When you stop to think about it — really think about it — it’s utterly amazing — like magic 🙂

  2. Laurie my system looks so like yours it is uncanny. One difference. I no longer have my white board and my calendar, laid out by the week, is leather bound because I am so hard on it. I keep a small thick coil notebook by the computer that has everything from a running “to do” list to ideas and I have an “ideas book” that will fit in my purse. In addition, I have mental platters that spin with little effort and I can hold them up level and high and sashay through a crowd of random thoughts… these are my intentions. They anchor all of my organizing systems and keep everything spinning in the same direction.

  3. Laurie, I’m smiling at your conversation with Jeff. It truely is amazing when one steps aside and really thinks? about how this works. You’ve given me a thought for the day. Thank you 🙂

  4. Little by little a lot gets done… Rome wasn’t built in a day… These little mantras get me going again when I feel overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel. I’ve got a wall calendar for appointments and gatherings, and a flexible daily schedule which I try to stick to.
    You have such neat handwriting, Laurie!

    • Barbara – “little by little’ or bite sized pieces…that’s definitely the way! If you were to see my handwriting in person, you might think differently — I think it may be a simple case of just being “photogenic.” I just finished handwriting a thank you letter to my aunt for some photographs she sent and it looked a bit like the scratches of a drunk chicken…

  5. Laurie you are a fine example of an organized person.
    I have two calenders — one in the kitchen and one on my writer’s desk. On each I record daily activities.
    On my website (www.oknitting.com) under the title ‘My blog” I have a list of blog titles and the day it will be appear on my blog (for example, today I discuss blogging…how often and why).
    On my blog (http://sweatercursed.blogspot.com) I provide an overview of what my blog offers weekly (for example, Monday I talk about knitting). I also have a list of authors who will be visiting my blog.Addfitionally, my major writing projects are listed on the sidebar and an approximate completion date is given.
    Other than that, I fly by the seat of my pants.
    Before moving to an island paradise, my life was segmented and re-segmented due to work and school. Accounting for every second of every day drove me crazy.
    I moved to Mayne Island and removed my watch.
    Now instead of working against the clock I try to make time work for me.

    • Leanne – I really enjoy the way your blog is organized — clear, concise, and articulate. Like you, I only wear my watch when teaching, and then I actually take it off and lay it on the podium/table so I can see it to keep myself moving in a timely manner. Your statement about making time work for you is similar to Len’s about money, “I don’t work for money, I make money work for me” (at least that’s his goal)…

  6. Laurie, Lucille and I tend to use “post its” and a “kitchen bulletin board” and the front of our refrigerator. Other than that we are on our own to remember things, and it’s often a losing battle (at least for me) I like your grasp at control, even while you refer to it yourself as an “illusion” or “delusion.” Ha! You got things under control here for sure, and your presentation is a model for those scattered among us.

    Lucille often uses post-its on the steering wheel of her car (or on the dashboard) to mitigate against forgetfullness. No matter how you do it, you always have to be on your toes!

    • Sam – May blessing rain down on the person who invented Post-It Notes. I’m forever in their gratitude. Ohhhhhh, I’m going to have to try Lucille’s steering wheel approach 🙂

  7. Ohmygoodness, Laurie, if we didn’t write things down we’d be sunk! I have two part-time jobs plus a lot of other things happening. Must be writing down constantly. (In fact a fellow from the State of Michigan just called re the school job. I jotted note after note. Must remember! Especially when one’s mind is elsewhere when the phone rings. Perhaps pondering dead woodpeckers or rain.) Smile.

      • Oh, pardon me. I took a pic of a dead woodpecker that slammed into one of our windows the other day. May post it one of these days! It died so magnficently that one’s thoughts are hard-pressed to remember appointments or taxes or other ordinary things.

      • Kathy – “It died so magnificedntly…” is definitely a blog post in the making. I’ll be on the lookout for it. I’m so glad for the explanation, I thought perhaps you’d gone around the bend 🙂

  8. My former system, when the children were younger, looked very much like your system. It worked well and truly kept me from being frantic and I was on target with my values.

    About a year ago, maybe more, I decided to use JD Meier’s from Sources of Insight blog’s Agile Results program. He is a program manager for Microsoft and his system helped me to get faster and quite efficient.

    About July 12th of this this year, I decided that for my summer vacation I would put all my systems away and work on BEING. I find myself not resisting things or getting frustrated. Now my new blog is not succeeding fast fast… and I am a bit behind on watering the garden- today picking the blueberries, and yet again, I like myself better, feel stronger about being peaceful and kind – found it easier not to say anything as some of my family members were trying to convince me they are right and I Should FOLLOW their lead…
    there is a contentment flowing and a lovely new set of curious questions emerging…I like it…
    Then I got plantar fascitis pain…now I need to sit with my foot up high…I am not resisting…
    still getting most things ( except vacuuming) done…just in slower motion.

    I think I will have to go back to my schedules soon, to hopefully make some income…but being flowing or still has added to my wholeness

  9. I have one….
    My Blackberry

    I don’t have a back up for it except for my PC at work…..
    I put my business and personal calendar on it. My boss probably knows my life pretty good as she has access to it, although I do try to mark things sometimes “personal”….
    I also keep daily notes, meeting notes, palms and to do lists in a one page at a time calendar record system.

    Thanks Laurie…..
    I see my name on your calendar!!

  10. Okay, after reading this I just hit the comment button and ended up putting the comment on the WRONG BLOG entry, but I will repeat it here:

    System??? There’s a system for this stuff????!!!!

    Obviously, if I can’t even track my blog entries, I need a system of some sort . . .

      • Jeff – By the looks of things over on Facebook, it would appear that either your computer crashed you you lost lots of stuff, or your computer got a virus and compromised your data. Either way, it’s the pitts! I hope you can get everything ironed out as quickly and painlessly as possible.

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