Friday, April 16, 2010

A simple project book...

I've spoken before about my simple daily "appointment" book.  Now let's take a look at my new simple "project" book.  While it is imperative that you keep all your notes and whatnot in one place, in this case my daily book, I found that for large projects that involve my hubby, another book was needed. 

My hubby and I are both self-employed and so we are in the habit of having a "financial" meeting about once per week (something I recommend for all couples even if they're not self-employed.)  At our last meeting he expressed the desire for a master list of all the projects that need to be completed around the house.  Together we compiled a list for the house and one for the "yard" which is 5 acres.

Hubby likes stuff done up all neat on the computer and so I wasted about 2 hours trying to find the best program or template.  The next morning I pulled out a cheap notebook and did it up by hand.  He loves it!  Lesson learned?  Sometimes the old fashioned way is best.

Rule One:  Keep it Simple

Each page is only 5 columns - Project, Action, Need, Source, Notes.

Here's how it works:

The first item is "Paint house."  The next action is "Decide on color."  In the "need column" we have "5 gallons paint."  Under "Source", we have Columbia, and under "Notes", we put an approximate date.

Notice the fourth item is already crossed out (Whoooeeee!)  It was "check exhaust fan."  The next action was "talk to Brent."  Under notes we jotted down his lesson date (Brent is a student of my husbands.)  Brent checked the roof exhaust fan when he came for his lesson and found the motor shot.  He took it with him, installed a new motor, and returned the next morning to re-install.  We've been trying to get to that little item done for months.  Now it's done!  There is a separate section in the notebook for the "outside stuff" marked with a paperclip for easy access.

Advantages of doing this:
  1. You both know what the next action is and decide who's going to do it.
  2. You both know what items you need  to complete the task
  3. Shopping is streamlined because you know the source of items for different projects. You can quickly see what items are needed from a certain source and make one trip instead of multiple trips.
  4. All measurements, colors, and quantities are in the "Notes" section instead of a gazillion little pieces of paper
Single ladies need this, too

Just because you don't have anyone to have a meeting with, doesn't mean this won't improve your life, too.

I'm headed out to the great outdoors to haul manure, put the shelves in my new cold frame/mini-greenhouse (thanks hubby!!), mow the lawn, spray the gully for weeds, and probably a gazillion other things.

Look at all the tulip buds...

The much maligned dandelion. 

First daffodils...

Have a beautiful day...


Susan said...

Hi Adrienne....Love your list/notebook. I do my "to do" list just about daily. My husband does his separately. I'll let him know which items on my list are for him! Ha! Sometimes, I'll look at his list when he's not looking and I'll put down the next number in sequence and quickly write, "Kiss wife" or "Tell Susan you love her." Ha ha ha! When he looks at his list, he reads it and then does what it says! Ha! Try it, Adrienne! Sincerely, Susan

Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

This is SERIOUSLY smart. I need to do this - since I'm forever more struggling to think "what in the world do I need to do next."

Thanks for the great idea!

MightyMom said...

awe, our daffodils are all done. my irises are in full bloom. and the lillies and cannas are rising nicely. I even have little sprouts from my 2 amaryllis. :-)

gotta get a pic tomorrow....IF it doesn't rain on me.

Diann @ the Thrifty Groove said...

Great post! My hubby and I do "a weekly meeting" in which we discuss money, to-do's and anything else that we think about. It sounds odd to think you need to mak a specific appointment with your hubby, but it really works great. We are able to focus on just these things!

Gramma 2 Many said...

Hmmm, I wonder how it would feel to be organized?

Rebecca said...

I really like your plan and agree that often the old ways are best. We have a similar system. One of our features is a numerical priority - #1,#2,#3, etc.

I feel so much more secure, and communication is much better when things are written down for reference.