The children have only been back to school for a week and already the notes have started. There are notifications of upcoming events, forms to fill in, money to be paid. I have written about this before but am sure we could all do with a reminder after 6 weeks of a school and note-free existence. I know I could.
Before I got organised, what I did with the notes was a bit haphazard to be honest. Reply by date is a week ahead – I might as well leave completing that reply slip for a few days. Cheque needed – the cheque book is upstairs, I’ll do it later. And then once you’ve filled in the form, you usually need to keep the note as you will need the information in it but what do you do with it?
First of all, and I can’t emphasise this enough – process the note NOW, on the day you get it. It really does keep you organised and your efficient Mum halo bright and shiny. So find a pen, complete the form. Go upstairs and get the cheque book and an envelope and do it all from start to finish. And check younger children’s book bags regularly as notes for Harvest Festival and the suchlike can linger for days forgotten by the children until they come home in tears as they were the only ones who didn’t bring in a tin of baked beans. Secondary school children don’t like parents going through their bags but asking whether they have any notes occasionally won’t hurt. If your school emails the majority of the notes, print them out so that you don’t have to plough through your emails looking for the information. I have tried going paperless but it just doesn’t work for me.
The second step is to transfer relevant details into your diary. This is not just putting a note on the actual day of the event but also notes to get you ready for whatever the event is. So, taking the Harvest Festival example, you would put a reminder in your diary to buy a contribution and then another note near the top of the Festival Day (or the day before if you like to have everything by the front door in the evening) to remind you that your child needs to take in that contribution. For a school trip, you might add a note to your shopping day to remind you to buy stuff for a packed lunch. See my previous post on keeping a diary
Thirdly, you need to store the note somewhere so that you can refer to it as needed. I used to fold notes up and put them in the house diary which was ok but they often fell out. I also tried a calendar with a notes envelope at the back but getting notes in and out was a pain. But I finally found a good solution – enter the notes folder – ta daa. A brilliant invention by my sister, Jane. Grab any kind of folder. I use a transparent plastic one. For each note, write the date of the event at the top and then place in your file in reverse order, so that the next event note is on top and the one furthest away is on the bottom. Discard once the event has passed. Keep you notes folder near your diary. Sooooo simple and works soooo well.
So there you have it, the Love2Declutter 3 step guide to dealing with school notes!