Appointments, invitations, events, and parties add to the clutter in our homes, offices, and calendars. Dealing with the
se confirmations and correspondence when we receive them can help reduce clutter, double-booked schedules, and last-minute stress shopping.
Confirming and recording upcoming appointments and commitments require some type of calendar system. Most of us try to maintain a paper or electronic calendar or a planner for medical appointments, networking meetings, school, or family events. If you do this daily or weekly, as conflicting events appear on your calendar, you’ll be able to reschedule appointments to accommodate the one-time events.
As more schools, doctors’ offices, and hospitals utilize electronic scheduling and appointments we should find it easier to match appointments with our available calendar slots. Be aware, however, that we can’t rely on a uniform system. Not everyone has gone digital, especially older friends and relatives. It’s okay if you duplicate some efforts – if you’ve given yourself enough time to regularly integrate your paper and digital systems.
Once again, keep your password management system up to date as you create log-in and password combinations for online calendars, appointments, and event scheduling.
Confirmations and correspondence tend to overlap where we receive printed invitations that require an RSVP. Many of us would like to do a better job of sending birthday and other greeting cards, and many business people have decided to reintroduce the hand-written note to their customer service protocol.
If you want to support the greeting card industry by purchasing unique cards for events like birthdays, anniversaries, etc., then by all means do so. Carve out a niche for your collection of greeting card near your paper management workspace. Send greeting cards weekly, making sure to allow for two or three days for mail to reach its destination. I jot the mail-by date in the space for stamps to keep me organized here.
If you’d like a simpler solution than purchasing cards, I recommend purchasing blank note cards – one whimsical, one formal – so that you’re prepared for any occasion. You’ll have to rely on your composition skills, but most people would rather receive a “real” note from you anyway.
Once you’ve recorded appointments, sent RSVPs, and prepared your other correspondence, the action item moves to the trash, reading, or filing. For now, memorabilia move into the filing category. Next week, we’ll learn what to do with reading material.