To think that I will never be the sort of woman who buys tampons at the end of my period?

(117 Posts)
acebaby Tue 25-Jun-13 19:20:06

I spend my life in a total panic over everything (expired passports, expired photo driving license when I need to hire a car, forgotten MOT etc etc). I have a fairly responsible job as a university lecturer, and I lead a research group. And yet I don't have a diary. Instead, I scan e-mails to see whether I have a meeting. If it's really important, I write a reminder on my hand (which means - obviously - I have to go into important meetings with writing on my hand). As always, this term, I lost the school calendar within about one day, so have been guessing about school trips etc for months. Naturally, I have one from about 3 years ago stuck on the notice board at home, next to my 2008 calendar.

Is there any hope for me? Will I ever buy tampons at the END of my period, rather than at the 24 hour sainsbury's late at night (when my regular cycle again takes me by surprise)? Has anyone got inspiring stories of how they turned themselves around organizationally in middle age (I am 38)? Where do I start?

ArabellaBeaumaris Tue 25-Jun-13 19:21:47

Buy a moon cup.

Also - & I know this sounds daft - buy a diary & start writing things down!

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Tue 25-Jun-13 19:21:57

No idea but posting so I can take tips too.

I gave up buying diaries as they always ended up, pristine after a year. I've never managed to note down what day of the month my period is, either - I just rely on the cramps to warn me. blush

Shutupanddrive Tue 25-Jun-13 19:22:32

Get a calendar!
Write things on it as soon as you get them, so you don't lose letters etc. I would be lost without mine

Marking place. I want to know too.

You're not alone, acebaby!

HoneyDragon Tue 25-Jun-13 19:23:23

Mooncup. It's there every month

icklemssunshine1 Tue 25-Jun-13 19:23:40

Do what I do - use the calendar on your phone. Buggered if you lose your phone though!

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Tue 25-Jun-13 19:24:05

Stick a notepad to the fridge, and make a shopping list as you run out/ low on things.

caroldecker Tue 25-Jun-13 19:24:28

If you are in front of your laptop sll day, use that calender. Get people to email a meeting invite then it is automatically in the calender

Naoko Tue 25-Jun-13 19:26:43

I'm like this. Life improved immeasurably when I got a smartphone. If someone says 'sure, how about we meet next Thursday at 11', I put it in my phone while they're still talking to me. It syncs with Google Calendar, which is capable of sending me emails and text messages to remind me. If my mum phones and says 'remember Saturday is granny's birthday', I put it in the calendar and schedule a reminder for when I'm next in town so it buzzes while I'm immediately in a position to buy granny a card.

Smartphones were invented for people like us. I'll never be an organisational genius, but for once my general tendency to thow technology at a problem until it goes away has actually paid off.

wem Tue 25-Jun-13 19:26:51

I'm the same. I'm dreading dd1 starting school in September, I just don't know if I can step up to the levels of organisation required. (Although I have a mooncup, so no sanpro worries.)

I've even had this thread on watch for ages, but haven't got round to reading it yet...

Startail Tue 25-Jun-13 19:26:52

Have a teen DD!
Since she uses the tampons too, it's the one thing I generally do remember to keep roped up.

I majorly fail on most other organisation.

hallamoo Tue 25-Jun-13 19:28:24

Use the calendar on an iPhone and sync it to iCloud so even if you lose your phone, you can log on to your iCloud account on your computer, or if you have an iPad it syncs automatically with that too - has revolutionised my life.

dogrosie Tue 25-Jun-13 19:28:34

I think when your DCs are old enough to come home crying because they missed a trip / non-uniform day at school because their scatty, bohemian mother (who has the brains to organise herself but doesn't think the DCs are important enough to put herself out for) has yet again failed to send in the money, sort out the right clothes or organise the transport etc.

I did this, I used to think it was cute, scatty and whimsical and I liked the drama. It wasn't attractive. It was selfish and pathetic. It doesn't matter about the tampons etc, but if people rely on you, you need to step up. Sounds harsh, sorry.

lustybusty Tue 25-Jun-13 19:28:49

Phone. Linked to web based email address. Linked to work pc. Second family web based email address (think with calendar, linked to me, mum, bro, on all phones and laptops. All you have to do is "invite" other email addresses in diary entries (so on work calendar I "invite" my personal email, and it appears on both). Works soooo well!

Gruntfuttock Tue 25-Jun-13 19:29:11

If you use Firefox get an add-on called Reminder Fox. It's brilliant.

ouryve Tue 25-Jun-13 19:30:36

I write a running shopping list. When DH or I spot that something's running low, we put it on the list.

In theory.

wigglybeezer Tue 25-Jun-13 19:30:39

I am like you, it's caused me a lot f grief over the years however I amveryproud of the fact that I have just had my chimney swept in the summer when the sweeps are quiet. I feel very organised.

MorrisZapp Tue 25-Jun-13 19:31:49

I have an app on my Android phone called touch calendar, its nowt fancy but it does the job.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Tue 25-Jun-13 19:33:05


dog, are you sure you're not reading into this? confused

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Tue 25-Jun-13 19:33:06

You are soooooo not alone. I think I'm 'winging it' the majority of the time.

I like to think I am a 'bigger picture' kind of galgrin
(Please excuse all quote marks)

LineRunner Tue 25-Jun-13 19:35:09

You could carry two teeny tiny diaries around, one with the academic or municipal or financial year in, and one with calendar year.

Write your important shit in them.

I do that now. <bitter experience>

I used my phones calender even before I had a smart phone - I can't do without it! It's shit when I accidentally reset the damned thing though but having an online backup is fabulous I can just restore it grin

foreverondiet Tue 25-Jun-13 19:37:25

I use google calendar on my phone. I every single thing in written in it, including term dates school trips social arrangements when tesco order is booked for. I commute to work on the train and usually spend the journey adding to it and scanning the next few days. I also have reminders on my phone and I add to these whenever I think of anything. I didn't have a diary until my dd was born 9 years ago as with pregnant brain couldn't remember everything any more. Re: tampons - just add to supermarket order if pack is empty???

Fuzzymum1 Tue 25-Jun-13 19:39:11 - you can get an iphone app called calenmob that syncs with it - it's a life safer! Oh and yes, get a mooncup - I am a total convert and haven't bought a tampon or towel in years now.

Frenchvanilla Tue 25-Jun-13 19:45:48

Oh good god woman, get a smart phone and download a calendar app. You'll have your emails on there too.

Honestly, you're just making your life more difficult and stressful.

Nor would I buy tampons when not on period. However, I always have enough leftovers. Doesn't everyone?

loopyluna Tue 25-Jun-13 19:46:54

I have, very slowly, got a lot better over the years. Took me long enough though!

I'm pretty good now -calendar thing on iphone, big family calendar on kitchen wall and fridge covered in notes, invitations etc etc.
I shop online so not tired and scatty, traipsing round, forgetting stuff like I used to! It's still quicker than getting in the car and driving to the supermarket and back, but I do take my time so as to remember everything...

I have a big box of "spare school stuff" which I regularly refill with pens, rulers, setsquares etc and a basket in the bathroom for new shampoo, tampons, toothpaste etc.

I was really flakey before, so it is possible to change. My DD is a total organization freak and I felt shamed into setting her a good example! My DS is even more scatter-brained than me, so I needed to help him get his stuff together!

It's still not natural but something I need to work at!

themaltesecat Tue 25-Jun-13 19:51:27

I am not naturally organised. It has taken me trying to do postgrad study alongside full-time work (and a boisterous toddler never far away) to finally get on top of things. Work has never been a problem for some reason, but my personal life is another story.

What has helped is visualisation. I picture walking along the street bleeding everywhere (so that now a small packet of tampons is a default part of my order). I imagine my daughter crying with hunger (so that I have a shortlist of staples- eggs, spuds, frozen peas, salmon fillets, yoghurt, cheese, apples- which I check every evening and never allow myself to run out of (well, almost never). It's really effective if you have a vivid imagination!

I keep a paper diary and put it under my mobile phone at night- this usually prompts me to glance at it.

ToomuchIsBackOnBootcamp Tue 25-Jun-13 19:52:29

I have a massive calendar on my kitchen door from Organised Mum. <Luddite, prefer paper I can see rather than fiddling with a phone, DH (IT guru) despairs>

At the start of each year, I write on dates stuff like MOT due, insurance due, dentist this month etc. Every time a letter comes in from school, I immediately write on the calendar <then recycle the bit of paper so I don't get swamped with bits of paper> same with social things, if I get a text re something, I keep it on my phone till I get home, check calendar, reply, write on calendar.
Every morning while I am standing in the kitchen having my first cup of water and waiting for the kettle to boil I take a quick look at the day/week ahead. Works for me.

Oh and <Luddite again> I have an address book which has a section at the back for birthdays/anniversaries. Each week I check ahead, then buy an appropriate card/present and put them into the box that has labels, stamps, envelopes, paper etc so they are ready to go.

I have a notebook in each handbag so I can jot down random thoughts/shopping needed/things I hear about when out and about, like if I see a flyer for an event that might be fun etc.

I would forget everything too but by doing these things I have managed to avoid any major disasters. And I like making lists and then crossing things off in a pretty notebook with a good pen, so that helps. grin

raisah Tue 25-Jun-13 19:55:52

Use three calendars:
email calendar
set up alarm alerts at regular intervals. Read your diary/calendars/emails on your commute into work.
Plan your day on your daily commute to & from work.

Draw a large rectangle on an A4 card & divide it into one/half hour blocks of time. Then write the tasks for the day on post it notes and allocate it a block of time. I find this work for me the best, I need visual prompts in multicolours.

I also write the most important apts/task on a post it note & stick it on my pc so I am reminded all the time.

There are lots of time management websites which go into depth about tips etc.

I buy several multipacks of sanitary towels & toiletries to last me several months as I can't go shopping with my dc all the time.

I bought a slow cooker and cook and freeze meals daily, it saves me a lot of time.

gloucestergirl Tue 25-Jun-13 19:56:37

This is maybe a bit radical - but change job! I worked in universities doing research for years and was an organisational black hole. Most academics are because you can get away with it.

I retrained as a secondary school teacher and had to step up my organisational skills nearly overnight. What a leap!!! I realised I had been totally spoilt for all those years.

Actually, of course you can't change job. But an awareness of how easy it is to slip into bad habits when your day isn't highly structured. Maybe a strict habit of diary/to-do-list planning 5 minutes at the beginning and end of each day.

unobtanium Tue 25-Jun-13 19:57:50

I think I rather like you, OP! Make me feel normal for once.

orangeandemons Tue 25-Jun-13 20:00:38

I'm like this. I think the world is divided into those who write down and those that don. I don't. I have tried and tried, but just never quite get the habit.

However, I am quite organised as I have a memory like an elephant. I'm a teacher, everyone else has a diary which they dutifully write everything in. Mine's empty blush. I never miss a deadline though....

raisah Tue 25-Jun-13 20:03:39

I buy gifts, wrap, cards and several rolls of sellotape in the sales and put them in a box next to my vacuum cleaner so I have standby gifts for last minute parties etc.

Freezer always stocked with frozen veg, fish, chicken & pitta bread in case my fresh produce runs out before I can get to the shops.

The boots always has a spare bag of clothes, nappies and wipes in case I run out.

plieadianpony Tue 25-Jun-13 20:11:33

I love you. Thank you.

I drive my dh to despair. the only reason i have tampons when i need them is because there is an old one lurking at the bottom of my hand bag. My paper work is organised in a system of piles that only i understand.

I do keep a paper diary and a colleague once showed me how she paper clips a to-do list inside her diary and updates it. I do that too. Actually mine has been there since march...

I don't want a smart phone and it takes me years to get used to a new computer, t.v dvd player.

mysteryfairy Tue 25-Jun-13 20:12:31

Use a period tracker on your phone. Might not solve the tampons issue but since I started using one three years ago I have been able to look ahead and see if my period might be going to coincide with holidays, book a smear test without frantic calculations etc and it is great.

If I had had the app ten years ago I wouldn't have been half way through my third pregnancy and just completing on a semi-derelict house we would have to camp in for several months before I realised I was expecting!

PoppyWearer Tue 25-Jun-13 20:14:18

I buy stuff like tampons in mahoosive quantities when they are on offer. So at any one time I might have four boxes of the things. Ditto stuff like laundry powder.

Then every 3-6 months I have a "oh fuck I've run out, how can I have run out?" moment and buy a load more.

At least it spreads out the gaps between the crises.

I also do a big online Ocado shop once a month and once it's booked add stuff as and when I think of it.

acebaby Tue 25-Jun-13 20:16:44

Oooh - lots of responses. I didn't get on with a moon cup as it seemed to irritate my skin. But great idea to ditch the tampons altogether. All tips for reusable sanitary equipment gratefully received.

I have never got my phone to sync with my computer, and it is never charged up. But in principle, this is a good idea. I think I need to get some sort of calendar system going - and use it!! I love the tips on changing myself mentally. Thanks themaltesecat! Is there perhaps a hypnosis cd I could try, or something along those lines?

Dogrosie - not at all harsh. This is why I want to change. As the children get older, it is only a matter of time before I forget something important (they are 8 and 5 now). Having said that, I am actually far more organized with the kids than I am with myself. I always have a set of home clothes, a costume and a cheque book in the back of the car in case of unexpected school trips and dressing up days. My op was light hearted, but there is nothing particularly Bohemian about being 6 months late with the mot.

Scholes34 Tue 25-Jun-13 20:23:58

I've had diaries, write things in them, but then forget to look at them.

Carry on writing everything on your hand, but write on your palm. That way, no-one can see your notes.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 25-Jun-13 20:26:15

Just buy double the next month and put one 'set' aside. Repeat that every month.

acebaby Tue 25-Jun-13 20:27:37

And back to the tampon issue. And sorry for drip feeding (and even more sorry for the pun). But I tend to be very light at the end, so transition to panty liners when I run out of tampons. I always start with a 'whoosh' though.

Gloucester - you are right that I can get away with being disorganized at work. There are so many reminders emailed out, that you really can't miss much. Also, most things (teaching, staff meetings, seminars) are regular, and yet you still get reminders. I would pity my pupils though if I was a teacher! Well done for changing your ways!

ParrotsHilton Tue 25-Jun-13 20:28:46

You can buy washable sanitary towels.

Iwantmybed Tue 25-Jun-13 20:33:58

Ace - I'm pretty disorganised, I tend to wing it but as DH remembers nothing and I have DD1 in reception and a 9 mo old cared for by GPs on random days, I'm back at work and DH works shifts, winging it no longer works here anymore. I'm just recently organised. I use my phone and sync to my Google calendar and a big Flylady paper calendar in the kitchen and a new (and awesome) this organiser from paperchase
which I carry around with me and scribble away all day.

maddy68 Tue 25-Jun-13 20:39:25

Use the calendar on your phone. It's always with you and you can set alarms to remind you about things. That's what I use otherwise I'm useless

fabergeegg Tue 25-Jun-13 20:53:02

I have this problem really, really badly.

I second the large piece of paper tacked to the kitchen door idea. (Although if it's anything like our house, it's illegible in days and the toddler tries to swing on it).

You didn't mention sending cards but that's probably an issue...Marks and Sparks have this fantastic thing where you can choose very pretty personalised cards, complete with personal message inside, and they will mail it on the date that you choose. Magic. But if you do this please note it's really important to remember to take deceased relatives off the list.

SugarPasteGreyhound Tue 25-Jun-13 20:54:38

Buy a calendar, stick it up in your kitchen. Next time you have to go for emergency tampons, don't just buy one box- stock up!

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 20:56:30

i took dds passport to the coach when she was going away on sunday it was supposed to be in 2 weeks ago, blush I also print of school calenders for holidays then bin it , I have old school letters on the board in the kitchen yet forget everything, I do set my phone for things but i do some witty daft word so when the phone reminds me half the time I wrack my brains to remember what it talking about, there really is no hope for disorganised people IMO ,

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 20:57:24

oh I bulk buy santiary pads 3 women in the house I have too or id need to find a 24 hr garage or something

Afritutu Tue 25-Jun-13 21:01:10

I just don't 'get' the moon cup. What are you supposed to do in a public toilet/ work toilet? Am horrified at thought if having to wash it out in the sink next to colleagues before heading back into a cubicle to reinsert. Am I missing something!?

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 21:02:35

I wouldnt use a moon cup just because well I dont want to be dealing with all you said Afritutu

amigababy Tue 25-Jun-13 21:04:24

if you're going to use a phone - or even a paper diary - what works is setting aside 30-60 mins every weekend to plan, plan and then plan again. Look at what is coming up - trips, meetings, birthdays, car things, period etc, and book it in for the relevant day. Put the "organisation time" as an alarm in the phone to remind you to do it every week. Do it in bed on a Sunday morning, or over Sunday breakfast, or whatever. Just by looking at the following week you are reinforcing the upcoming events, as well as entering them on to the system. Put recurring things in eg monthly, annual stuff, and then keep reviewing each week.

mrsjay Tue 25-Jun-13 21:05:43

<taking note> about organising

Use your notes app on your phone (it has date at the top you could have a page for each meeting - every time you use the notes it updates your minute for the meeting and lets you see what date you last wrote on that particular note) and your diary on your phone, setting alarms for 1/2/3 days/hours/minutes before the event - you can set them weekly/monthly/yearly so you can remember to de-worm/de-flea the dog/cat, when your period is (reminder to buy sanpro monthly a few days before your period), birthdays, meetings etc.

I lose stuff all the time and throw endless bits of paper out - I don't lose my keys, my phone (2009 and still going) and haven't yet lost my ipad - but it is only 6 months old.

Yonirubbishnamesleft Tue 25-Jun-13 23:05:27

Next time you buy Tampax, open the box and put one in your handbag or something that you use every day.

This Tampax always has to stay in the bag. So, when you have Tampax emergency you can fish it out. Then you buy the new box and replace your emergency one.

I have never bought them at the end of my period either.

However, I have ended up chasing a Tampax across the office floor when it rolled out of my maybe not the greatest plan...

DoJo Tue 25-Jun-13 23:59:25

I second the massive wall planner idea - we have one to organise our lives, so if any of us are asked to do something we check the wall planner first. It makes life easy as it lives next to where we work at home, it's a good way to avoid making snap plans which clash with something else (the answer is always 'I'll get back to you once I've checked my calendar') and we can see at a glance what we've got going on for the whole year. I also use my phone for reminders, and write my shopping list on the fridge door with a dry wipe marker (attached to the fridge itself with a magnet) - then I just take a photo of the list on my phone and use that as a list whilst I'm at the shops (or do it online, but that's not so original!).

WetDog Wed 26-Jun-13 00:09:03

Start tomorrow by buying two boxes of tampons.

Open one box. Stash four in a small zip up bag and put it in your handbag or actually in a pocket in your handbag.

Another four in the bag or rucksack you usually use if you go away.

Another four in a toiletry bag or make up bag.

The rest in the bathroom or bedroom drawer along with the full box.

I have to do this otherwise I'll run out. I am hopelessly disorganised.

I'm getting better at setting alarms for appointments and meetings on my iPhone. With alerts to go off one day before to remind me and one hour before (in case I've gone off elsewhere, so it gives me time to be back in the right place).

I've only recently started properly using my email calendar at work. Except mine reads unlike most other people's, most meetings require several entries:

8.30am REMEMBER! Meeting with Tim 2pm

11.30am REMEMBER! Meeting with Tim 2pm

1.45pm Meeting with Tim 2pm

2pm Meeting with Tim.

I'm a doofus.

WetDog Wed 26-Jun-13 00:11:50

BTW I have a relatively responsible job. I am just so busy that I struggle to remember things as it's totally non-stop. I actually felt like I'd lost the ability to speak last week, I had so much going on in my brain confused

CatsAndTheirPizza Wed 26-Jun-13 00:15:09

I think you must either quite enjoy/need/not mind the drama of being disorganised, or you wouldn't be like it.

CatsAndTheirPizza Wed 26-Jun-13 00:16:37

Wetdog I do that too - only my reminders come in every 10 minutes until I get so used to deleting them automatically, I forget to see what I am being reminded about!

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 00:38:13

I grill the children about letters on a daily basis, write things on our family calendar as soon as I know about them, have my works schedule up there and on the back door have a list with the ndays and what is going on at school on those days, ie eindoor/outdoor pe, after school clubs etc.

I still have no clue when my period is due (I used to diligently record in my work diary pre being an SAHM) and sometimes things do slip through the net, as of course there is no guarantee that I will actually read the flipping calendar blush

Disorganisation is stressful; I am getting better at it and definitely feel more in control.

sashh Wed 26-Jun-13 02:58:24

There is a web site called 'remember the milk', you put entries and days in and it will e-mail you.

So the day you get the school diary you enter all the dates on the website. You tell it when you want reminding and everyday you have something you get a 'to do' list.

Try it.

The only problem is that you do have to actually put the dates in.

Athrawes Wed 26-Jun-13 03:27:09

A mouse ate my mooncup.
Until then, this was the answer.

daisyduckpond Wed 26-Jun-13 04:37:44

Malenky - do get your point but actually Dogrosie , I do also get what you are saying and bloody good for you . Not really on topic but Dog you have said something about parenthood in your post which touches me .
Hey ho
Back to tampons marked with the date

raisah Wed 26-Jun-13 06:27:23

It makes sense to buy sanitary products from a wholesaler like JJ Wholesale (you dont need to register) and Costco (you can get diff types of membership). Stuff like loo rolls etc makes sense to buy in bulk.

conorsrockers Wed 26-Jun-13 06:43:05

I have a bloody great whiteboard in my hall. I write all the dates for the next couple of months in columns and then we all go through and fill in the information. I leave things in my inbox until I have put them on the board. When I am done I take a picture (incase someone else's delightful children decide they would like to draw on there confused). Every week I move everything up and write it over again - it's like 'revising' what I've got on for the week by writing it again and again!! Also, my DH's writing is messy, so I start all over again after he's put his dates in. Sad, I know wink
Tampax - we use the cash and carry for most shopping (7 in our house!), so I always have about 20 boxes sitting in the garage, otherwise I'd forget too.

Dorris83 Wed 26-Jun-13 08:25:29

OP if this is important to you ( and I think it probably is) then you need to put some effort in.

In totally know where you're coming from as I'm not naturally organised but it was hurting me at work so I had to do something about it. I went on a course but it would be cheaper and easier for you to read the book that my course was based on by Stephen covey 'the seven habits of highly effective people'.

Then do as everyone else is suggesting and get your phone and computer synced and working for you ( seriously you dont know what you are missing)

Finally allocate some time (30 mins) each week to getting things organised for the following week (its a good friday afternoon job) and then ten minutes at the beginning of each day (or the end of the day before) for getting your days sorted (ie being aware of meetings, deadlines etc)

It will take effort (a lot of effort in the beginning) but it will be totally worth it- I swear.

Apparently it takes a month for adults to form a new habit so if you do it you need to stick to it for at least a month and don't allow yourself to say ' oh it's not working for me' etc

It will be harder for you as you're not a naturally organised person, but people will appreciate it more I think.

Good luck!

Ps I didn't ind using separate diaries worked for me as I would t look at all of them so I put everything on one - work and personal. You'll have to try some things and see what works best for you.

Dorris83 Wed 26-Jun-13 08:28:34

Wow long and slightly preachy post from me- sorry! What can I say? I'm a convert from a disorganised perso. I a disorganised person with a system.

People now think that I'm organised !!!

knackeredmother Wed 26-Jun-13 08:28:38

Wow, are you me?! I have a responsible job as a doctor, which I manage quite well, yet the rest of my life is disappearing into A black hole of disorganisation.
I have no advice but just wanted to let you know you are not alone!

acebaby Wed 26-Jun-13 08:29:38

Thanks everyone so much for all these tips flowers. I will go tampon shopping today and look into some of these websites and planners! This thread is giving me what I need - motivation and some new ideas.

It is really interesting to see how everyone else keeps themselves organized. It has always been a bit of a mystery why no-one else seems to struggle.

I know I will never be like my sil, who writes out all her cards for the year on new years day, labels each envelope with the date it needs to be sent, and files them in a shoe box in date order. But I will certainly look into the M&S system. Sounds fantastic!

Cats Yes - In the past, organization has not been my priority, and I can be a bit lazy, although I definitely do not like the 'drama' of flapping around. But I do want to change, if that's possible after all these years, and that is why I have called on mn to help!

carolthesecretary Wed 26-Jun-13 08:42:59

What?! You write appointments on the back of your hand? How old are you, 12?

Your life sounds unnecessarily stressful...

Proud2bhismum Wed 26-Jun-13 08:44:39

I use one of those calendars with a tear off shopping list on the side and keep it hanging in the kitchen. As soon as I run out of anything it goes straight on there. It also has columns for each member of the family so everyone's appointments go in there. I find it really helpful! I also use a website called policybuddy for my MOT and insurance reminders, they send out emails to remind you you need to renew and it works brilliantly for us.

I've never been great at being organised but these 2 little things help me feel like I'm getting there...a bit... Now I just need to remember to look at the calendar!!! grin

bunnybing Wed 26-Jun-13 09:12:10

You must surely have to be organised to be a university lecturer who leads a research group? That in itself surely involves a lot of juggling. How do you survive?!?

I used to be v bad as until my v late teens, then I lost 3 purses in a row which forced me to get my act together - I'm still crap on certain things tho.

Phone calendars are good .
Tampons - just buy a load of them!

ShabbyButNotChic Wed 26-Jun-13 09:24:37

I was like this for years. Always in a flap and leaving stuff until the last minute. I work in a school so get diaries provided every year, both paper and an online system. Mine was always empty....i ended up so stressed and actually ended up in tears one day when i realised i hadnt completed sone paperwork (due that day). Those 2 hours overtime (on the last day of term!) frantically doing it really kicked me up the arse and i vowed to get organised.

I now get 2 diaries in sept, one for work, one personal. Ispend an hour putting in everything fron term dates/school trips/training days/events eg disco and fill my personal one in with all birthdays/hols/car tax, mot, ins etc. it still took me a while to get in the habit of looking at them, but now its automatic. Every morning when i have a cuppa i sit and go through them. Everything i need to remember eg nights out, babysitting, dog @ vets, goes straight in, and i have a cover note at the start of each month with big things happening.
It wasnt natural to me at all, but years down the line
it has been a total lifesaver! The decrease in stress is unbelievable.

I also make great use of the notes app on my phone for shopping lists, anything runs out it goes on the list. Oh and always buy 2-3 boxes of tampax when they are on offer smile

It is hard to retrain your brain but it can be done, im the proof haha

ShabbyButNotChic Wed 26-Jun-13 09:42:08

Another thing ive started doing, after moaning to my mum about how i never seem to get things done at home, is to keep a little notepad next to my bed. I take 5mins at night to write down anything 'in my head' and thing to do the next day. Even if its only 'strip bed and empty bins' i then feel a lot clearer in my head as i dont have to remember now, and the next day i can do it and throw the page away. I immediately feel better as i feel ive achieved sonething. Sad i know but its the little things haha.

time to get off my arse and put the washing on

acebaby Wed 26-Jun-13 10:32:40

shabby and Doris - thank you! That is so encouraging. The notebook idea is great. One of my problems, is that I often wake up at 3am thinking about work. Today, for example, it was... "I haven't written to H to tell him we have funding for that workshop". It would be great to be able to write these things down and then go back to sleep rather than lie awake holding it in my brain. I also love the idea of setting aside some time at the beginning of each university/school term to write down all important dates in my phone and then get it working with my computer.

I love the breaking habits concept. This is so true for me. I will buy the book. A course is a good idea too. I could probably persuade work to pay for this (!)

Knackered: smile it is funny to think that (just maybe) my rather elegant and very 'together' GP lives in a disorganized black hole too. Probably isn't true, but a nice fantasy. You never know what lurks below the surface of people's lives!

Bunny: Work is a juggle, but we are well looked after, in terms of administrative support for teaching and grant writing, and this really helps. My post-docs and PhD students don't need much from me except for guidance on their research, and most meetings on this are regular. Apart from that, they tend just to come and find me if they are stuck, or have a really interesting result. I also have an open door policy with undergraduates, which they seem to like (and saves me organizing meetings).

I do find work-related travel unnecessarily stressful though, and this is something I need to work on.

ShabbyButNotChic Wed 26-Jun-13 11:08:45

The notebook was my freakishly organised mums suggestion, she has done it all her life! Its so obvious as well dont know why i never thought of it myself...obviously didnt inherit her organisation genes!

I also didnt realise just how much time i spent worrying about little things until i stopped. Life is so much clearer and easier when you make the effort to be organised with even the littlest things smile
Eg my phone beeped at me this morning telling me to tax my car today smug

knackeredmother Wed 26-Jun-13 14:30:57

Ace baby- I leave the house in my lovely clothes (that I've frantically searched for and quickly ironed) and float into work thinking my god no one would ever know what chaos I have just left behind.
I may well be your GP (or many of my colleagues who are all in the same situation!).

valiumredhead Wed 26-Jun-13 17:15:31

You need a mooncup and a smart phone diary.

My mother is massively disorganised and was when I was a child too - I am the complete opposite as an adult, super organised, makes me twitch not to be.

The whole beauty of a mooncup is that it holds so much more than tampons or towels that you don't usually need to empty it when you are out and about. IF you do need to empty it, you bung it down the loo give it a wipe with some loo roll and re insert. Some people like to carry a bottle of water to rinse it over the loo with. Easy peasy.

Yama Wed 26-Jun-13 17:20:44

From the thread title I thought you meant that you were so pessimistic that you didn't know if you'd be around by your next period. I was coming on to say yes, I don't stock up either.

There was a thread on here a while back that gave me a bit of a kick up the arse as I am not an instinctively organised person. The gist of some of the comments from the more organised people was how much time it saved them in the long run. It is true, I have made a real effort to be more on top of things and it works. e.g. I needed to book a non-urgent appointment for my DC, I had their term dates in front of me so could book for October half term and then go into my work computer and immediately book the time off (I'd already checked it was available). So instead of my usual flapping around at the last minute looking for cancellations or having to take the children out of school etc I can now relax and it only took a couple minutes (the flapping around version would have taken twice as long).

I am so unorganised. I always have to do a run to the shop for tampons at the last minute although I know exactly when its coming and don't stock up.

valiumredhead Wed 26-Jun-13 17:50:37

It does save masses of time to be organised. I just can't function without using diaries/lists etc. I don't think I'm naturally tidy but I don't like myself when I'm disorganised and messy.

thebody Wed 26-Jun-13 18:05:07

Diary with a page for each day. Check it every day. Take it everywhere and write everything down.

Dilidali Wed 26-Jun-13 22:00:44

The best diary I found is a Moleskine notebook, academic diary(18 months, starts in july, you find them in waterstones). It's as big as my purse, the whole week is on one side, the opposite page is blank for notes. Mine is soft cover, I can write better on it, as opposed to hard cover.
chose one from here
It is june and I am just changing it for a new one.
I put in term times, birthdays, MOT, insurance etc. i use different colours for each of my family memebers(daugher is violet, DH is blue) and make little notes such as to do lists for the week. I actually put down time for myself, or reminders to go to the hairdressers etc.

In the hallway I have a family calendar. It's not in the calendar, it ain't happening. Also, whoever wrote first has priority if we have several things the same day.

I have a pack of sanitary towels in the car, in the glovebox. Look, went into sainsbury's the other day and bodyform are on offer, £1, but they come with a slim tin for the handbag. Worth buying and keeping a spare in your handbag.

I have a coffee, my iphone and my diary as soon as I wake up and it took me a while, but I'm getting there.

nameofanother Wed 26-Jun-13 22:04:28

Another vote for mooncup!!
One area of your life that you can be organised with!

I am like you except I have a mooncup! wink

wem Thu 27-Jun-13 09:52:55

I keep buying diaries then not using them. I signed up for google calendar so that DH could update his work trips, but neither of us used it after the first look. My problem is I generally remember stuff so haven't needed a diary, but I'm sure there's a limit to that - about to be challenged when school starts and I start my own studying. So do I buy another diary that is destined to languish empty and unused?

chrome100 Thu 27-Jun-13 11:29:52

My life was revolutionised by getting an iPhone. As I always have it with me, as soon as there is something of note I pop it straight in the calendar. Then at the start of the week I look through the calendar, see which days have a dot on indicating something to look at it and see what it is. For really important things you can get it to flash up with reminders. It has changed my life and is so easy to do.

lottieandmia Thu 27-Jun-13 11:32:39

OP, I am exactly like you! But because I now have three children I've had to become a little more organised so I always keep a calendar in the kitchen which I write appointments and numbers on and this seems to work well.

People buy tampons at the end of their period? Really? I thought everyone surveyed the two left in the bathroom cabinet and prayed they'd get to the shop before they'd used them up. No?

valiumredhead Thu 27-Jun-13 11:35:49

I just used to buy them when they were on offer.

WinkyWinkola Thu 27-Jun-13 11:41:58

Buy double amount of tampons you need every single time you buy them. 50% of menstrual emergencies gone.

Using a diary isn't hard. I think some folk thrive on a bit of stress and fluster.

BeCool Thu 27-Jun-13 11:44:27

I use the calender on my iPhone, which links up with both Gmail calender, and work PC calender. I'm not sure HOW these linked up blush but I do know the result is I can enter details on either home laptop, work PC or phone & get reminders on my phone. It is really very easy.

Enter school/party dates etc the moment the notice/invite is in your hand. I also take a photo on my phone of letters/notices/invitations etc as I invariably lose them/can't find them when I need them.

You can set annual reminders (never forget a birthday again) with reminders for birthdays popping up a week in advance so you can get card in the post - and appear to be actually AWESOME!!!

All the above takes NANO-SECONDS.

Also you can set reminders for way in the future and as it's all backed up on the Cloud - so you can set passport expirey dates in 5 year in your diary, with a reminder set for 3 months before hand.

Of course, you then have to make sure you ACT on the reminders. grin

as for tampons, just buy them with the supermarket shop perhaps? Or get a Merina coil fitted and be free of tampons forever?

Oh & please, when you get home throw away your old calenders and notices - unnecessary clutter is no longer required. Get rid.

CatsAndTheirPizza Thu 27-Jun-13 12:09:30

Although the rest of my life is very PC/tablet/phone based, I do find some kind of weird comfort in having a paper diary.

BeCool - With the g-mail calendars, is there a way of amalgamating my gmail calendar/my work gmail calendar/DH's work gmail calendar? I don't want them to show all at the same time all of the time, but it would be good to try and bring them together when I need to.

BeCool Thu 27-Jun-13 12:18:02

Yes cats - I have 3 different Gmail calenders amalgamated (one personal & 2 business) and have the option of viewing anyone of of them or all of them together. But I don't know/can't remember how you actually do this. maybe the techy people her can help?

I think its quite simple - your DH needs to invite you to share, you accept & it's done.

BeCool Thu 27-Jun-13 12:18:35

I used to use notebooks - it's the family way smile
But I always lost them, left them behind etc.

CatsAndTheirPizza Thu 27-Jun-13 12:42:54

socool thanks - I will look into it. It probably says in the gmail 'help' function somewhere

MohammedLover Fri 28-Jun-13 21:53:54

My tips would be to have specific places in the house for certain things. So if we get theatre tickets or a map for a wedding reception or the like they will all be in the same pile.

If I have something to give to someone it will always be in one area of one room.

I'm never quite sure where to put post that needs dealing with but is personal enough to be put out of sight when we have visitors. I often find stuff days later in random hidden places if I'm lucky. How do folk get round this sort of thing???

valiumredhead Fri 28-Jun-13 22:47:56

I have a plastic basket that I keep all post in. stays on the kitchen counter until I've time to deal with it.

trixymalixy Fri 28-Jun-13 22:56:35

You need a smartphone. When I get the calendar letter etc home from school I put everything into my iPhone.

I use the notes in my phone to write down things that occur to me, e.g. Birthday ideas for kids, packing lists for holiday etc.

SHarri13 Fri 28-Jun-13 23:03:20

Buy a sickeningly expensive diary (roterfaden) so that the price guilts you into using it. Works quite well from personal experience.

I have tampons everywhere. Every handbag, the bathroom, utility room and my locker at work.

As for being organised - I use my work calendar, iPhone and we have a family calendar at home.

My mum forgot my first day at school. I was late. I don't like the idea of doing that sort of thing to my children so keep several notes of things. I do have a good memory too. I'm not über organised but try.

OhMerGerd Sat 29-Jun-13 07:18:42

Disorganisation is costly. In time, money and relationships. I'm saying this from experience but doesn't mean I've cracked it myself... Though I am trying.

We have ended up driving to a major family function which we'd forgotten until the morning, having to stop at an out of town shopping complex to find outfits for all 4 of us as we'd nothing clean or suitable and less than 2 hours including travel to be suited booted and sitting in our places. You'd think the stress, the massive expense, feeling embarrassed as big family had us dressed in some slightly mismatched garb and looking shellshocked and dishevelled would have us organised in future. . Well fast forward to the real gut wrenching panic when DD1 needed to be on the school bus for French trip at 0545 and we seriously had to console weeping child that if needs be mummy and daddy would drive down the motorway to follow bus hooting and tooting till it stopped at some services to pick her up. That one actually makes me cry remembering it .

Only thing that has improved it is the smart phone calendar - thouroughly recommend it. That calendar beeping and buzzing your 1 day, 4 hour, 15 minutes, NOW ...reminders is invaluable.
Though if you have this disorgsnised trait beware... Somehow I still self sabotage ...and about 15% of the time I fail at actually making an entry that makes sense, I have several in mine at the mo that say ... London or Dinner or just 3pm ... But no details!!!! Arggggh.

StrawberryMonkey Sat 29-Jun-13 07:29:30

Get an iPhone and iPad.

Use the calendars (they sync)
Use the "notes" section too.

Get apps for shopping/todo lists.

Get womanlog app to chart your cycle

Sign up for emails and texts at kids schools to be kept up to date electronically about all your school appointments / events

Sync your email accounts to the iPhone iPad so you can easily read them as they arrive (no more waiting for computer to start).

Honestly it's revolutionised my life!!!grin

I now pretend to be one of the "normal" organised parents (naturally I'm an untidy disorganised mess)!

I even got a motivational app "unstuck" which is like CBT in app form and am now sorting out learning to drive and going back to work etc!

It may seem expensive to buy these tools but the payback is worth it.

I even get my hair cut and eyebrows waxed regularly now, and see a dentist. (Prior to the iPhone / iPad) I used to forget appointments or give up and not make them)! wink

(I am 42 btw)

StrawberryMonkey Sat 29-Jun-13 07:30:16

Oh, and yes, get a moon cup! (And washable pads)!smile

I am naturally very disorganised. What has helped has becoming obsessed with lists - writing them and crossing stuff off. I have work list, home list and shopping list. Work one has general task then a minor update, so I can see at a glance that I emailed person X about a project 3 weeks ago and I need to chase them up about now. I also put stars against urgent things, and three stars against the super urgent things. If I have a specific deadline (which can be as minor as "you promised X you'd reply to them by Friday" or "not heard back from X, chase mid July" - I tend to remember the bigger deadlines of actual deliverables) I put the date in against it and highlight it.

I rewrite the work list when it gets messy and I prioritise that - I know people laugh at me but I don't care.

Slightly less obsessive about he home list, but I am about to write one which says eg "work out what is needed for weekend away". I know I have nagging in the back of my mind that we may need to take DS out of school for a day (not happy sad), we'll need to pack, p[rint off maps etc but I haven't actually thought it all through in an organised way. That, in itself is a task to be done.

The lists haunt me - they stay somewhere prominent until everything is crossed off. Normally in the kitchen where I mumsnet

But ultimately other people can only give suggestions. You need to work out what works for you.

Oh and (another big one for me) - stop procrastinating!
Just seen someone else mention hair dressers and eyebrow wax and realised I need this doing too. If I could I'd call them right now. as it's too early the compromise is to google the no I need and leave it up on the screen, with a plan to do it for 9. So when you're mentally filing stuff in your head to "do later", seriously consider whether it could actually be done right now, then it's one less thing to think about

theodorakisses Sat 29-Jun-13 07:52:05

We have 6 people living in our house and 3 bathrooms and yet we seem to spend our lives using ripped up bits of kitchen roll because nobody ever remembers to buy toilet rolls.

ExcuseTypos Sat 29-Jun-13 07:52:07

Agree get an iPad and iPhone.

They've changed my life!

Pantone363 Sat 29-Jun-13 07:56:53

I think it's good you've recognised something you want to improve!

My MIL is airy fairy bohemian (in her head). To everyone else she is consistently late, unorganised and quite frankly a pain the arse to rely on.

acebaby Sat 29-Jun-13 09:07:59

Wow! Just came back to the thread after a couple of days away. Thanks for all the tips and encouragement. You are dead right that my disorganization is expensive, time consuming, and annoying for everyone around me. So far, I have

1. Ordered 20 boxes of tampons and stored them in the garage. I got those nice natural ones that you can only get online! I will also start a separate thread on non-mooncup alternatives

2. Ordered a new diary, and started putting reminders in my phone and iPad (next stage - get them working together...)

3. Started using a notebook for to dos and lists

And today, as a result of this, I have actually got everything in for the dc's birthday party this afternoon, and have printed out a list of all the children coming (added to my notebook to do list late Thursday night and done yesterday). Amazingly, the party isn't until 2pm. Last week, it wouldn't even have been on my radar until lunchtime. Small steps, but I feel better already. it must be better for my blood pressure, not having to sort out a party for 30 children in half an hour.

Thank you mners for the encouragement, help and kicks up the arse!

acebaby Sat 29-Jun-13 09:11:16

Oh - forgot to say. I have bought new chargers for my phone, so I have one upstairs, one downstairs and one at work. Now that it is not always dead, it is more useful for reminders!

trixymalixy Sat 29-Jun-13 09:41:57

Oh Theodora, don't put kitchen roll down the toilet. It's as bad as baby wipes for blocking pipes <<speaks from bitter, expensive experience>>

BeCool Sat 29-Jun-13 09:44:46

Use your camera phone along with your diary/reminders too.

I photograph everything. It's how I know what we have run out of stuff, what I need to buy next time I go to IKEA, what my car reg is etc etc etc.

CatsAndTheirPizza Sat 29-Jun-13 10:54:21

Well done OP smile.

I think I'm naturally very disorganised, which has caused me to become over-organised to counter that. I'm not as bad as I was, but I got too organised, to the extent I'd organise things so far in advance that something would change and all my work would be undone. I think I've recently found the middle ground - lists/diaries/phone/tablet reminders are the way to go.

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 11:20:37

Cats-I think I'm like that too.

valiumredhead Sat 29-Jun-13 11:24:22

I like the idea of photographing my reg plate,I couldn't remember it if my life depended on it !

theodorakisses Sat 29-Jun-13 12:09:43

trixy don't worry, we have hoses here, paper only for drying and goes in the bin. All good unless someone leaves the door open and the bloody dogs get into the bin.

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