Correspondence Feed

Organizing the Nest Survey, Part 10 ~ Correspondence

Nest2

Happy Wednesday, my friends ~ hope your week's going well!

So at last we have my final "organizing" survey, and my subject today is correspondence ~ written communication with friends, family and acquaintances through both traditional and more newfangled methods. :)

So without further ado, here are my questions!

1. Where do you keep your incoming/outgoing mail?

2. Where/how do you store your address book?

3. Where do you store your "mail" materials? (Greeting cards, note paper & envelopes, stamps, etc.)

4. Do you still hand write letters and snail mail greeting cards or do you primarily utilize e-mail (or social media) for these things?

5. Do you schedule time for keeping up with correspondence?

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Now if you'd like to revisit previous survey comments (to read through or add your own), please click on the following links:

1. to-do lists (daily and someday)

2. family food

3. calendars

4. file folders and paper management

5. family finances

6. homeschooling

7. seasonal planning

8. arts, crafts & hobbies

9. reading materials

(Remember - each time you comment your name is entered in the contest!

Friday morning I'll go through every survey post, and jot down the name attached to each comment. ALL those names will be thrown into "a virtual hat" from which two lucky ladies will win one of these:

Where women create bookBook of Organization

I'll announce the winning names on Friday, roundabouts noontime. :)

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So my thanks again to each reader who has helped me out with this project. I'm thrilled the survey has been fun for so many of you, too ... sharing ideas is really one of the best things to come out of the blogging phenomenon, in my humble opinion.

Have a good day, everyone ... and I'll see you back here again soon!

**

 What a wonderful thing is the mail, capable of conveying across continents a warm human hand-clasp.

~ Author Unknown


Rambling Thoughts on Handwriting ~ a Fond, yet Fading Art

In looking over my January notes (handwritten notes, yes!) I see that National Handwriting Day is coming up ~ it takes place on the 23rd of the month, which also happens to be John Hancock's birthday, he of bold handwriting fame. :)

Now, I've made no secret of my fondness for paper and pen, so perhaps I'm a bit biased when I say I think this article rocks:

"Mom, what was handwriting? A novelist examines what we lose as we abandon cursive for typing."

I came across it in the Sunday Boston Globe, and it really got me thinking (as the length of this post can clearly attest). I enjoyed the article so much in fact, that I've requested the discussed book, The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting, from the library, and I'm quite eager to read it ... and, naturally, take notes. :)

I do love the written word however it is delivered - I relish reading and I am an avid (albeit amateur) journalist, in both a personal and public way. I write a (public) blog and I also keep (private) journals. I like to think my "voice" is authentic in both mediums, but there's something extra-special about the words I've written out by hand ...

"There’s nothing nicer than going back over things you’ve written in the past. Those things on paper do take you back to a particular time and a particular place where you were when you were writing this stuff. When I look at my book in print, I can’t remember where I was when I wrote anything. When I come across one of my notebooks, I can remember." ~ Author, Philip Hensher

Journals

I write all kinds of stuff in my journals and though they are intensely personal - a "brain dump" if you will, written only for myself - I do think that someday my progeny might get a kick out of what I wrote, and how I wrote it. Maybe these journals will help them know me, and life in my time, in a way they might otherwise not.

Without a doubt our society is heading away from handwriting, so I think it's important that handwriting enthusiasts keep the "art" alive in any way that we can. So I'm resolving this year to write more by hand. Now, I already write a lot for myself, so this would mean more handwritten correspondence - for example, our Christmas cards. Although I do love our cards (Shutterfly is brilliant!), and I truly appreciate the ease with which I can order, assemble and mail said cards come (busy) December - I have vowed that next year I will take the time to write something personal inside each greeting. Whether it be a handwritten signature (rather than the pre-printed variety) or a slip of paper with a brief message of holiday cheer ... it will hopefully be something that forms a deeper connection with our family and friends. Because I think when we write someone a note by hand it links its message back to us in a way that a type-font cannot ...

"Take pleasure in your own handwriting even when it’s scrappy and individual, because that’s the handwriting that your friends and loved ones will take the most pleasure in, because it’s you. Do it every day." ~ Author, Philip Hensher

Recently a friend of mine commented that she treasures anything handwritten by her late father, and it made me think of those little notes I've got stashed away that were written by my grandmother ... little post-it notes in her scratchy blue ink that say "Save for Dawn" or "Show this to Bookworm." Because she was always just that way - putting aside interesting things to share with her children and grandchildren - and great-grandchildren! Gram was a great reader and her family meant more to her than anything else. Anyone who knew her knew these things about her. And yet I particularly love those little notes because for one thing, her handwriting's like mine, (or I guess I should say, mine is like hers) and for another, it helps me remember her in a very personal way. It's a comfort even - it makes me feels like she's not so far away ...

Now, I hope I don't sound preachy - I know that technology appeals to many folks as strongly as pen and paper do to me. And I'll confess, I find myself conflicted at times. Like any (relatively) modern mother I have a lot on my plate and I'm too often pressed for time. So the need to be "quick and efficient" is always present. (Annnd that's a whole other post.) But combine my love for all things handwritten with my general discomfort/inexperience with technology (not to mention my resistance to change) and it's no wonder I stick with my "old school" preferences. I know a lot of people are like me to some degree, and yet many folks just naturally gravitate towards technology.

My husband, for instance, is something of a "technerd," if I may use that term loosely and with a bit of cheek. ;) Bill understands computers, and technology in general, in a way I could never hope to; this has made him more successful in his career, and it brings him enjoyment as well. So it's no surprise he uses his iPhone for everything and then some: schedules, reminders, correspondence, shopping lists, travel plans, etc. ... all things I prefer to write out by hand. But we are equally competent in, and satisfied with, our organizational method. For the most part. :)

So I save some of Bill's emails (the ones of a more intimate nature), in a special "inbox" folder - alongside any links and cute emails the boys send me. Just as I save every card my dear ones have given me in a bedroom drawer. Preferences aside - penned or typed -communication is what's important. Love is love, however it's expressed.

OK, enough of my rambling! Today dear readers, I'm curious ~ how much do you write by hand these days, and what areas of your life have you turned over to technology?

Shopping lists?

Thank you notes?

Casual correspondence?

Holiday cards?

Journaling?

Recipes?

*

And if you homeschool, do you teach your children cursive? Do they practice penmanship in any formal way? And if your kids are in school, did/do they learn cursive at some point?

Please leave a comment below if you have thoughts on the subject, as well as the time to share them! Generations ago - if I were a professional and this was say, a newspaper column - I'd wait for your responses to be mailed in. It's nice that in this setting we can share thoughts immediately - much more does get done with technology, it's hard not to recognize that. It is a changing and ever-progressing world, but like the old saying goes, why throw out the baby with the bathwater?

"We maintain a mixed relationship with food. Sometimes we go out, sometimes we call in for a delivery, and sometimes, like on Christmas Day, we start from scratch preparing food for people that we love. Why can’t handwriting be like that?" ~ Philip Henshaw

P.S. I'm organzing my "correspondence drawer" this weekend - an annual January task - and I will be happy to share it all with you once I'm done. :)

Well my friends, as always, I thank you for stopping by today, and wish you all a happy day!

See you here again sometime soon ...



Holiday Greetings!

Of all kinds, shapes and sizes ...

Christmas card wall 3

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is receiving all those wonderful holiday cards. Hearing from family and friends - and seeing how the kids are all growing! - is such a joy. I try to find a fun way to display the cards every year, so that we can keep these beautiful greetings in "heart & mind" every day. This year I just used Earlybird's cork board wall and clear pushpins, and when I ran out of cork I just used bits of tape to hold up the "overflow" (but don't tell Bill, lol).

What do you do with your Christmas cards? Do you display them in some way? How do you store them when the holidays are over? I have a big tin in which I keep our Christmas greetings from year to year, but I was thinking it might be nice to make up little albums for each year's cards, photos and notes ...

A nice winter project, perhaps?

:)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, my friends ... I will try to stop in one more time before Christmas!

Holiday Blessings to you and yours ...

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How Many Tools Do You Use?

Tools 1

When it comes to managing your time, household and family?

You all know it's no secret I love planners. I'm forever talking about them, tweaking them ... tempting myself with new ones. And I'm always curious about other people's planners - specifically, what they look like, and how they use them. And this is what I've been thinking about recently ... about the tools I use and the methods I follow. My "domestic management system" if you will. :)

{tools + methods = system}

But most of all, I'm thinking about how I can simplify it all!

It would be super convenient to have ONE THING that manages EVERYTHING, but I just can't make that happen. That "thing," whatever shape it took, would just be too big and unwieldly. That said, I feel like I may have too many tools currently in use.

I'm wondering then, as my title suggest, how many tools do you use? What do you use to keep up with - and track of - your domestic duties?

 The tools I have "in play" right now are as follows:

Homekeeping Binder

Yearbook Binder

Months @ a Glance Calendar Binder

Weekly File Folders

(a MomAgenda - which is kind of on standby)

Daybook/Homekeeping Blog

Daily Chore Cards

Marketing Binder

Curriculum Binder

Clippings Journal

In-Basket

Reading Basket

Financial Drawer

Correspondence Drawer

Recipe File Drawer

Household File Drawer

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(Am I forgetting anything? I probably am. I'm looking all around my home office right now, reminding myself what's what ...)

Now, I highlighted the "weekly file folders" in magenta because these are my favorite tools of all. (And the color matches my new banner, lol.) I'll pin most of my planning onto these folders once I figure out how.

Well friends, I'm going to end this post here because A. it's all I have time for, and B. this is more or less, step one, and, C. I'm trying to make my posts a little more manageable these days. (In other words, not so wordy!)

So have a great Wednesday night ... we're keeping things simple here on the supper front, as I just noted in my homekeeping blog. As I was cleaning out the fridge today I realized we had a LOT of leftovers to use up ... so the chicken pesto pasta will have to wait for tomorrow and tonight will be a little mix of this and that. :)

See you all again very soon!



National Clean Off Your Desk Day

Did you spiff up your workspace today?

Cleandeskday2

As I mentioned last week, I have a new desk arriving sometime later this month, but for now I'm still using one end of the kitchen island as my primary workspace or "desk." And since today is "National Clean Off Your Desk Day," I figured I'd tackle this "hot spot" of mine.

Because as you can see, it really needed it:

Cleandeskday1

(Yikes, that's bad!)

Now I call it my "hot spot" (a la FlyLady) because it does attract clutter like crazy - but it's not usually quite so messy! But I was so busy this weekend - just so caught up in my daybook project - that I really let everything pile up ... random papers, store receipts, coupons, bills, notes, etc. etc.!

So the first thing I did was to clear EVERYTHING of this counter space ... and boy, that felt good! And it looked so nice and open, I took a good look and thought, "Well, this is how it will look once I get that desk!" (In theory anyway.) Next I scrubbed down the counterop - first with Method Lavender Cleaning Spray and then a damp, clean cloth. Once the surface was dry, I started sifting through all that stuff - sorting/tossing/and putting things back in place - a little neater than before.

Cleandeskday9

Much better, I'd say!

And as you can see above, I did finally get my "daybook" spiral-bound today! First I made sure I had it all in the correct order, then I stacked the pages as neatly as I could:

Readytobind

Then it was off to the Copy Center at Staples where I paid five dollars and waited five minutes for a binding, and then I was out the door and on my way home with my brand new daybook!

Cleandeskday6

I love how it looks beside (or on top of) my homekeeping binder!

Cleandeskday4

Now, I will definitely do a thorough post on the daybook itself - and I hope to get that up by mid-week. (Maybe tomorrow before my "Teatime" post, but most likely early Wednesday.)

But before I go I want to tell you two more things ...

One, I still can't leave comments here for some odd reason, so I apologize that I have not responded to the questions and comments left over the past few days. If I can't get this issue cleared up in another day or two I will write up separate posts addressing those queries.

The other thing I wanted to mention was something I just learned today ... this week is Universal Letter-Writing Week! (Thanks to Dana at Save Snail Mail for the tip. :)) I think a week devoted to the practice of letter-writing is pretty fantastic ... I don't (hand)write my correspondence as often as I used to, but I love the whole idea and institution of letter-writing. (Especially as I absorb all these beautiful movies and tv shows set in a slower, more genteel past - aka, Little Women, Emma, Sense and Sensibility ... and Downton Abbey of course.)

I think I might add a trip to the post office this weekend to pick up some new stamps and I'll assess my correspondence needs. (I used to have a whole basket devoted to letter writing but these days it all gets stored in that wire basket you see above on my counter.) Winter is the perfect time to consider (perhaps reconsider) our correspondence habits - in fact, I have a special spot in my daybook for planning just that!

So, my friends, I'll let you go now ... our night is upon us and the boys are awaiting my attention. Thank you so much for stopping by ... have a wonderful night ... and I will see you all again very soon.

:)