I have said before I'm a fan of FranklinCovey. One of the products I use is their Forms Wizard. It has the ability to print to the sizes of their planners or full page for filing. Admittedly, I keep these as digital files mostly and there are other similar options online. But I got used to this one years ago and found a way to make it work for me. The forms wizard has many different organisational templates for different projects. For correspondence, I use Contact Log, Future Planning, Information Record, Party Planner, and Special Days.
|Ever forget a conversation as soon as you hang up the phone?|
This can make sure you keep the promise you just made.
|Perfect for adding notes that need to be placed into the|
tree later. No "hold on, Myrtle, while I open my tree app
and write down what you're saying. Put it here and then
update when you get off the phone!
I do print this one out and keep them in 3-ring binders. That's another reason I like the forms wizard, it's already formatted for hole-punches so it can be added to binders. I have one binder for companies, one for family and friends, one for my business use. I separate with alphabet tabs and sort by surnames. I use this for all my calls to family whether it's a "how you doin'" or a "can you send me photos of grandpa?" It's all in one place and referenced during our call. I can also see the last time I spoke to them and if it's been a while, pick up the phone during my down-time. If it's family I've connected to via Ancestry Member Trees or people I use for their expertise, I add personal info here for when I contact them. "How's your wife, Martha? And the boys? Back in school yet? Did you get that new job/car? How did your surgery go?" I can't remember everything off the top of my head. Having it in one place keeps me from forgetting the niceties that make life fun.
|If you add the dates as you learn them, you'll stop|
forgetting those important times when you can be
most connected to your family.
Special Days is just that. It's a clean format for adding birthdays and anniversaries to remember yearly. I have a fancy wall edition with flowers and butterflies that looks pretty and really is as much for art as for reminding me to send a card. The wall one has dates for deceased relatives and I leave them there rather than mar the image and cross them out (I add a small note of death date above their birth). That wall calendar is an heirloom piece. This file is a functional piece. I remove deceased relatives so that I never forget and send a card to a distant cousin that is no longer with us. I order them by date rather than person so that I can keep them right and send cards a week in advance. If I can call, I call within a day before or after and add the conversation to my Information file where I've also noted I sent a card. (If I go to call and realise I didn't send a card, I make an apology rather than ask if they liked their gift). This is all to help me make sure my family feels special and I feel in control. They don't see the man behind the curtain. All they see is the powerful Wizard of Oz. Larger than life and always there for them.
|Page one of the Party planner puts the guest list front and center.|
|Page 2 of the Party planner is a to-do list, grocery list and don't forget list in one place. NO LOOSE PAPER!|
And since we are getting on to the living this week, learn what you can do to give back. Make this the week you pick a successor. Or the week you give serious thought to their training now. Get into the habit of sending birthday and anniversary cards early rather than late. Call those relatives you haven't spoken to in a while. Write to those new connections you've not yet introduced yourself. (Your next best friend could be an email away!). Don't let Facebook be the only contact you have to your relatives and friends. Make a point to meet in person with those nearest you. Plan a trip to see those farthest. Take a look at local cemeteries and historical locations and see if you can help save them from disrepair. Get in touch with the living while they still live.
And write it all down while you still live.