30 Days of November, Day 3: Of S.H.E

The Side-Tracked Home Executive (SHE) System

Anyone that knows me, comes to realize that I love to keep a clear vision of my life by the use of all types of systems. Whether it be a bullet journal (BJ), or Todoist or just a notebook full of lists, I never feel like I am on top of my life if I am not organized. This stems out of the fact that without something reminding me that its time to do something, the procrastinator in me takes over and I end up puttering around online aimlessly for hours, or napping away the day when I have to do more important tasks.

My mind is prone to forget important matters like phone bills and overlook the need to buy toilet paper, if I don't reinforce its power of reasoning with an outside stimuli. My newest method is the SHE system. The book has been around for ages, and I had known of for the last few years before I gave it a try. I am glad however that I finally got the audio book and dove right in.

The core of the system is an index card file-box filled with all of your household chores, personal appointments and even an address book. It seeks to put all of your tasks, habits and social connections all in one place, and then by the aid of monthly, daily and alphabetical tabs, separate them out in a fashion that leaves you with a cohesive plan for managing your life.

My completed system, up and running!

The book also recommends adopting personal habits that should complement your system such as getting up early, dressing well each day and of course, making sure to check your file the night before so you know what the plan for the upcoming day will be.

The biggest draw for me was that unlike my BJ or a notebook, when I needed to change my mind about something,  I could simply file the card under a later day or replace it all together. There was no need to draw a new spread or cross anything out.

The authors explained how to turn your index file into a digital system, which some people may find to be a lot more appealing though it is less so for me. I love stationery and leapt at the chance to buy more of it.

I didn't however go too crazy because the alphabet, number and monthly tabs were quite expensive and on top of that I would have had to ship them in from overseas compounding the price. I purchased the play 5x3 cards and a colored pack and I got creative for the rest:

Using a 6x4 card cut down to 5x3
Using a post-tab to make monthly file
The same tabs used for daily cards.

It was daunting to write out all of the household chores that needed to be done, and even now I still get overwhelmed when I know I don't have the free time to tackle something on the day it pops up in the file. However, the ability to simply reschedule the card is great for my nerves. The satisfaction of being able to do the tasks for the day and simply relax afterward cannot be overstated. It feels good to clean and see the result of your labor!

I also use it to keep my pen-pal information, inspirational Bible quotes, my personal goals and to consolidate other scraps of information that would usually be floating around in various places.

I am pleased with the system overall and I hope to keep using it for many, many years to come.

What do you use to keep organized?


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