How I wrote five blog posts in five weeks

This will be the fifth post I have made in five weeks. Not that impressive really, but it is part of something bigger in my quest to live intentionally, and learning to be effective. I am drawn to this word effective because it is about more than the number of things you get done, it is about how important they are. I want to do important things, not lots of things.

I have never had a great system of keeping track of tasks and projects, which makes it pretty hard to be productive, effective or intentional. I need a structure that had been created by somebody with more experience than me. With very little thought and pretty spontaneously I decided to try out Full Focus Planner. I have been using it for about six weeks now. Six weeks is far from enough for me to say my life is permanently made wonderful by this small book I carry around, but it is enough to start getting a feel for how it can work for me.

The basics of the system are that you set SMART goals by quarter. Each week you review the previous week for lessons learned and set a big three focus for the coming week. Each day you set a big three for the day and list other tasks. You also have four intentional times to, among other things, make sure what you working on connects to you daily and weekly big three and your goals.

So…big thoughts:


Connecting tasks with goals definitely help keep you on track and help make faster progress towards goals. This has probably been the biggest benefit for me so far. Reviewing goals often when I am setting tasks naturally makes my tasks match up with goals.

Challenge: one thing that I am still figuring out is how to integrate work goals and projects into the goals of the system. For me the goals are all personal, so I have to find ways to make sure I am including work things as well.


I like having to write things down. It reinforces them, keeps them in a distraction-free area, and lets me set the book open next to me whatever I am doing for reference.

Challenge: This is not a task manager or a project manager. It is really about bringing focus to your day. I am still struggling a bit with how to integrate work tasks and project management, our family kanban wall, my personal kanban wall, calendar, etc. There are still lots of places stuff is stored, and I need to keep streamlining that. Also, each planner lasts a quarter. Four books a year. What am I supposed to do with all these dead trees?


There is no doubt doing the Full Focus system adds some overhead to my day. It calls for four ritual times each day, a weekly review, and a quarterly review. These can be a lot of different things, but partly they are for reviewing tasks and goals, filling in the planner, going over schedules, and reviewing lessons learned. But, this is time well spent, there is no doubt that the increase in effectiveness that results is worth it.

The Dip

It’s pretty easy to be excited about stuff like new planners and goals for about 3 days, use it really effectively, and then slide back to most of your own habits. This is kind of where I am at right now. I see how it can be really effective, and I have to really push through the temptation to use it half way so I can pretend I am getting the benefit when really I am just putting some paint on old bad habits. I am trying to really focus on fully engaging with the process of the planner, not just doing it halfway.

The Full Focus Planner won’t do your work for you

From reading the reviews of Full Focus Planner, and other productivity systems, it seems like some people have found a way to make the system actually do their work for them. I can assure you this is not the case. I am still tempted by distraction, often lazy, pick the easy work over the hard work, and let the urgent crowd out the important. There is no doubt that the planner is helping me get better at these things. But, I have a really long way to go.

Five blog posts in five weeks

One of my goals is to write a post every week. My streak is at five, which is by far the most consistent I have ever been in writing, and a lot of this is because using the planner brings me back to my goals on a daily basis. Success!

As I learn to be more effective, more intentional, and create more value in the world I want to embrace the tools that are available. Nothing Beth and I are doing is all that new or original, we are just trying to apply things we know to our own lives, Full Focus Planner is turning into one of those tools. I hope that these five blog posts are part of a bigger trend in my life of setting goals and accomplishing them while being effective in the big and small parts of life.

Want to read the five blog posts? Here they are:

  1. The one are reading
  2. Lean Family?
  3. Weekend to do list
  4. Tell me about this…
  5. eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack Reveiw and Life Application

If you want more info, check out (disclosure: I get a discount on my next planner if you use this link). If you want to see some nice pictures of the planner check out this review over on The Full Focus Planner is based on Michael Hyatt’s book Your Best Year Ever and his Free to Focus system (neither of which I have read or used…I just sort of jumped into the planner).

If you are looking lightweight productivity tools I have used Trello, Zenkit,  Storyline Productivity Schedule, and The Task Order Up!. All of them did their job for a season, and are worth looking into. 

Visually Managing the Eggs

We eat eggs daily around here. Some mornings we can easily consume half a dozen eggs at a single breakfast. This means we buy at least two dozen eggs at each grocery trip.

And that means at any given time there are two or three dozen eggs in our refrigerator.

And we were having trouble easily knowing which carton had been opened and should be used first.

Which often resulted in two egg cartons, both half full.

I would glance at how many egg cartons were left and think, “Oh, there are still two cartons. We shouldn’t need eggs this trip to the store.” Only to find out that one carton had 3 eggs left and the second had 5.

And we mentioned several times that this was an issue, and sort of joked that we needed some visual management in our fridge.

And finally one day I realized that there was a pretty simple fix. And we didn’t need some big process to analyze the problem and determine the best solution. It took about 15 seconds total.

So I got a Sharpie and just wrote a number 1 and number 2 on the cartons.
IMG_0195.jpgA simple step that has already alleviated frustration and confusion.

Some problems require a fairly involved process to really understand all the pieces involved in order to really find the most effective and beneficial solution. And some problems can be fixed with a quick decision and a Sharpie. Ben wasn’t even in town when I did this. There was no reason to wait until he got home, days later, add it to our agenda, discuss it at length, and then implement a solution that we mutually agreed on. We didn’t even make a Post-It for this one! (*gasp!*)

Sometimes you just need to know which egg carton to use.

Lean Family?

Thanks to Kibo Group, CI Solutions. and the Regional Food Bank I have had the opportunity to receive a couple weeks of Lean training recently. I even got a cool certificate!

This training was focused on using Lean Methodology (a systematic method for waste minimization within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity – wikipedia) in a fairly traditional way. The tools, ideas and methods of Lean are pretty fascinating to me, I learned a lot, and I hope I can apply what I learned there within Kibo Group and other organizations I am part of.

But this blog is not about businesses and non-profits. It is about families, and specifically my family. We started writing again because we wanted to try to apply some of the tools we have seen in business, non-profit, strategic planning, Lean, etc. to living intentionally and effectively as a family. So…a few takeaways:

How does our family create value?

Lean is about eliminating waste so that you can effectively create value. In a business, this is pretty easy to measure (money, customer satisfaction). In non-profits, it can be a little bit harder (We changed the world! But did you?). But how does our family create value? Lean is pretty focused on value creation (one of its core tools is called Value Stream Mapping which is used to understand how value is added to a product or service from beginning to end). This pays off for businesses because it forces them to make improvements to areas that truly add value first, which ultimately means that customers get more value.

Value Stream Map

If we want to live our lives intentionally we need to figure out how we create value so we can focus on the things that let us do that more.

Continuous improvement seems perfect for families

Lean is a continuous improvement method. You don’t strive for big dramatic changes, just incremental changes that make small improvements that add up to big changes over time. I think there are times when dramatic and immediate change is needed. However, families seem like a place where it does not take very many small changes to see big results, so continuous improvement is a great way to make changes.

True Lean is pretty out of proportion to a family’s needs.

Lean was derived from the Toyota Production System. Building a car is pretty complicated. The resulting Lean Methodology is an entire system of thinking that is pretty big, complex, and different at every company that uses it. I have no idea how you would actually do all of it as a family. It does not really make sense. That said the core principles and some of the tools are very adaptable, and seem to have pretty easy application. Looking for ways that our family waste time, energy, money, and ideas will certainly help us be more intentional about what we do. Fundamental ideas like PDCA and The Eight Step Problem Solving Process have to be done on purpose but seem like they can be really valuable. Specific tools, like priority matrix, 5S and visual management, are pretty easy to apply in modified forms (Ben and Beth use Lean tools…sounds like some blog post ideas). Some of it seems pretty non-applicable without modifying it beyond recognition, for example, standard work.

Which leads to….

This stuff needs a translator

I have read blogs and books about people who have done fairly direct applications of Lean, Agile, and other similar methodologies into their families. Generally, these are people who practice those processes at work so they know them really well. They get the nuances and so they know how to adapt it to their family situation. This is great, but I think for a lot of us it does not work very well. The trick is to understand the principles and then create new ways of explaining and applying them that make sense to a broad set of people lots of types of families (we have popular psychology, why not popular lean?). I really do believe that there is value for families in the methods of Lean (among other project management/CI/strategic planning frameworks), I hope that over time they are simplified and made accessible to more people.

I am curious, what are some “from the business world” techniques that you are applying to your personal life?

Weekend to do list

We have this crazy big somewhat complicated system for keeping track of our projects. This is really helpful, but weekends are different from the rest of the week. We have more time to try to work on projects around the house and more time for family. We want to spend our weekends intentionally just like our weekdays, but using our board is to big picture for planning what we want to get done on a Saturday. We need a way to really focus and plan a couple days.

I got an idea from Personal Kanban by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry to make a small board out of tape on the table. It worked really well. It let us list out our to-dos for the weekend, but still keep the idea of only working on a few things at a time, and seeing progress by moving things into the done column. The only real problem was that the tape took some of the finish off the table, so we don’t do it directly on the table anymore.

How do you make your weekend intentional?



Video Stars

We have seen how visual management can be helpful for ourselves, as adults. And I can remember bulletin boards in my elementary school classrooms with big monthly calendars, a spot for today’s weather, the daily schedule-all in very colorful, visual formats. So I wondered if it would be helpful for a specific problem we were having.

Abraham has a weekly calendar that utilizes visual management already. He really seems to find it helpful and enjoys moving the star each morning to the new day and seeing what we have planned for the week.

So, the problem was that we (I)  had gotten into a habit of letting him watch a lot of videos, or at least more than we wanted him to be watching. He is still pretty limited on the screen time he gets and what the content is. But basically any time he asked to watch a video, I saw 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to get dressed, catch up on dishes, eat my breakfast, etc. Which is great and all, but we just felt like for our family and our goals and values we needed to set some limits on video watching with Abraham.

We decided three videos a week was a good place to start. I made three small yellow circles that say “Watch One Video” with a star in the middle. (Yes, I realize we call them “video stars” but they are really circles with a star in the middle.) Each Sunday we move the three video stars to the wall next to his calendar.


“Videos” are what we have described to Abraham as “short”, meaning 30 minute episodes of Daniel Tiger or Reading Rainbow, etc. “Movies” are “long”, meaning full-length movies. Movies are extra special and we really try to limit those to a specially planned family movie night. Or like last week when he was running a fever and laid on the couch basically all day.

The big difference between videos and movies in our house, besides their length, is that he can request to watch (up to) 3 videos each week and Ben and I decide when a movie is appropriate. He will often ask to watch a movie, but our response is usually, “That would be really fun. We aren’t going to watch that movie today, but maybe sometime soon we will have a family movie night and we can all watch it together.”

So every Sunday he gets three video stars. He can choose (for the most part) when to watch them throughout the week. We still get to decide if it is a good time to start a video. (Not at 8am when we have to be at school in an hour, etc.) And he can’t watch more than one in any given day. When he uses a video star he moves the token to the day he watched it so he knows it has been used and that he can’t watch another video that day.


I would say that for the most part he does really well with this system and understands. Having the physical tokens that we move from the wall next to his calendar (their “holding place”) to the day he watches a video seems really helpful. And giving him a choice about when to use them will surely start to help him make decisions and learn a little about delayed gratification (or…the pain of using up all your video stars before the week is even half over and not getting to use one later in the week when he really wants to.)

It sort of has be wondering what other areas of my life I could employ visual management to limit “fun” things like watching tv, time spent on facebook, and things of that nature.

Tell me about this…

Every now and then somebody is at our house, sees a bunch of post-it notes on the wall and asks what they are for. We tell them a bit about what we are doing and they often say “I need to do that!”

So, if you want to try this out, here is what we did, step by step:

First Step: Motivation (or Why would I want to fill up a wall with ugly post-it notes?)

Figure out what problem you are trying to solve. We want to create value in the world, but the way we manage our stuff, time, projects, money, and relationships prevented us from doing that. The mental energy of keeping track of our to-do lists in lots of places and not knowing what was a priority was overwhelming and kept us from making progress. We want to change that. Our post-it note wall is step one, we have a long way to go.

Second Step: Write it all down

We both got a bunch of post-it notes and did some individual brainstorming. We each wrote down projects, to do, aspirations, or things we need to buy. We wrote one per post-it. We did this until we had a post-it for everything we could think of. I don’t know how many we had, but it was a lot, probably 100.

Third Step: Consolidate

We matched up our post-it notes so that we did not have any duplicates. Discussed them to make sure we both understood them all and added anything we missed.

Fourth Step: Set Priorities (or Give yourself permission to ignore things)

For us, this is the key. Our 60 or so post-it notes are totally overwhelming if we think about them all at the same time. They don’t even all fit on the large bulletin board we use. Some of them (the ones with the lowest priority) are posted in a completely different room. But without specifically deciding to ignore some things for the time being they all just stay in our head and take up energy that is better spent elsewhere. We put things into three big areas:

  1. OK – These are things that we consider OK for now. That is to say, we don’t have to deal with them right away and we are giving ourselves permission to ignore them.
  2. Not OK – Things that are critical and need to be taken care of soon. We are only allowed to have 5 of these at any one time.
  3. Do Today – Things we are working on today. We can only have 3 of these at a time.

Fifth Step: Make it Visible

If you just do steps 1 – 4 and then put it all in a drawer or in the trash it is interesting but kind of pointless. It has to be visible. We used washi tape, cork board and thumbtacks to put our board up in our dining room. You can do it however you want, just make sure it is somewhere you see and interact with every day.


Sixth Step: Check-in Regularly

Every morning we look at the board together and decide if anything needs to move to a new category and decide what we are going to work on that day. We move things around so it reflects reality. Checking in with the board every morning is our goal, we are far from perfect on that.

We try to do a more in-depth check in once a week to really talk through anything that needs discussion or to be changed.

Seventh Step: Update Regularly

If one of us thinks of a task or project that needs to be done we write it down and put it on the board as soon as possible. The whole point is to not hold these things on our head, so the sooner we write it down the better. We have a shared list we can access on our phones so that if we are not at home we can put it on the list and add it to the wall later.

That is what we are doing right now. We have a lot more learning to do, and some big ideas for next steps, but for now this wall full of post-it notes is making a big difference helping us set priorities and get things done as a family. If you want to give this a try go for it. Just be sure and make it work for you, you don’t have to do it how we are doing it. And send us a picture, we want to see it!

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack Reveiw and Life Application

I am now the owner of an eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack (Thanks mom and dad and brother! Happy Birthday to me!). A quick review:

4 Things I like:

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack

Orange! All backpacks should be orange inside. It makes it way easier to find things.

Compartments. Everything can have a place. My old backpack was just a sack. I was constantly digging around trying to find things.

Visual Management. Do I have a pen? Yes!

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack pen holder

This hard case for chargers. I thought this was going to be pointless, but I think that this protective case is going to let me use my taped up charger for another year at least.

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack Charger Holder

4 Things I don’t like:

Why did they use these cheap feeling plastic clips? Especially when they put a nice metal one inside to hold your keys.

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack clips

Size. Most of the time can I fit what I need, but I think if I was going to do it over I would get something a little bit bigger. Trying to fit a planner, notebook, computer, book, and lunch is a bit tight. And hauling a bunch of kids’ books home from the library is a no go. Sometimes you just need to be able to cram in a bunch of stuff.

Openings. I wish all the zippers opened on 3 sides instead of two. Sometimes it seems hard to get things in and out.

Aesthetics. I like the look overall, but sometimes it gets a bit lumpy looking and the lines don’t stay clean. See “Size” above.

This is not a gear blog though. I am supposed to be writing about creating value as a family by living life intentionally, not blatantly trying to get you to click on our Amazon Affiliate links. I think there are some lessons to be drawn from the experience of different types of backpacks. My old backpack was a hiking daypack. It had one big storage area and one small one. It seems great to just have open space. Freedom! I can do whatever I want! The problem is that papers get lost in the bottom, books crush your computer charger and break the cables. There is no way to know if you have everything before you leave the house, and you just fill up all the space with things you don’t need. My new backpack gives structure to its organization. Things become easy to find, I spend less time searching for what I need, I have to be intentional about what I pack for the day, and my investments in gear are protected.

We are learning that this is true in our household, time, and budget. Our rooms without organized storage quickly become cluttered when nothing has a place. When we are not intentional to plan how we will spend our time at the beginning of the day the easy but unimportant things fill it (three episodes of Dr. Who? Sure why not!). Not planning how we will spend our money feels like freedom, until there is no money left. How we manage our stuff, time, and money are core to allowing our family to create value in the world. We have a lot to learn, this backpack is not going to change my life, but it is a small reminder that we can find ways to be intentional, and be better for it.

Abraham’s Calendar

We have seen for ourselves benefits of visual management. So we figured it could be helpful for our toddler also. My calendar is full of things like play dates and story times these days. And as we added in a day of school for Abraham each week I wanted to help him understand the concept of a week a little better so he could start to grasp that there was consistency to which day he went to school. I felt like without this visual management for him, he would maybe assume that I chose when he was going to school at random. He seems to do really well with consistency and routine so I figured with a new addition to our schedule as big as school, being able to see how it fit into the other weekly activities we do would be helpful.

I did a few brief searches online and saw a few things I liked. But I had an idea in my head of what I wanted and nothing was quite what I was looking for. And there were plenty to choose from with downloadable templates. But in the end, I decided to make something myself.

It is a very high-end calendar made of white poster board, some washi tape, and some activity cards I have hand-drawn. (A bonus of doing it this way is that it has really stretched me creatively, specifically in having to sketch out each card. Drawing has never been something I felt confident in, so this has been a challenge, but it has actually been fun!)

There is one column for each day and a star that gets moved from each day to the next. Some cards stay pretty stationary (church, school, etc.) Some cards I keep in a drawer and they get added as appropriate (birthday celebrations, doctor visits, grocery shopping, etc.)

One thing that seemed helpful with this way of laying out our week was that when Ben had a trip that spanned several days, I put one card on the day he left with a string connecting it all the way to the day he would return. I think this helped Abraham’s toddler brain begin to comprehend length of time and see that there was a finite time that Daddy would be returning.

I used to wait to tell him about something exciting that we were going to do until just before the event. (Sometimes, in the car as we were about to walk into the event.) A toddler can only understand so much about the concept of time and if I told him at the beginning of the day a friend was coming over to play, but then something came up and they didn’t end up coming after all, he would be so disappointed. So I hesitated some before making this calendar for fear of constant disappointments as cards had to shift around or be removed. But I figure it is a good way to start helping him understand that while we can plan things, sometimes plans change and we have to be flexible.

He really enjoys moving the star each morning. And it helps him feel involved while we are planning out our days and looking at our own board each morning.

So far it has been a really valuable tool. We recently added a token system as a way to limit the amount of screen time he requested. I’ll share more about that soon.

5S, offices, sustainablity, and other key words

We have lived in seven different houses and apartments. It seems like we always have one room that is the gathering place for all the things we don’t know what to do with. Right now that room is the office which is also Eden’s room. It needed to be cleaned and organized. Really, the room is basically unusable.

There is a printer on top of the shelves. It’s really easy to get to when loading paper.

So, we got to it:

We sorted, got rid of a bunch of stuff, found places for things, not perfect, but much better!

The problem is that a couple months later the room is back to its old self as a holding place for things we don’t know what to do with. We need a new plan, something that will help us get things in order, but also maintain that order.


I took this picture a few hours ago. Not as bad as the room started, but starting to get filled with stuff again!


In manufacturing, there is an idea called 5S Methodology. 5S is a way of putting things in order and maintaining that order. It has five parts:

The first two are pretty obvious. Sort and Set in Order. In Sort we get rid of unneeded things. Think going though your closet to get rid of clothes you don’t need anymore. In Set in Order we decide where things should go and give them a place. We add labels so we know where things go. These two steps are pretty straightforward and satisfying. It’s nice to clean everything up and put things in place. The problem is that just like our office/nursery it takes about 2 days for all the work to be undone when we have some random stuff we can’t figure out where to store.

We missed the last 3 Ss. A lot of people do. Shine, Standardize and Sustain are about how we maintain the order created in Sort and Set in Order. This is the hard part. When we clean the office again, how will we make sure that we do a little bit of tidying up regularly? How will we make sure that Beth and I both organize things in the same way? And how will we keep ourselves accountable for maintaining that organization? For some people, this all comes naturally. Not for us, so we need to learn from industries that have figured this out through 5s and develop a system that works for us. This one is a work in progress, but I am pretty sure if we get one of these really ugly posters and put it up in our living room it will help.

Small Victories and building momentum

So, we had a couple months of crazy and didn’t keep up with our system well. BUT, right before that, we started cataloging all the things we have accomplished since we started this. And as we jump back in and attempt to make this part of our daily routine, it is encouraging to see the progress we were able to make in just a short amount of time.

Click here for a reminder of how we started this project.

Are you wondering how it is working for us? Has anything in the way we operate as a family really changed?

The short answer is that it truly is changing things around here.

We are more focused. We have a shared system for prioritizing projects and tasks. Both of us get to weigh in on what should take priority that day, or week. Personally, I feel a renewed sense of us working together as a team, rather than each of us just doing whatever we want to do separately.

And we want to be sure to celebrate our successes. Especially when laying out a big project like this, (a giant wall full of post-it “to-do”s with some pretty major things that need to get done, like ‘re-build the back deck’ and clearing off spaces that perpetually have piles), it is helpful to also include some small, easily attainable tasks. You know, like when those list-loving people write down something they have already done just so they can cross it off. It is satisfying to see progress. And to be able to see and experience how being disciplined can really pay off.

So here are some of our victories so far.

Ben and his dad finished a big portion of rebuilding our back deck.

There are still some pieces to be done to say that the project is totally complete, like rebuilding the railings and sealing the new boards. But the steps and decking have all been rebuilt, which really is something worth celebrating! It’s functional again-there were a few days where we didn’t have steps back there, so it was a bit precarious. And it feels good to walk on solid (not rotting) boards every time we go out the back door. (Which happens multiple times each day.)

This is an “in-progress” shot with the old wood. We now have new flooring and the old railings have been put back up. New railings are still to come.

We did a first round of sorting in the Office/Nursery.

We pulled everything out of the office that was on the floor. There were boxes of baby clothes, camera gear, broken kites, etc. Everything that was on the floor was pulled out to the Living Room where we sorted it, and we put back only what belongs in there. This has been on the ‘Not Ok’ part of the wall for awhile now, so getting started in this room was pretty satisfying.

Now, there are still 4 boxes of baby things on the floor of the Living Room. (Naptime ended before we finished sorting through everything and putting it back in the Office/Nursery.) And it has been over a week and these boxes still aren’t in their proper home (because I need to do some sorting through them first.) BUT one part of the big Office/Nursery project is complete. We can walk in that room without stepping over crazy piles and boxes of stuff stacked all over the room.


The books all fit on the bookshelf!

This was a bit of an afterthought once we got all the office floor things sorted and put back in their places. But when I look at that bookshelf (multiple times each day) I am proud of the hard work we put into deciding which books to keep and which ones to part with. And that we finally just did it. It’s been bothering me for months now that not all the books fit on the bookshelf. We even got rid of enough books that we had one whole shelf empty. We were able to put our DVD collection in that spot. And now we have one less box in a closet!

Finished the corner by the back door

Sometimes just finishing something because it will only take 15-20 minutes is helpful, even if it means bypassing the post-it system. I bought a card catalog at a yard sale this weekend and needed to rearrange some of the things in the kitchen corner to make it fit. But moving the recycling basket meant re-hanging the vacuum higher, which meant a trip to the basement for tools. We put it off until Sunday night, but it was getting frustrating with that corner not having things back in their place. So it made sense to just take care of it right then. Ben did have to abandon this mini-project to help out with bedtime routines, but once the kids were asleep he finished up quickly and we were able to re-set that corner in an evening.

This was a bit of an aside from our system of post-its and projects and priorities. But I really wanted this card catalog shelf. And I had birthday money to spend however I wanted. And by the second day of the sale, they were willing to make a pretty good deal, so it was a bit of a fun purchase. But moving it into the kitchen on Saturday morning meant we had to find a new place for the shelf that was already there. And then, re-homing the things that were residing in that original shelf, like batteries and light bulbs.

I suppose it is an example of being flexible also. Buying a card catalog was not on our radar. The right circumstances were there and it made sense, but adding a new piece of furniture meant rearranging what we already have. Our square footage is such that we have to be pretty intentional about the things we let take up space in our house. (But that’s for another post…) And a spontaneous purchase like this meant we had to live with an overcrowded corner of the kitchen or bump up rearranging that corner to the top of the priority list. And you can only reach around the recycling basket so many times to get to the peanut butter. Especially when the most-requested snack these days is peanut butter on a spoon.

So, we are celebrating a few small victories right now. Our system is working!

We know that a few of you have been trying out our system and have invested in your own set of post-its. How is it going for you? What are you finding helpful? What is discouraging? We are interested to know how others are using these ideas, and we want to celebrate your small (and large) victories with you!