It’s Time to Tackle Annual Contact Updates for an Organized New Year!

We’re now almost two weeks into 2017, and with the holidays firmly behind us all, it’s time to turn your attention to the year ahead. The great part of beginning a new year is having a clean slate to work from, so in a lot of ways the start of a new calendar is like Spring Cleaning. It’s a great time to clear out the old, create space in your life for new things to come & to refocus your energy on the things that matter. That s the essence of organization: We’re not just talking about old clothes that were so last year, but some smaller items that play a big role in on relationships with friends, family and loved ones.

You probably get a lot of cards from old friends and family & set to the side s a memory of winter 2016, but now it’s time to turn those updates & memories into stronger relationships in 2017. With a little focus, you can get your contacts list up to date so you can get up to speed with those people that are important to you. Here’s two great thoughts from Organized Home on how to make the most out of your Christmas cards:

Update The Address Book

  • Look backward: a piled-up heap of Christmas cards, letters and photos. Look forward: a treasure trove of information about loved ones, friends, and neighbors old and new.
  • Reassess the way you keep this important information. Still scribbling and scrawling in a battered old address book? Perhaps this is the year that you invest in a shiny new planner or build a computerized address book for the first time.
  • Computer pros may move up to a more powerful, more versatile contact manager, the better to keep in touch with those they love. Another option: create a household notebook or family organizer using our free printable calendars, checklists and forms.
  • Schedule an address book update. Sit down with planner, computer, and that big box of holiday greetings. You may read to your heart’s content, but you must make note of new addresses.
  • Star any names whose holiday cards that were returned because of an incorrect address. During the year to come, be on the lookout for a new address. Friends are too important to lose for want of an address!
  • Double-check telephone numbers. E-mail addresses make it easy to keep in touch with far-flung friends — so note them in your address book, too.

Keep in Touch

Don’t stop there! These are people you love. Christmas cards contain lots of valuable information. You’ll never again bumble and stumble over the telephone, desperately trying to remember what an old school friend named her newest baby, if you add a line for “Children:” listing names and birth dates of those precious little ones.

  • Make special note of those who’ve lost family members in the last year. Erasing the “Mr. and . . .” part of an address is a sad chore, but a misaddressed card from an out-of-touch friend can create a small but intense freshet of grief for the newly bereaved.
  • You’ve looked back. Now, look forward. Begin a list of “Letters to Send”, sparked by those cards or letters that move you to respond as you read. Writing just one letter a week for the next year, you can treat over 50 of your friends and family to a special gift — an unexpected letter from you, written at leisure and just because you want to! Schedule weekly letter-writing to tighten the ties that bind you to loved ones.
  • While you’re polishing your address book, think about the last five times you looked up phone numbers in the phone book. Pizza delivery, a child’s school, a volunteer co-worker? Add just those five listings to your address book to save time and energy in the coming year.
  • Fan through the phone book, while you’re at it, and add any scrawled or circled numbers you find: if they’re in the address book, they’ll survive extinction when new phone directories replace the old in the spring!

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