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4 Ways to organize your adoption journey

 

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by Tim Elder in Archives, Domestic Adoption

Are you a natural organizer?

Do you regularly have to-do lists, checklists and spreadsheets to help you get things done?

If you are a fabulous organizer or not, when navigating the rough waters of your adoption journey, it can get overwhelming if you don’t have some way to keep your “to-do” list on track.

I know what has worked for me through two adoptions, but I wanted to ask my friends on our domestic adoption Facebook groups to see what they’ve done to organize their journey.

So here are 4 ways to organize your adoption journey:

1. Use Evernote or OneNote.

Both of these are free software downloads that automatically sync your notes on your home computer, your phone, and even your tablet so you have access to these notes anytime, anywhere. Personally, I LOVE Evernote and use it ALL the time to organize my lists and notes.

Here are some specific uses:

⇒Create a notebook called “Our Adoption” or something you come up with that makes the notebook easily found among your other notebooks.

⇒Inside your adoption notebook, create a new note for each “to-do” item such as: homestudy to-do’s, profile to-do’s, agency to-do’s, and anything else you need.  

⇒Create a new note for your adoption budget so you can keep track of expenses and the money you have left. You can also take photos of receipts and store them – which can be handy for tax purposes.


2. Create a spreadsheet (Microsoft’s Excel or Apple’s Numbers).


Similar to working with Evernote or OneNote, but rather than downloading software, you can use software you probably already own and are familiar with – such as Microsoft’s Excel or Apple’s Numbers. Here are some specific uses:

⇒Create a spreadsheet to track your adoption budget. List your starting amount and your expenses so you can enter them as you go through your journey.

⇒Create a spreadsheet that lists your homestudy to-do’s such as in-home meetings, paperwork, background checks, and anything else you need to complete your homestudy.


⇒You can even create a spreadsheet that lists things you want to do while you wait – maybe preparing the nursery room, or taking a vacation, or completing some household repairs you don’t want to deal with after your baby arrives.


3. Get a folder organizer to keep track of all forms, copies, papers you’ve signed.


Some adoptive parents have used a binder that has color dividers and tabs. They’ve made a folder for each category of the adoption. Some have made a folder for each document type (such as copies, to-do, and completed).

I’ve used folders to keep all of our adoption expenses in one place. This makes it much easier when it is tax time and you can take advantage of the adoption tax credit.

You can find these at your local department store or there are some cool options on Amazon.com.


4. Use a free organizer/list app for your phone, computer, and/or tablet.

There are great apps available for free download to your iPhone, Droid phone, computer, and tablet. These apps will sync to all of your devices so you have access to lists and notes anytime, anywhere. Here are 3 of the most popular (and free) list apps:

Todoist – this app does much more than organize your to-do list. It can help you set due dates, priorities, and you can set up notifications.  
Any.do – this app is very similar to Todoist – it is very clean and powerful. Lots of options to get your adoption organized.
Wunderlist – this is an awesome app that I’ve used where you can create lists, organize notes, share info, create notifications, and much more.

Question for you:  What tips do you have for getting organized? Email me or leave a comment below to share with us! 

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