How to NOT get drowned in school papers

Flickr credit: striatic


Read more of the series of tips to get ready for back to school.

I read a fantastic article last year that I dug up in preparing for this school year.  I am an avid follower of David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) system.  Last fall, there was an article by a fellow mom and writer titled “Back to school: GTD is the solution for parents.”  In the article, April shared:

As I shuffled through more than 50 sheets of fliers, forms, and date-specific notices, I started to feel a little dizzy.  The pile on my counter harbored a LOT of information, most of which needed my attention right that minute.  I was tempted to break into tears or bury my head in a carton of Rocky Road, but then I thought, “Wait a minute.  I’ve been trained in GTD.  I was MADE for situations like this.”  Within 30 minutes, the papers were completely processed, and I was ready to move on with our evening.  And since I had such a glorious experience with my paper party, I thought I’d share some ideas that might help other moms manage the near-constant influx of papers that comes flying from their children’s backpacks.

Quick and easy way to sort and process school papers:

Empty your child’s book bag, each day, sorting the papers as follows-

  • Trash
  • If it takes 2 minutes or less, just do it now
  • Write dates to remember in your calendar
  • Make note of additional actions to take, supplies to buy, etc.
  • Get the kids help.  Most elementary school or older kids can help you fill out paperwork.  This would be especially helpful if you have more than one child.
  • Return forms, field trip permission slips, monies, etc. in your child’s book bag
  • Toss any papers you’ve just processed

How do you keep your head above water in a sea of school papers?


    • says


      Thanks for your comment. You’re exactly right. I find that I spend way more than 2 minutes worrying about the things I need to do or trying to remember to do it. So, instead, I decided to JUST DO IT!!!


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