Sunday, May 2, 2010

BabyStep 8: Birth Of A Control Journal

Ah, the Control Journal.  The heart and soul of the FlyLady program.  When I think of the Control Journal, I think of NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston.  It's the go-to guide, the keeper of the routines. It's the Handbook for the Recently Deceased (any Beetlejuice fans out there?) for FlyBabys. I may have an overblown imagination.  Regardless, the Control Journal is the core item used within the FlyLady Program. 

The Control Journal is where you will write down all your routines, your Basic Weekly Plan, emergency contact information, Zone cleaning lists, etc.  The BabyStep for today was to find an old 3-ring binder to put all this stuff in. 

My first time around I did exactly as instructed.  Actually, I didn't have an old one, so I skittered on down to Walgreens and purchased a new one, along with some plastic page protectors and dry erase markers as FlyLady later mentions this can be helpful.  You are supposed to begin by filling this binder with paper and just writing down your routines, preferably in pencil as they will be edited later.  Yeah, right. 

FlyLady scolds reminds us not to be perfectionists throughout the system, but I'm sorry.  Writing my Control Journal in my child-like scrawl with pencil on notebook paper left over from high school was not exactly going to motivate me.  That would be like writing the instruction manual to a space shuttle on the back of a napkin.  Just a little lack-luster, IMO.  No, I am a perfectionist when it comes to certain things, and I wanted better.  Well it just so happens that FlyLady herself offers a printed version of the Control Journal for purchase, just in case you didn't listen to her and are being a perfectionist anyway.  Fancy that!...

Well of course I purchased the official FlyLady version, put it in my pretty purple 3-ring binder and was off and FLY-ing!  Problem is, after I gave up the system for the second time, I moved. Twice.  I didn't throw it away, as I felt it warranted keeping even while de-cluttering, but it now sits in a box in my storage unit an hour away.  I could go get it, but I felt that this time around I wanted something a little sleeker and stylish to serve as my Control Journal.  I wanted an upgrade.  Something that was un-cumbersome to carry with me should I have the need.  I wanted to go digital.  There's an app for that!  As a new iPhone user I am constantly trying out apps for this and that.  Some are fun, some are cute, and some are truly handy.  I am about to introduce you to one that is all three.  Allow me to present HomeRoutines!

HomeRoutines is an iPhone app which integrates into the FlyLady system seamlessly.  It is designed specifically to set up daily routines, as well as to-dos, zones, and the like.  It was not created by FlyLady nor is it endorsed by her, but the creator Rosie did a bang-up job with the design and functionality.  Here is an example of my personal routines as shown on the app:

See the stars to the left of my tasks?  When you complete one, you tap the star and it turns gold.  How cute is that?  Also note the bottom of the screens- there is a little clock icon with 15 minutes next to it.  This is a little timer that you can start right there from within the app if you need to go do a 5-minute Room Rescue, put out a Hot Spot for 2 minutes, or de-clutter for 15 minutes at a time.  Until just yesterday 15 minutes was the only time option available, but Rosie updated that and now you can set the timer for as long or as little as you like.  When the time is up, some music goes off that makes you feel like you really conquered something.  I hope Rosie keeps on with the updates, making this even more compatible with the FlyLady system, as it  appears FlyLady does not have any interest in developing an official app of her own. 

This is what I will be using as my Control Journal from now on.  I hope you other iPhone users check it out and try it as well.  (And no,  I was not asked to give this review.  I really did pay for it/use it on my own accord.)


Em @ Bunch of Scrap May 2, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

OK... AWESOME post. I love how you are tweaking the Flylady system too... I'm going to link to your site for those that want a little more in-depth "Flying lessons" - Is that ok? I LOVE HomeRoutines... did you get the update for the new timer? Now we can set it from 1-60 minutes!

Thanks for stopping by my blog- I'll be back to read more of yours for sure!

Chandra May 2, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

Em- that is MORE than OK. :) I did get the update, makes it nice becuase now I don't have to use a different timer for things that are different increments of time.

Jessica May 3, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

That iphone app sounds amazing! I may be getting an iphone soon, so I will definitely have to check that out :-)

Anonymous,  July 1, 2011 at 4:51 PM  

Thank You!!!

I've been "fluttering" since January and my Control Journal has been the object of some of my perfection and obsessive tendencies! I've gone from FlyLady's binder, to a notebook that I had spiral bound at a paper store, to the classic SHE cards that FlyLady based her system on, to giving up completely for a while. All these were attempts to try to streamline the control journal and make it more practical for my life.

This app is perfect and I never would of found it if it wasn't for your post!! I already have it completely adapted for my needs and love how easy it is to use!

Erin,  January 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM  

I just found your blog this evening while searching for a digital FlyLady and I am so glad I did! I see that you just returned from a hiatus and I look forward to reading much more.

Thanks again!