12-Month Plan · Organization

Organization: The Catch-All-Notebook

I decided to start with organization in the 12-month improvement plan because so many people feel that they can accomplish so much more if they “could just get organized.” They’re right. It does take a little setting up to get going, but once everything is set up, there’s no looking back. However, where do you start when there is so much to organize? With a good notebook, of course!

The first thing you need to do is get yourself a CAN – Catch All Notebook termed by Brook Noel in her book The Change Your Life Challenge. Here is my CAN.

Can - Catch All Notebook

The CAN is the notebook that you will put everything into. Having your information in one place is important. Some people prefer using their phones or computers. I’m going to leave that up to you, especially if you’re a guy. But the CAN HAS to go with you everywhere, so phones are best if you feel you must have the electronic version of it. Do NOT create two notebooks for work and home. This just gets in the way.

Things for you to put into your CAN:

phone numbers

meeting notes

grocery lists

due dates

a random website you want to check out later

to-do lists


According to Noel, “Keeping a notebook handy at all times to record passing thoughts, tasks, ideas and notes was an almost universal trait of the studied individuals, including Albert Einstein and Michelangelo” (34). Why worry and try to remember everything when you can write it down and have it at a moment’s notice? Think about all the times you searched through the papers on your desk or purse or kitchen table looking for that silly little post-it note you used to write down the number of a potential employer, babysitter, or the cute neighbor. With a notebook, those days of losing numbers or trying to remember what you were supposed to purchase at the grocery store are over.

First step to getting organized? Get yourself a CAN and come see me later tonight for the next step.

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