What's your approach to organization? Do you plan everything and have a concise calendar of what you will do and when, or are you more laid back in your approach? As long as the important tasks are accomplished timely, is one approach better than the other, or simply a matter of preference?

There are many instances where strict organization is needed. Obviously, the Crestview and Okaloosa emergency departments have to be very organized in the running of their respective areas as public safety depends upon them. Hospitals have calendars that are scheduled finitely as operating rooms are needed by more than one patient and doctor.

We don't all need to be as strict with our scheduled time as first responders. When I taught school, if we stayed an extra day on a particular course of study, many times it helped solidify student learning and was time well spent, so flexibility worked under those circumstances.

My sweet grandmother was late for everything, church, weddings, family dinners and so on. However, she was never late for doctor's appointments or planes. We all prioritize what is important to us.

If organization is a skill you desire, I have a few easy tips.

•Keep a wall calendar with pockets for each month of the year in an accessible spot in your house. Mine is in the kitchen. Put pet appointment reminders, checks received and other important papers in those pockets so they don't get lost, as well as having a central location for known appointments.

•If you have a steel front door as we have, buy a fabric or soft pocket with a magnet on the back and put it on the front door. That way you can put anything that needs to be mailed, checks that need to go to the bank, permission slips and so on, in it and pick up whatever you need on your way out the door.

•In your car, buy a seat organizer, with pockets in which to put important and needed papers, maps, change and so on.

•Keep a small calendar in your purse or briefcase to make notes and changes and then you can transfer the information to your smart phone later. These are available at any dollar store.

None of these tips are earth shattering, but they may make life a bit easier. I found my magnetic pockets for my front door at Joann's and the dollar store, or you could make your own. I buy my pocket calendars online.

Have a happy and organized new year!

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.