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Less Organized Spouse

I admit it: I like being organized. I am most comfortable when I am staying on top of all the things I’ve got going on in my life. And when it comes to coordinating commitments, technology has been an enabler. Online calendars, digital contact lists, smart phones — they all help me keep tabs on what is an ever-growing list of obligations. Over the years, I have developed a finely tuned “workflow” that fits my lifestyle and made me the envy of even my most punctual friends and colleagues.

The real challenge came when I started dating someone who isn’t as, um, “organized” as I am. Luckily for both of us, she recognizes this fact and acknowledges my role as the logistical half of our team. (In return, I have fully handed over to her the title of design czar — a good thing given how fashion-challenged I am.)

Personally, I think her job is a bit easier to execute. Some choice of “wear this”, “this doesn’t really go with that”, “burn those – I never want to see them again” pretty much covers every situation. And, over time, some of it has started to stick; now I can predict which of my clothes she will not find acceptable for any given situation about half the time. But getting her to embrace technology to help us stay organized has been a bit tougher. She’s not a big fan of e-mail (e.g., she hasn’t used her gmail account in so long she has forgotten her password) and the most-used app on her iPhone is Words With Friends, not her Calendar.

So we have settled on a model that is lightweight enough so as not to be burdensome for her, yet complete enough to prevent me from going completely loony. Basically, we each inform the other about potential commitments before we confirm them, but I maintain the calendar (although she does have access to it, and can view it any time she wants once she recovers her gmail password).

When I’m scheduling something:

  1. I check our calendar to make sure the time is available
  2. I check with her to make sure she’s interested
  3. I add it to our calendar, complete with text alerts to remind us of the event

When she’s scheduling something:

  1. she checks with me to see if I’m interested and if we’re available
  2. I add it to our calendar, complete with text alerts to remind us of the event
  3. she confirms the commitment with whomever originated

I know, it’s not rocket science and it seems totally obvious. All I care is that peace and harmony reign. Now, if only there were an app to help me keep her from throwing away my trade show T-shirts when I’m not looking.