How about this for a goal? Before school starts, make sure you get your PTO life in order. There’s no question that if you have a system for running your group, then the whole school year will be better, or at the very least less stressful.
We know lots of folks resist too much structure, and we get that. (Some of us do, too!) But here’s the key to our message: There’s no one organizational system that you must adopt. Find what works for you. Here are some suggestions from our Facebook community and the PTO Today crew.
1. Make sure your team is communicating: Whether it’s basic group text or email, designate a system to use for the board so everyone is up to date. Some community members report using private Facebook pages for their teams. This way, they can have group discussions as well as post photos, images of flyers, or any other visual they need to share with the group.
2. Do spot check-ins: Make a point to quickly review all projects each week. Often, we focus on whatever is happening now, but it is important to check on all that’s pending, too. The holiday shop may not take place for another four months, but you may need to reserve space for the event within the next few weeks.
3. Maintain one calendar for all events: Keep a calendar online using a service like Google Calendar that can be shared by your group, including the board and committee chairs. Having one central place to store event and program information will make everyone’s life easier. Just make sure you either limit editing capabilities or set careful ground rules about making changes to dates.
3. Make notes accessible: Speaking of Google, if your group secretary takes notes at board meetings, collect and post them on a shared online system like Google Drive.
4. Harness the details: So often, we think of something while we are on the go and know we aren’t going to remember it! Find a reminder system that works for you. Use the voice technology on your phone, whether you update a to do list or send a voice text to yourself with the reminder. Another option is to keep a small notebook with you to jot down reminders as they pop into your head.
5. Embrace binders: Even though so much information is now stored online, many groups continue to use binders because they are a great way to keep notes, hard copies of flyers and other documents, and contact information. And some might argue that it’s better to have backup hard copies than to be left without online access to all your PTO business due to power outages or other unforeseen events.
6. Keep a daily List: Try doing a daily to do list so you can see what needs to be done for your PTO and how you can fit in those tasks with all your other work and parenting duties. A look at the big picture will help you prioritize your PTO work.
7. Use the PTO Today resources: Take advantage of all the free tools we have on the ptotoday.com website, like our just-released 2015-16 Parent Group Planning Calendar. We are here to help you have a great year!