The next section we are going to build in our Control Journal is our address book. This is not something to obsess about; it will take months to get it complete. The first thing to do is add the ABC dividers and put a sheet of paper between each alphabet letter. This does not have to be a specially formatted sheet with a line for name, address, phone number, cell phone, e-mail address, who the person is, etc. Just list the criteria you want to have for each person across the top of the page so you don’t forget it.
Don’t forget to list under someone’s name who they are to you. This is very important, because we forget why we put someone in your address book. An example is the name of a repairperson; if you don’t put “appliance repairman” in the entry, you will look at it one day and say, “Who is this person?” You can also add personal information for acquaintances, such as the names of their children and spouse. After you make an entry, just draw a line under it. This does not have to be fancy, just understandable. Use a pencil, and be sure to print the names clearly. As you add names and addresses, you may want to cross reference their name with who they are by putting the name under “Repairman” with the expertise. You don’t have to put all the information, just the name. You have already entered it once. This will save you from having to look through the whole address book. It may not be a problem with only a few names and addresses, but eventually you will have several entries in your address book.
Even if you have a digital address book, this is a hard copy that can be accessed easily. Your family will love having all the names and addresses in one spot instead of on little slips of paper stuffed in the drawer by the telephone. I do not expect you to spend all day entering your addresses and phone numbers; set a timer for 15 minutes and get it ready to make the entries. Then from time to time on your desk day (which you planned for in Step 11), you can enter the information. As you run across the tiny pieces of paper with addresses you want to keep, put them in your control journal. This does not mean get sidetracked from your task at hand of decluttering or whatever you are doing at the time; simply set them aside on your desk to add the next time you work on your control journal. If you have to write down an address, do it in the address book right then instead of on any ol’ piece of scrap paper.
This address book is going to be such a blessing when you need to send greeting cards, invitations, or calling community meetings. It will also help to reduce the chaos and stress in your life. Having everything in one place and keeping it handy will save many hours of searching for a name and address on that torn piece of paper that you know you put in a SAFE place.
Once you have filled out your address book, you’re ready for step thirteen!