I’m a firm believer in lists and I certainly enjoy the feeling of satisfaction I get when something is checked off them and, yes… I have a few lists. Recently, I decided to open an Excel file that I had used in the past to ensure I’m keeping up on various preparedness-related tasks. I quickly realized that it had been a while since I last opened it (well over a year).
Certainly, the purpose this list served was quickly defeated simply because I hadn’t bothered to open it in a while. And, yes, there were a few things I had not done. That’s not good!
How did I combat this problem?
Well, for starters I decided to better utilize the Excel file as a more thorough checklist. I had really only used the file to track several items that I wanted to be reminded of the last time I did them. So, I included many more to-do items that I could track; I’ll outline some suggestions later.
I also decided to add a link to the file on my computer’s desktop so that I will notice it and choose to check it on occasion and, since I like to keep a relatively clutter-free desktop, it will get noticed.
Last, I choose to create a recurring calendar reminder in Google Calendars to check the file monthly. I would have preferred a quarterly reminder, but it was either a monthly or yearly reminder.]
What to Check and How to Use Checklist
The file is incredibly easy to use. Just include any item or task you want to track in one column and include the date it was last checked/performed in the column next to it. If you want to get fancy, you can use conditional formatting to change the background of the date cell to highlight different colors if a certain amount of time has passed. For instance, I like to make the date highlight red if the date listed has been more than a year. That way I can quickly glance at the file and tell what might be neglected.
Here’s a few suggestions of what to add to your file, should you choose to do so:
- check long term food stores for any evidence of rats, mice, etc
- replace stored water in water barrels
- rotate stored water in two liter bottles
- free credit checks for my spouse and I
- check for expired first aid medications
- rotate food and water in bug out bags and vehicle kits
- update personal information in bug out documents (and other locations)
- replace/check sanitation supplies (hand sanitizers, wet wipes, etc)
- check/charge batteries in critical equipment such as flashlights and radios