If staying in touch with family and friends seems to be more trouble than it is worth, this could be a sign that you need better organizational strategies. If you dread the thought of sending out party invitations because you don't have everyone's address close at hand, you're making things much harder than they need to be. With the proper organizational strategies, you should be able to send e-mail, "snail mail," or make phone calls with only a minimal amount of effort. Here are some handy tips you can use to get better organized and communicate more easily.

Create a "One Stop Shop" Address Book

If you are constantly looking in notebooks, drawers, computer files and even the phone book for various mailing addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, its time to simplify things. Although it can take a bit of time to gather all your contact information together, in the long run it will save you a lot of time and effort. Start by deciding the best way to organize your information. While some people prefer a paper address book, others find keeping their contact information on their computer easier and more convenient. Make sure that you keep only one master address book, regardless of the method you choose. Although it might sound convenient and safe to keep more than one address book, multiple copies mean more work will be required to keep them up-to-date. More than one book also increases the chances that your address books will become out of sync with one another, due to updating one book but not the other. However, if you keep your list on your computer, keeping a backup copy can be prudent.

Once you've decided on which method to use, it's time to gather up all your various addresses. If your contact list is currently quite disorganized or even out of date, this part of the process could take a significant amount of time. However, don't become discouraged during this process. Instead, focus on the fact that this will be the last time you have to search multiple locations for addresses and other kinds of contact information.

Developing a Maintenance Strategy

Once you've spent the time and effort required to get all of your contact information updated and in one location, it's important to keep it that way. After all, even the most perfectly organized address book can become outdated and useless over time if it's not maintained properly on a regular basis.

Fortunately, it will be far easier to keep your list up-to-date as compared to the amount of effort it took in order to get it that way in the first place. Regular maintenance is the key. Whenever you become aware of a changed street address, phone number or e-mail address, update your address book immediately. If an immediate update isn't possible, develop a strategy for keeping track of your changes until you have an opportunity to update your master contact list. As long as you keep updating your contact list with new entries and changes, your list will stay up-to-date and useful indefinitely. The next time you have to send invitations, thank-you cards or holiday cards, you'll be glad you took the time to get organized.

Author's Bio: 

Learn more about decorating with tropical wall art and outdoor metal wall hanging from our exclusive designer and staff writer, Maya Willis, of Metal-Wall-Art.com.