Today I want to share how I organize information that directly relates to the volunteering I do with my husband’s squadron. Why? Because I was looking for inspiration and found zero for Key Spouses. So here I am filling a perceived void.
Vocabulary – The Key Spouse program is an Air Force initiative that connects family members to their spouse’s leadership. An Air Force Key Spouse is similar to a Navy Ombudsman, or an Army’s FRG Leader. It’s a military-specific volunteer opportunity.
If you are a KS, please continue and let me know what you think! If you’re thinking about being a KS and want to duplicate my organization, give it a go and let me know how it works or doesn’t work for you.
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Key Spouses are tasked to communicate and to protect information, but there are few specific rules or official guidelines to manage said information. In initial orientation we were told to find a way to manage information…but no examples provided. My class was given blank legal pads in basic folios, but it’s neither my style nor mandatory – so I was eager to do something different, but didn’t know what I wanted.
So I brainstormed and decided to fall back on my favorites; a Moleskine, washi tape, and post-it notes (easy shopping links below).
Be advised that not all squadrons are the same; so my situation may be very different from yours. Mister Jupiter’s squadron is small, so I only keep the contacts for fewer than 100 families. About two thirds are static permanent party and the remaining third changes every six months.
So the parts are
- Large Moleskine as the base
- Washi tape for dividers and decor
- Post-it Notes, one per family (so far)
My Moleskine is organized into six sections
- Permanent Party (group one of two)
- Note space for new babies and meal trains
- Permanent Party (group two of two)
- Transient members
- (Blank for now)
- Past transient members
Since the squadron is small and ever changing, I decided to keep the information on Post-It Notes that I start in the front when the family is new to the squadron. This way the front of my Moleskine will always (and easily!) contain the newest information, and when people are no longer in the squadron I simply move their contact Post-It to the back of the Moleskine.
Right now the only time I directly press ink into the Moleskine is in the note section that I reserved for new babies and meal trains. Everything else is flexible and made to move. If my sections don’t work I can adjust the washi tape later, or remove the page entirely.
Lastly, I keep this Moleskine and related Key Spouse Program information in a zippered folio. I like this folio because the size is perfect for me, it has many pockets, and best of all – zips closed and has a handle built into the spine. I have another one that carries my modified editorial calendar and uniball gel pens, it holds up well. Of course you don’t need a folio, but they easily keep the related objects together and are easy to move as needed. Conversely a gallon zip top freezer bag would work just as well, it just isn’t as pretty and doesn’t have pockets.
Q. What if the Post-It Notes fall out of the Moleskine?!
A. Good question! This Moleskine lives in a zippered folio when I am not using it, so any flighty papers will be easily contained. So far I have not experienced this issue, but if any Post-It Notes lose their tac, I will reinforce said note with transparent tape – I keep several rolls handy.
Q. What happens when you leave that squadron?
A. We’ll move, and the Moleskine will move with me. I will keep the information that I collected because it’s my responsibility to keep. In the future I will probably start shredding or burning the outdated info. I will likely show the next Key Spouse my organization if they are looking for ideas, but I will not press my ways unto them.
Surprise update! This original folio needed to change, so I changed it. Click here to see Version Two – and get the free printable contact sheet.