When it comes to my diabetes, the notion of "getting organized" is like that wish-upon-a-star that seems so close but I can never seem to reach. Instead, I tend to always be floating within the black hole of disorganization.

From doctor's appointment and prescription refill schedules to diabetes data monitoring and filing insurance D-Organizer Bookclaim paperwork, I'm always losing track of something, and feeling flustered that things are slipping through the cracks.

That's why I was so interested in The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life, a spiral-bound diabetes scrapbook of sorts published this Fall by co-authors Susan Weiner, a CDE who works closely with many community organizations like Diabetes Sisters and dLife, and professional organizer Leslie Josel, who runs her own organizational consulting firm and has shown off her skills on networks like TLC and The Cooking Channel.

The start of a new year seems like the perfect time to have a look at this book, and here's my top-of-mind twitter evaluation:

 

Info that's simple & common sense, but often overlooked. Helps you STAY organized -- so you're not always scrambling to GET organized.

 

News nuggets from around the diabetes community

American Diabetes Association Names New CEO
Non-profit leader Kevin L. Hagan named as new chief exec of national diabetes org after six-month search.
FDA Approves New Basal Insulin
Sanofi's Troujeo has 'flatter profile' of action that helps to avoid lows.
Daytona Win for Racecar Driver with Diabetes!
Type 1 driver Ryan Reed wins first NASCAR series race at Daytona on Feb. 21.

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Seriously, the longer version of that summary is that much of what's in this book isn't rocket science, but there are numerous useful tips and tricks we just don't usually weave into our daily lives very effectively. Everything from: creating a D-binder and filing paperwork in it as soon as you get it (rather than having dig for it later) to keeping your travel supply bags stocked and ready (so it's not a night before fire drill) to easy little things like where to stash extra supplies and refill reminders, that can easily add up to an overwhelming experience, leaving you feeling so pathetically unorganized that chaos becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Know what I mean?

With a forward from dLife TV founder and longtime type 1 Howard Steinberg, the book primes us for everything to follow in its 248 pages: "From the moment I wake up to the time I go to bed and even while asleep, my life must be organized for my diabetes health. I organize my life so that diabetes doesn't slow me down and life doesn't overwhelm my diabetes, and this book can help you do the same."

Wow, that's a tough act to follow. But it got me hooked into reading the rest -- just to find out how such responsible D-care is even possible.

As you might expect, the book begins with basic organizational tips that aren't unique to diabetes, like using binders to keep healthcare papers in order and using an activity log sheet or white board to keep track of your exercise. It also includes a smattering of diabetes 101 nuggets and D-facts (like population figures) throughout the chapters, of particular interest to the newly diagnosed reader, I suppose. The worksheets are particularly useful, as they help you aD-Organizer Bok Routine Boxctually put into practice what you're reading as you move through the pages. Int his book, the first worksheet asks you to define what challenges you the most and what you might need to change in your house, schedule, or attitude; and then it walks you through mapping out your goals and plans to address that challenge.

The chapters are pretty comprehensive: home organization for supplies; making kitchens more "diabetes-friendly," including a list of apps that can help; setting up routines for blood sugar testing and tracking; getting your paperwork in order; and keeping up with D-routines while at work, on the road or during the holiday seasons.

Of course this isn't the first attempt at a spiral-bound notebook/organizer to help PWDs get their lives organized. A similar book called My Diabetes Organizer for type 2 diabetes came out back in 2006. Amy looked it over and found the sheer amount of stuff we're expected to track a bit overwhelming back then.

Now, seven years later, something that's become ever-more common in these "how to" or instructional D-resources is the aspect of peer support, i.e. tips from other PWDs who are well-known in the diabetes world and can help the reader feel more at ease by seeing that they're not alone and that others "get it." Learning by example never hurts! Each chapter in this new organizer contains at least one familiar voice sharing tips about how they stay organized on whatever the topic may be -- D-blogger and type 1 Kerri Sparling on how she organizes her D-supplies at home, fellow PWD and famous Chef Sam Talbot in the food section, CWD founder and D-Dad Jeff Hitchcock on setting up routines, and others who talk about their experiences staying organized while at work and while traveling. This kind of reality check is good. It brings the tips home to nest, so to speak.

As mentioned above, one of the biggest organization nightmares I personally face (especially this time of year nearing tax time) is making sure my medical paperwork is all in order. This book has a big emphasis on that, including an "Apps for Paperwork" section that lists top picks of iPhone or Android options to organize paper files, health records, appointments, and calendars.

Usually I end up tossing my medical invoices and "Explanation of Benefit (EOB)" forms (which are a misnomer, btw: they don't explain anything!) into a corner somewhere that turns into a massive pile on the kitchen table at some point that I later need to move around the house so we can still sit down and eat -- which creates ever more disorder in my diabetes  paperwork.  What is wrong with me?!  If I had just used an Excel spreadsheet up front to track all these papers as they came in, or even color-coded them or written a note on the top corner of each I would have saved myself so much time down the line!

Still, the checklists and worksheets are always nice so that I can self-examine what my organizational faults are and at least recognize they exist, before taking the action to do something about them. It's a first step, and this book is one that I'm glad to have had the chance to use for that. I think it's one that many PWDs would get some use from, no matter how fundamental organizational skills may seem. But it's human nature to procrastinate on things you just don't want to do, right? And darn it, putting stuff off just makes more work in the long run. So if you're motivated to try getting organized with your diabetes for 2014, I'd say this new Organizer book is definitely worth a whirl.

{Spry Publishing, $15.11 in spiral-bound hardcover format or $9.99 on Kindle at Amazon}

AND, here's your chance to win a free copy:

 

A DMBooks Giveaway

Interested in trying out "The Complete Diabetes Organizer" by Susan Weiner and Leslie Josel?

Entering the giveaway is as easy as leaving a comment:

1. Post your comment below, including the codeword "DMBooks" to indicate that you'd like to be entered in the giveaway.

2. You have until Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at 5 p.m. PST to enter. A valid email address is required to win.

3. The winner will be chosen using Random.org.

4. The winner will be announced on Facebook and Twitter on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, so make sure you're following us! We'll update this post with the winner's name once chosen.

So, get yourself organized and be sure to ENTER NOW (no procrastination!). Good luck to all.

 

This contest is now closed. Congrats to Stacey Meisner in California, who Random.org chose as the giveaway winner!

 

 
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This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.