Do you really mean it? Are you finally sick and tired of being a day late and a dollar short? Do you really want to step up and embrace a tool to help you be more organized on a daily basis? Are you willing to make a few changes in your life in order to reap the benefits? Are you ready to lower your blood pressure by reducing the number of panic attacks you have daily? Are you sure? Is that your final answer? Well okay then. Let’s do it!
My personal organizing planner of choice is Planner Pad. It has a professional look and feel but continues to work fabulously for me as a stay-at-home-mom! A girl has to have choices and boy do they ever. They offer different sizes. Different colors. Different bindings. Different covers. Different start dates. Different accessories.
No matter which one you select, it will contain the same efficient pages with the “funnel system” of organization laid out. This is the key to success in my opinion. Everything else is just bells and whistles. How you organize your thoughts, events, errands, activities, appointments, classes, projects, etc. will make or break your “system.” IF you’re using multiple pieces of paper in multiple places with multiple calendars, it’s easy to see how things can get lost, misplaced or flat forgotten. You gotta get it ALL in ONE place! Capeesh?
Their unique layout has seven columns down for the days of the week and three rows across. The rows are the key to it all. The top section is where I make categories of agenda items and write down all the activities I might possibly need to do that week. Then I skip to the bottom of the page and fill in the third row which is the appointment section of time-oriented activities and commitments from 7:00am to 8:00pm. At this point, I now have a realistic perspective on my week as I contemplate what I need to do (top row) and what I’m committed to doing (bottom row) and where to place my brainstormed list into the second row which is my daily things-to-do list. So, what I’m doing is funneling down the brainstormed list into the daily to do list which fits around my appointments. It’s in a double page spread so you can see the whole week at once. Ideally, the whole brainstorming list at the top is then transferred item by item on a day of the week to-do list on the middle row. Keeping track throughout my day, I use the traditional checkmarks beside the accomplished items and the forward arrow for things that get rescheduled into the future. Some folks get creative with highlighters or multi-colored pens. HOW you do it is completely up to you, but DOING it is what is important!
But wait, there’s more. If you call to order in the next 15 minutes, your planner will also include, a three year overview calendar, a three year planning calendar (with the months fitting together like a puzzle – it’s awesome and my all-time favorite feature), blank note pages and a small contacts section. It also comes with a 15 minute CD to help you get the most out of the design for your purposes. Well worth the listen. This company has an antiquated looking website, but don’t let that deter you from considering their products to be top notch. They are slowly updating and their current emails are very slick.
My planner of choice is the Spiral Bound Dated Personal Size 6 ¾ by 8 ½ inches. Planners run $27 – $30. The only accessory I have used is the Insta-Pocket in the back of the spiral and have found it to be very helpful for $3. I would LOVE to have their On The Go Organizer over the shoulder planner holder but it’s on the pricy side. Yes, they charge for shipping but hey, they gotta get it to you somehow! There are a number of product reviews on YouTube for the Planner Pads, so check’em out! No need for me to make another one. Here’s my one confession. Some weeks I don’t write a blessed thing in my planner. I fly by the seat of my pants, which I am NOT very good at. Then after about four or five days I think to myself, “What in the world am I doing?” I just turn the page and get right back on track the following week!
There you have it. My bona fide secret to staying on top of the many areas of my life as a SAHM. Write it all down in one place, funnel items realistically into the week placing them in pockets of time where they might actually get done. Just like ordering the next Planner Pad two weeks before the New Year starts! Now, if I could just remember how many days it takes for a package (nothing breakable or flammable, thank you very much for asking) to travel from Texas to Ohio without overnight rates or ice delays. I could write it in on the appropriate day’s to-do list and I would really be rocking and in control of my schedule!
What would it take for you to feel in control of your schedule? What plan works for you?