I didn’t used to be so organized, but as my kids got older and our lives started to add more and more outings the need was real.
I have four kids all wanting to do something different, a husband in the throes of Grad school, a full time (out-side the home) job, and I also try to run Titus II Woman Ministry full time as well. None of which I am willing or feel like I should give up at this time in space.
I need organization like I need air to breathe. I figured that I can’t possibly be the only one who needs some happy in the chaos with a day being organized from the start. AND…here you are! Welcome!
I am all about space. I don’t need a lot, but I utilize all I have and it MUST be organized. My planner has to fit into that space perfectly. For my birthday this past year my parents sent me a nifty little gift card for amazon; who wouldn’t love that? My old planner was well used and nearly done for the year so I started searching on amazon for a planner I would love to look at, but that also had everything I would need to keep me organized and feeling good about my day. If I don’t like looking at it chances are I will not keep up with my planner.
Here are some things that I NEED in a planner:
- Pretty (colors, pictures, etc.)
- Bigger than a wallet and smaller than a notebook
- TABS for everything
- 18-month length
- Monthly calendar that I can write in the most important info and I can glance at
- Weekly/daily calendar with enough room to write in quite a few blocks of time
- Notes section for each month
- Contacts/Address section (I make a lot of contacts when I am out and about) and I assume you know what this looks like – no picture!
- To-Do list and if it’s perforated – even better
- Card/Picture holder (Not a must, but pretty nice) Again, figured you know what this looks like so no picture.
- MOST important – durable! My planner must be hard back or it will not last even a couple months. It also helps to have the nice elastic band to make sure the planner stays closed when transporting.
I found this beautiful planner that suited my needs nicely for around $20 and it is the 2017 Mom’s Weekly Planner, published by Peter Pauper Press. Heather Zschock did a great job designing this and Salon de Sakai did amazing with illustration. The quotes are often funny and really what I love to read.
How do I keep my planner organized? I’m so glad that you asked! I have a little fetish for pens…. colored pens, specifically. I love them. I hoard them. I get angry when my family uses my pens. Seriously! Right now my favorite to use are the frixion pens that I also got on amazon with my gift card. They are colored, but they are also erasable. If something changes, I can erase and not have a planner that looks all crossed out and confusing. I love it!
Every person gets a specific color in my planner. I have exceeded the amount of colors I have available in my frixion pens, so I have used some other favorites to solve my dilemma. When an event has passed and I have gotten to a point where I no longer need to worry about it, I use a highlighter to cross it off. I can still see the event, but I know that it is complete. Yes, I am weird like that.
Everyone has a system of their own, but I try to plan ahead. I organize the Titus II Woman blog a year in advance with deadline dates, editing deadlines, publishing dates, and posting dates for the Facebook page. When the kids start school, I get their school calendar right away and start filling in all the in-service days, holidays, special events already planned so I can be ahead of the game and not question if I knew it or not. Then when the kids start sports, drama, dance or whatever this want this year, I get those schedules as soon as they are handed out (or I search the school site for that information) and I add all that in. I do the same thing with my husband’s appointments, school schedule, events, and anything else he may want to do throughout the year. We have a rule in our house that no one can make plans the day of. Obviously this isn’t always possible with kids and friends, but it helps to avoid doubling up times or feeling overwhelmed because your schedule is too full.
This planner goes with me everywhere. I have not found anything on my smart phone that I have liked that will let me see the extent of my schedule and plans as this. I am a paper and pen kind of girl. I tend to remember better when I have written it down myself.
Find a planner that fits all your needs or have one built for you that will. There are many sites that do this, but it can get a little spendy. Use colors to mark different people or events. Find what makes you smile and go with it. Stay ahead of the schedule and check it often. Part of being organized is being prepared and a planner is perfect for that!
I’d love to see what you are using or I would like to answer your questions. Leave a comment below or you can reach me through our contact page or Facebook (Titus II Woman).