I love my planner! It took years of trying different products and months to tweak and perfect the personalized version I now use. I live by the Mind Organization for Moms system and love it. I have a desk set up with my folders and cubby boxes, but I have incorporated some of this into my planner.
Basically my planner is a three-ring soft binder divided by context and filled with personalized planning pages.
The best part is that my key planning pages are laminated so I can use them over and over. A permanent sharpie is perfect. It doesn’t wipe off or smudge like a dry erase does, and it wipes clean with a rag and rubbing alcohol (I use 91% after weaker concentrates didn’t rub the permanent marker off well enough) at each weekly planning session, I used dividers and simple colored paper. Nothing fancy.
My Planner Items:
Daily List of things to do. This hard laminated page is the first thing in my planner. The seven-day layout has time slots for specific commitments and events. There is a small space above for the few “to-do” items that MUST be done on a specific day. I have found it is instrumental for me to keep the calendar items separate from the to-dos, menu items, shopping lists etc. and this particular layout has been great for me at my stage of life right now.
My next actions page is one of my favorites. I have categories listed for: computer, quiet time, with girls, errands, and “to discuss.” I have a regular list in each category that will move my projects along according to the next best action. But my favorite part is the reminders at the top of the page from April’s Mind Organization for Moms: Does my family need me right now? What is the most important thing on this list? How much time can I spend? What do I feel like doing?
Current projects page. I keep a folder with my current projects, but find it is really helpful for me to have some notes and ideas close at hand for those current projects I am doing at the moment.
Weekly Planning Session– reminder on what needs to happen each planning session with a place for me to jot everything from my brain during the week.
Weekly Zones. How I clean and organize daily. I liked what I learned from “The Fly Lady’s” Sink Reflections and have adapted her “zones” to our family’s needs.
Goals – a simple place to jot the small goals I set (BLOOM program) or the family ones we set for the week.
I use my shopping lists and menu planner from Money Saving Mom. I printed a few that I initially liked and tried them out regularly before deciding what best fit my needs. The two favorites got laminated.
I hole punched my menu planner pages so that it both pages lay open and it is easier to plan for the week.
Other parts to the planner on regular paper:
I refer to my monthly calendars as I plan my week and look ahead.
I keep copies of my yearly goals and lists to accomplish, a few motivational quotes, my regular routines and family systems, and other paper items.
I don’t need to look at these daily, but I like to have them close for when I do need reminders.
And there you have it! How I run my home, plan my events, serve my family, love my children, dream, and enjoy my life.
*** If you’d like to access Danielle’s PDFs, she’s shared them here. The ones from Money-Saving Mom are provided with permission. They are also available on her Downloads Page.