One of the side benefits of becoming a teacher was developing the practice of using a plan book. I remember feeling like there were so many tasks, big and little to remember, that I had to write them down in order to be prepared for each day of teaching and learning.
A few years ago, feeling like I just wasn’t accomplishing anything on a daily basis, I remembered my lesson plan book and decided to use the same approach in my home life. I loved it! It worked! I’d record what needed to get done each day and check each item off as I did it. At the end of the day, I could see that I actually did get quite a bit done, even if it was two dozen tiny chores. I was hooked.
The Great Planner Hunt
Up until this year, I have always used a spiral bound planner. Each December I would look all over town for the perfect planner and agonize over how pretty or colorful it was or was not.
This year, tired of the last-minute search, I started looking in the fall. There were very limited numbers of spiral bound binders available, and none were very pretty. However, there were oodles of those removable/re-arangable-page-planners. They were colorful. They were pretty. But…they had flimsy laminated covers. I like the solid feel of a hardcover spiral planner.
So I looked and I looked and I looked. I could not find a planner I liked in a style I liked. Finally in December, I surrendered. I bought one of those new-fangled, laminated cover planners.
It was pretty, but I did not even look at it again until January.
Now, I love it.
It was originally an 18 month planner, starting in the summer of 2017. So, I was able to pull out the July – December pages and insert them, and their dividers, in the back of the planner as resources.
As a planner, this new planner is as fully functional as my old style planner.
But those re-arangeable bonus dividers and pages? I am in love.
My Bonus Sections
I have four sections in the back of my planner–Routines, Lists, Cooking, How-Tos. Using techniques picked up reading about bullet journaling (such as establishing a table of contents) here’s how I’ve filled my pages so far.
The routines section contains notes for how I want to set up my planner, a template for teaching days, a template for weekends, a template for vacation days and holidays, and a schedule for medications and supplements.
For example, on days I do not work, here is how I like to start out:
- Read my daily section of the Bible
- Read some of the Blogs I follow
- Clean up the kitchen
- Get dressed and put away clothes
- Check my phone
- Clear my email inbox
I like making lists. The act of doing so helps me to remember things that are important to me. I have lots of lists:
- Favorite exercises and stretches
- Things I want to make (both practical and crafts)
- Things I want to learn (both just for fun or for personal/professional development)
- Personal pleasures: things to do for fun and relaxation
- Asthma home improvement to-do list
- Ideas for Family dinners (my kids are grown and out on their own, and I want to come up with some fun ways for us to get together regularly)
- Chore lists: including an order of rotation so that over time, everything routine gets covered.
- Writing project lists and priorities
- Blog ideas and to-do lists
- Home improvement projects
- Once-in-a-blue-moon chores
- Projects, big or small, that once I do them, do not need to be repeated
- What I am learning about managing my asthma
- Recipes my husband likes
- Baking (snacks and desserts) my husband likes
- Side dishes my husband likes
- Mixes to make
I focus on my husband here because I already and always know what I like. When it’s my turn in the kitchen, I want to be as considerate of my husband as he is of me.
- How to embed a pin in a blog post
- How to embed a Facebook post in a blog post
As I learn new things I expect this section to grow.
I have two more dividers left and multiple unused pages. The possibilities are open before me. I love it!
Do you use a planner or some other form of organizer? Use the comment space below to tell us about it. Let’s inspire and encourage each other!