I started this blog back in 2007 and one of the most pervasive themes in it is that I have needed to get my crap together. Forever.
Before I had kids I was not nearly this disorganized. Or perhaps, it just didn't matter quite as much. Before kids it's easy to swing by the seat of your pants. You can pick up and go at a moments notice, no big deal. And stuff! Before kids I had so much less stuff. I could pack all of my belongings in a 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage and still have room for someone to sit comfortably in the passenger seat.
Those days are long gone, but my organizational skills have not improved. Nowadays I'm juggling a very messy house, a t-shirt business, another t-shirt business, a brand new sign business, three busy kids, all their various activities, a loving - and demanding - partner, and the seemingly impossible task of feeding them all.
As the kids get older, the necessity of being organized gets more and more pressing, but unfortunately, my skills do not get better. I've purchased planner after planner, attempted to use Google calendar and Outlook and whatever new and improved app I might be able to put on my phone. But alas, I am no more organized.
The other day I was perusing some blogs and found this free printable planner for bloggers. Now, this wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it really sparked my brain to rethink the typical planner. The way planners are divided into weeks or days and not both on the same page, the way life is divided into several different categories that are all important and need to be thought of simultaneously. It gave me the push to come up with a system that I think might just work for me.
Then on the right, I have an area to write my To Do list for the day and a small area at the bottom to write what I'm planning to do for dinner for that day. My favorite part of the To Do list is that there are seven of them stapled to each weekly planner page. So I never turn the page and forget what my weekly goals are, I just make my To Do list for the day and then when the day is up, I tear it off and forget about it, while never losing sight of what those weekly goals are.
This was one of the biggest issues I've always had with every other organizational system. Either it was organized by week and I never had enough space or a decent enough template to deal with the way my life really worked, or it was organized by day and once that day was over I lost focus on what still needed to be accomplished. Make sense?
I printed up a bunch of these, sliced my little To Do lists with a paper cutter, stapled them on to my weekly planner pages, three hole punched them all, and stuck them in one of those standard pocket and prong folders you're forced to buy in bulk every August before school starts. I'm fairly sure those pockets are going to go to good use as well.
And just because I'm a super nice girl, I thought I'd go ahead and let you download and print it up as well. Maybe you can use it? Maybe you can't. Maybe it will spark your brain to create a planner that suits your life even better!
For each week, you'll need one "planner" page and three "to do" pages, each having two lists on the page. Just trim the edges on those To Do lists and staple them into the spot on the planner page making seven To Do lists per week (including the one that's already on the planner page). That's right, SEVEN, because life doesn't stop on Saturday and Sunday.
Planner Page - PDF
To Do Lists - PDF