Friday, December 13, 2013

Keeping It Together

I've had people ask me how I get it all done.  The honest answer is, I don't.  I have more to do than time to get it done. For example, my house still has pumpkins from Halloween on the front porch but since they are currently covered in snow they look just fine beside the inflatable Santa the Hubs put up.
In my defense, I have been working on managing my time a little better with this:

Meet Big Bertha. "She" is the Franklin Covey planner I picked up for less than $20 when the Office Max went out of business in our local shopping area. Originally I had an ARC Planner from Staples, but it was just too big (the pages were 8 1/2 x 11) and I needed a change.  

Because I have become somewhat obsessed with planners here recently - following blogs dedicated to Filofaxes, watching YouTube channels - (it's really quite pathetic on my part) I thought I would share what I have done with mine. If this isn't your thing you won't offend me if you stop reading and find something better to do with your time. :-)

This is the first page of my planner. Some stickie notes and family photos to helps me remember what's important in life. The "meat" of the planner is tough. (no pun intended) I have struggled with finding the right inserts to make it workable for me.
Here are the ones I'm using (and L.O.V.E.) right now:

They are from DIYFish on Etsy and you can find them through her blog here. I actually found them through Carie over at Dispatches From the Frat House. She did a great video on YouTube that really explained how to use them.  Here's the problem: I have to download them, print them, cut them apart, and hole punch them. As much as I love them, I don't have that kind of time these days.  Nor do I have the time (or energy) to locate someone who can do it for me. {sigh}
And truth be told, I don't really need an entire page for one day. I also like having my "To Do" list clipped in the rings because I'm more likely to look at it. So at the end of December I'll be moving on to another type of insert. Not because I don't love these but because of the labor required for me to put into them.

Big Bertha came with these inserts that were undated:

At first I thought I would like them. But as time went on I realized I need the days horizontally instead of vertically. So I went to Wal-Mart and bought this set from DayTimer:

Better, but I still don't like them.  See the blue column down the middle? It's supposed to be for time slots. I like having the lines to write on, but hate how it's broken up into columns. It did, however, come with these monthly inserts that I really like so it wasn't a total bust.

 Prior to each month there is a full page for writing down goals/plans/to-do's for that month.  Not sure how or if I'll use it, but we'll see how it plays out.

I really like this month on two pages.  It has lines for me to write (I tend to write uphill) and a column on the right for me to make notes.  For example, our personal property taxes are due in June so I was able to make notes in both May and June to remind myself to budget for that expense. 

I apologize that this is blurry but I'm too busy lazy to take another picture of it. This is for the end of the month. It's a spot for writing notes and memos. I think this will be good for recording the cute stuff Babycakes does throughout the month so that I can go back and put it in her scrapbook or baby book. That's my intention anyway.

This past week, I found some inserts called the Mom Planner refill (DayTimer again) that I think might work. They run from July through June so I was able to get them half-price and if I hate them I only have to deal with them until the end of June. I ordered them earlier this week so I expect their arrival in the mail any day now.  I'm hoping these will be "the ones."

I will tell you, I tried using Google calendar from my phone and laptop but it just didn't do it for me.  I have to physically write it down to remember it. Even with the reminders I still felt like I didn't know what was going in half the time.  I also tried Cozi but, again, didn't feel like I had a real grasp of what I needed to do.  I finally accepted that I'm a paper planner kinda gal. Sine that realization I feel like I am more organized (with my time anyway), I know what's coming up, and when who will be where. That's not to say I don't still overlook or forget things from time to time, but it happens a lot less than it used to happen!

So tell me, how do you stay organized?


  1. Catching up here-We have a monthly calendar that hangs in the kitchen, we have a weekly on the fridge and then I have my Blackberry calendar and I keep a calendar just for expenses on my desk that I write each month in advance and then check off as they are paid...I'm a paper kind of girl too but I like my phone one for when I'm out an need to get something down immediately-then I write in on our other calendars when I get home...I think I'm a little OCD about it but it works...repetition...

    1. Michelle,
      I tried using my iPhone/Google calendar and I kept missing appointments, meetings, and other things of verious importance. This is the first time in a long time I feel like I have a good handle on things. I'm definitely a paper gal! That's not to say that I don't have a super cute Susan Branch calendar hanging in my kitchen. ;-)