This is a very simple three-ring binder. Each page of the initial planner includes 7 days with plenty of room to write lists and appointments. I do not include hourly slots for the day, that gets on my nerves. I always write in pencil in case something changes, which it always does.
In the upper right hand column, I have a space for a “Grocery List”. When I run out of something, I write it immediately on my list. I have trained the children to do the same. Everyone has to be involved in noticing when we run out of things. On grocery day, I transpose this list onto an index card, which I also keep handy at ‘Command Central’.
Next is my “Errand List”. There are always a number of errands that I need to accomplish during the week. But rather than set myself up for failure by scheduling them on a certain day, I make the list a part of my weekly plan, marking them off as I accomplish them. If I don’t complete them all, they go on next weeks list.
“Things That Need My Attention” is another personal category of mine. These are things that I need to tend to but aren’t necessarily urgent. It might be a toy that needs batteries, drawers that need cleaned out, buttons that need sewn on or one of the never-ending things that need repaired. I forget these kind of things two seconds after I hear about them unless I write them down. Lest you think I get them all done each week, don’t kid yourself. The key is that I am mindful of them, and keep transferring them to the next week until they get done.
“Things I’m Thinking About” is one that I really love. This is MY category. I hear and read of things that give me ideas that I may or may not ever follow up on unless I write them down. Whether or not to start up this blog stayed on that list for quite a while until I found time to research it. Choosing paint colors for a room I want to change would go on here. Elaborate holiday menus would go on here, allowing me time to consider, research and organize my thoughts about something. Otherwise, some very good ideas would fall into the abyss of my distractable nature.
Lastly, there is “Blog Ideas”! Here I keep track of contests, readers that need a response and ideas for future posts.
The Business tab would include things like Ebay stuff, receipts I need to have handy, site-to-store pick up labels, etc.
The Blog tab would include, well, bloggy things. OK, you’ll know that I’m a total geek when I share this…..I collect words. Yep. I hate collections of nick-knacks, but I collect words. Whenever I hear a cool word, especially if I don’t know what it means, I write it down on my list and look it up. Then I purpose myself to use it sometime in my writing. It keeps my mind and vocabulary growing beyond “potty” and “boo-boo’s“.
Adoption would include continuing paperwork from our recent Ethiopian adoption, like post-adoptive reports, appointments, referrals, etc. Once you return home with your adoptive children, a whole new world of paperwork starts. The pre-adoption paperwork goes in one big file, then we’ve started another one post-adoption.
Finally, I keep a section for Holidays/Gifts. Just coming off of the biggest Christmas season we have ever had, I must say that I need to do everything I can to stay organized. I had several lists going for Christmas and almost thought I would lose my mind buying for 9 children this year, but we pulled it off.
My holiday shopping starts late summer as I begin to cue in on what latest gadgets and toys the kids are talking about. I jot them down and begin to scope prices, etc. on retail sites, Ebay and garage sales. It’s amazing that if I start thinking about Christmas months early, I am more prepared. Sometimes the best price is in August!
Birthday ideas also go in here on a separate page, again keeping lists of what I think the children may want and look for them at a discount. Without the list
, I can’t remember any of it.
Well, there you go, my re-organized planner! What are your thoughts? Did any of this get your creative juices flowing?