The joy of a good planner
I’ve owned all sorts of planners over the past 15 years. Most lasted about two weeks or a month maybe though, I never quite found a groove. I love the idea of a plan and thrive off of having a guideline for my day. I’m a perpetual list maker. About 2 years ago I came across a great article on Simple Mom that totally clicked. I put it into practice mid school year, in January 2009, and it took me all the way to summer break. Loved the simplicity of the Moleskine journal and I could set the bar as low as I needed to still be able to check things off. It was what fully sunk me into meal planning because it felt so good to know what was for dinner before 5 PM every night, that alone took my stress level down a notch. For the early childhood years, I think it is a really helpful method.
But the next year I tried, all year long, to write my own lengthy lesson plans and meal plans and shopping lists and such every Sunday. It took hours and by the year was half over it was hit or miss getting all of the above done every week. This left me disorganized and in constant ‘catch up mode’. I’m not sure why I gave up the Moleskine/daily docket plan of attack but it would have worked much better!
When a friend showed me her very loved and worn out planner last summer, it looked a bit daunting and much. But she explained how she used it and I was inspired enough to try it. Since late August, it’s been home to all the details of our school work and meal plans and even has little tear off shopping lists. It is the longest I’ve ever stuck with a planner and though it surely doesn’t solve all life’s problems and everyone is different, just thought I would share.
The best part is that having the week filled in and laid out has given me more freedom to get up early before kids wake up and just read or pray instead of starting every day feeling ten steps behind (that still happens sometimes, regardless!). It also helps me see where we can fit in fun stuff, playdates and such in the midst of keeping up with our home learning goals. If your kids are still younger or if you don’t homeschool, they make a basic day planner as well and if it’s any bit as great as the Well Planned Day one I’m using, it would be a worthy investment!
At the moment the Well Planned Day planners are on pre-release sale ($5 off I think), which is a great deal – I intend to order mine this week!
Thanks to your recommendation, I bought one this year. I love it. Although I sadly under-utilize it, it is a wonderful book in which to keep track of everything in my life, including school, meals, activities, to-do lists, doodles… You can even buy the last year’s version for just $5 and keep your young toddler busy with her own book while you are planning (was worth hours of entertainment for me!). The book is so pretty that I want to open it up just to look at it, and then…I get caught up in planning and it doesn’t even seem so much a chore!