Friday, July 31, 2015

How to Take Control of Your Time With a Monthly Planner

Somewhere between micromanaging every single moment and not knowing when the party even starts, there is a sweet spot of time management.

I think I have found my sweet spot!

(Check out my new inserts for this academic year. So much pretty, right?)

planner, monthly, inserts, calendar, time management

As much as I discuss planning tasks on this page, my monthly calendar spread is the heart of my time management success.

Here are some of the features of my monthly calendar planner pages that make it easy to use and effective for managing my time.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The 3 Shopping Lists Essential for Your Planner

If you could do one thing to save time, save money, stay healthy, and eat well, would you do it?

Shopping was probably my biggest weekly time suck for a long time.

Going to the store took forever. I was constantly out of something and running back to the store at the last minute. I would forget stuff. I couldn't cook because I was out of stuff, so I would eat out all the time.

Three continually running shopping lists have solved my time, money, and cooking issues!

shopping, planner, grocery, shopping lists

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Using the Limited Space on a Monthly Planner Spread Efficiently

Monthly planner spreads are set up like a traditional calendar.

At least in America, weeks start on Sundays (though weekly spreads in America usually start on Mondays). The squares are really too small to pack any significant amount of information on them.

I've devised a simple hack that makes the most of a monthly spread so that all necessary information can be captured on the page.

planner, planners, monthly spread, monthlies, calendar

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Ultimate Guide to Using a Planner to Manage a Medical Crisis

I have a dirty little secret.

So many people share my secret, but most of them are reluctant to tell anyone.

See, if people knew, bosses might fire them. Employers would be reluctant to hire. Friends might think them lazy, whiny, or self-centered. Well-meaning family members might try to monitor food intake and exercise output. People on Facebook might give UNSOLICITED medical advice.

(Yes, those are shouty caps. Yes, that was worthy of shouty caps! I can't stand when a non-medical professional tries to give me medical advice. Even if they are right, they don't know my medical history or current medications. Please remember that nothing I am writing here is medical advice nor am I trained in medicine. I am just telling my story.)

My secret?

planner, off topic, medical

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Secret to Creating a Practical and Pretty Planner

***This post may contain affiliate links. See my "Disclaimer" link for additional details.***

When it comes down to a choice between decorating my planner and making it practical, I ALWAYS choose practical. After all, my planner keeps me sane. I do not want to mess with that mojo!

planner, compact, Franklin Covey, inserts, hole punch

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Organized Back-to-School Trick That You Must Do Before School Starts

For parents everywhere, back-to-school season adds tons of items to your to-do list. Adding anything else might seem crazy, but I've found one back-to-school task that saves me so much time during the rest of the year that I've continued to use this same trick for two years.

organize, organizing, launch pad, launch and land zone, back to school

Saturday, July 25, 2015

What Really Happens When You Block Someone on Facebook

I'm a pretty nice person. I try to treat people with love, compassion, and patience. But some people are just toxic. They get on Facebook, call my friends names, and act inappropriately.

(Sometimes, those people also happen to be called "family." That's ALWAYS awkward.)

No matter how nice you are, the time will come when you are forced to block someone on Facebook. To block someone, follow these simple steps (noted in the picture by step number).

1. From your HOME page, click on the drop-down arrow in the upper right portion of the screen.

2. Click on "Settings."

3. Click on "Blocking."

4. Add their Facebook name to "Block users" and click "Block."

technology, off topic, Facebook, blocking

Friday, July 24, 2015

Top Ten Features of a Successful Daily Plan

Having a plan is the first step to being more productive and having lower stress in your day.

Some features of a daily plan make life smoother. Here are some of the things you should incorporate into a daily docket.

daily docket, daily, daily plan, planner

1. Write it down.

The process of writing down and organizing your plan is important. Sometimes, I just rely on what is already on the calendar. That never turns out well.

By forcing myself to organize the tasks (even if I spend less than five minutes doing so), I have to be realistic about what actually can get done.

2. Put appointments and tasks on the same page.

I keep appointments and tasks in separate place in my planner. I consider this a smart plan because I don't accidentally double book appointments that way.

But for a Daily Docket, I need to sort of see everything together. The appointments for morning and afternoon are at the top of the page.

3. Prep for morning appointments in advance.

Notice that I have two appointments this morning. Fortunately, neither of them required prep. If they had, prep would have been done the night before when I made the plan (like packing my work tote if I were working outside of the house).

4. Make two task lists.

I make a MUST DO list (on the left) and a SHOULD DO list (on the right). At any point, if the plan derails, I can revert to only the must do tasks.

5. Have a food plan.

My breakfast plan is pretty much the same everyday (usually oatmeal). Lunch is a salad or leftovers. But knowing my dinner plan early in the day gives me the opportunity to prep in advance.

6. Have a standard list of daily tasks.

Mine is on my laptop in an app. I know, right? Not in my planner!

But I do have a remember in my planner to do my Dailies. Dailies include things like check email, take meds, do a fifteen minute quick clean, and doing laundry and dishes.

7. Use repeating tags for only routine stuff that doesn't happen daily.

For non-daily tasks that repeat often (like blogging every other day or taking out the trash weekly), I use reusable post-its.

8. Work the plan.

Don't just write it down. Use the plan during the day. Reschedule or delegate as needed, but do something!

9. Don't over 

It's easy to spend too much time planning and not enough time doing.

My Daily Docket above looks packed, but today is actually a day with a lot of quick tasks that need to be checked off. Some days, my Daily Docket is really short. That is fine!

10. No need to archive.

Unless your daily plan suddenly captured something important (like a car wreck or the unexpected birth of a baby), toss it once it is complete. Completion includes rescheuduling, deleting, or delegating undone stuff.

I archive weekly and monthly pages, but my daily plan is for working, not for recording.

Try a daily plan, just for days. I suspect a daily docket will change your life.

Please consider changing someone else's life in a positive way by sharing on Facebook or pinning to Pinterest.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Change One Thing to Transform Your Entire Day

Wake up.

Make coffee.

Stand there and stare into space, with bed head and a sense of overwhelming dread...

Been there?

I've figured out how to change my mornings to change my day. Let me share my trick with you.

I considered what would change my day.

I'm a work-at-home mom, so for me, the challenge is getting household chores done while putting aside enough time for my paid work. Getting a couple of household chores out of the way early would make a huge difference.

However, I had to be careful not to stick just to household/child-related stuff. Sometimes, I am on a deadline and my day has to be dedicated to work for a full eight hours.

Occasionally, I have to substitute teach (a third paid gig).

The kids might have school or lessons or activities, or they might be home all day, requiring attention.

A morning routine that was inflexible would not work. As important as keeping up with housework is for staying calm and stress-free, paid work and childcare are obviously higher priorities.

The solution? 

I made a list of three things each morning on my Daily Docket that had to be added to my morning routine FOR THE NEXT DAY ONLY

(On the image below, you see it as the Must Do List.)

Choose your three things each day, write them down, and make them happen.

Note that these three things go BEYOND my everyday routine, which includes basics like brushing my teeth and having coffee.

How I decided what to put on my three item list:

Today is a pure stay-at-home mom day, except for grocery shopping and blogging. That made laundry a priority, since I'll actually be home to fold and put away. Laundry is only time-sensitive in the sense that I need to get it done before my husband gets home from work and I go grocery shopping.

I also had a couple of time-sensitive tasks. I needed to get a letter in the mail before noon. Finally, I needed to list my prescription refills to get done at the pharmacy inside the grocery store today.

So, for me, one upkeep task and two time-sensitive tasks gave me a jump start on my day. It's now noon, as I write this, and laundry is done and put away! Letter is mailed and prescriptions that need to be refilled are listed in my planner.

To make your decision about your three things, consider these five questions

1. Is there something time-sensitive that I can start on immediately?

2. Is there something on a deadline today?

3. Is there something that I've been dreading that I can get out of the way?

4. Is there something I need to start doing every morning (like putting supper out to defrost) to make life go more smoothly?

5. What actions would make my life easier today?

Join the conversation for a chance to discuss your three things, and how you make that decision, on Facebook by clicking here.

Remember to share in social media. Sharing is caring. 


Partied with:

Funtastic FridayBloggers BragMomfessionalsShare the Wealth Sunday


My Flagstaff Home

Home Matters Linky Party - Grab Button

Grounded & Surrounded #ETHANproject

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Planner Bloggers: Announcing a New Facebook Group Just for You!

Patti at Homemakers Daily (an excellent blog, so click here to check it out) commented last week that we need a group for those who blog about planners. I am in some great blogging groups, but none of them focus on our niche or struggles and successes!

Announcing PLANNER BLOGGERS, a Facebook group for the sole purpose of serving the planner blogger community.

To join, click here. Sorry, Loyal Readers, but this group is ONLY for the planner blogger community, so that we can focus on continuing to give you great, easy-to-access content.

blog, blogging, planner, planners

Also, please remember to share this post, in some way like Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter, with your favorite planner bloggers!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Working Out at Home for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads

I don't always work out at home.

Even though I am a work-at-home mom, I drag my kids to the YMCA once or twice a week to do yoga, barre blend, or Pilates classes. During the school year, I also do a couple of days on the step machines there. I'm a very social person, so it's not uncommon to set aside a couple of days per month to walk with friends in the park.

As much as possible, when I work out at home, I simply go for a walk or jog outside. But it's the hot Louisiana summer right now, and either it's burning up hot and humid or there is a thunderstorm.

So I have a trick for working out at home - inside the air conditioned house.

aerobic step, SAHM, SAHM workout, workout at home

Yes, my favorite trick is a simple aerobic step.

It's easy to store (slides behind the couch), easy to set up, and leaves me right in front of the tv the whole time I work out.

The internet is full of ideas for step workouts, so I grab moves from there. But, really, as long as I am moving, I just pop in my favorite episode on Netflix, step up and down, and keep moving my legs and arms until the episode ends.

For bonus points, I make my kids leave the room "because Mommy needs room to work out." And then I watch Orange is the New Black in blissful peace.


Partied at:

The Evolution of Mom

Monday, July 20, 2015

How to Move From Planner Fail to Planner Success: Schedules Matter

In the world of paper planners, people talk about calendars (for scheduling appointments) and task lists. Sometimes, there is even a discussion or two of project planning or carrying file information.

But there is a rarely talked about component of planners that can move a planner from a mere tool to a rock star instrument for success - schedules.

planner, schedule, ring bound

I keep my schedules simple, but I block out time for the important stuff: Morning Routine (like pulling something out of the freezer for dinner), Commute, Work, Writing, Workout, Afternoon Routine (doing my daily chores), and Evening Routine (prepping for tomorrow).

(Let's be real...I have a really complicated on-line schedule, thanks in part to my friends in the Giftie Etcetera Facebook group, including the whole family as an overview. But I need something more practical and portable for my planner.)

I did a few things to make the schedule more practical.

*Store the schedule between the monthly spread.

I just drew it on some graph paper. I keep it thin, so it doesn't hide much, but I cannot miss it if I am making a daily plan.

*Have alternate schedules.

I basically have a M/W/F and a T/Th schedule since I only work part-time. Full-timers might want a weekday and weekend schedule.

*Treat the schedule as the bones of the daily plan and build from there.

I adjust my schedule as needed on the daily docket that I usually create, but things that usually happen or usually should happen go on the schedule.

*Note FYI times when applicable.

Husband leaves for work at 6:30 on Tuesdays? Kid has karate on Friday? If it affects you at all, it goes on the schedule.

*Don't overschedule.

My schedule has plenty of open spaces. I can make it to lunches and doctors' appointments without sacrificing work time or my workout, most of the time. Appointments will fill up those blank spaces on a daily basis, so leave some room.

If you weren't feeling well but not sick enough to miss work, what would you try to do? Those are the things that go on a schedule!


Partied at:

Bloggers Brag Weekly Pinterest Party
Huckleberry Love
Meetup Monday

A Fresh Start

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Conquering the Summer Blogging Slump

Bloggers can usually expect stats to crash during the summer. Maybe it's because people are vacationing. For planner bloggers, back-to-school and December/January, when people get new planners, are busy times. But June and July means fewer readers and lower statistics.

blogging, off topic

There are ways to keep your readers engaged (and to keep you engaged), even during the summer.

*Create relevant content.

The Loyal Readers who visit Giftie Etcetera do so more when I offer good content. Summer, in the planner community, is a time to catch-up on overdue tasks, plan vacations, and get ready for back-to-school. Good content addresses those topics and gives useful information for dealing with them.

Whatever your content area, think about how to make it relevant to your readers during the summer.

*Have a place for discussions.

I have several places, beyond my blog, where the conversation continues. Participating in the ongoing discussions keep my readers aware of my blog.

-Facebook group

-Facebook page

-You Tube


I am active in all those places, answering specific questions from my readers and engaging with them. As a bonus, they are a great source of ideas for blog posts!

*Set goals in terms of growth.

I often compare last summer's stats to this summer's stats. Even though my readership goes down in the summer, it is up from last year. That is a win.

*Use the downtime to improve your blog.

Summer is a great time to clean up rogue links, write some great back-to-school and holiday posts for the future, and make sure your branding is solid.

Readers aren't as likely to visit daily anyway during this time of the year, so reduce your post schedule just a bit and focus on better content instead of more content.

Happy blogging!


Bloggers: Find a sponsor for your web site. Get paid for your great content.

Linked at:

Funtastic FridaySomething to Talk AboutWeekend Wind-Down PartyTator Tots and Jello

My Flagstaff Home
A Fresh Start

Friday, July 17, 2015

Planner Time: How to Build the Planner Habit

I sometimes go a couple of days without writing anything in my planner. I'm a huge fan of writing things down, of course, but it's even better to just go ahead and do the thing. If I do it right away, I don't usually jot it down. (One exception is if I need a record, say that I called the repair shop to check on my car repairs.)

But there is something that I do without fail.

Every single day, I open up my planner and take a look at my task list.

time management, planner, Flourish, Franklin Covey

Sometimes, I decide that some of it won't get done and I reschedule those tasks.

Sometimes, I do all the tasks, one after another, and clear out the task list.

Sometimes, I notice a big appointment and focus on that.

But whatever happens, I have developed the habit of a daily visit with my planner. More than ANYTHING else, that habit makes sure that I don't miss anything important.

There are some things that you can do to help develop the planner habit and if you are at all serious about taking control of your life (even if your planner consists of a smart phone and an app), you should start doing these things right away.

*Set an alarm.

It sounds crazy, but until you get used to looking in your planner daily, set an alarm. I put mine on my laptop to remind me to look at my planner around 9 a.m. If I have already done so by then, I just turn off the alarm.

*Use your planner as a log.

If you log something - anything - in your planner, you'll be forced to open it. Maybe you log calorie intake, exercise, or water consumption. Maybe you have a chores checklist. Maybe you log your mood, your health issues, or the weather.

Choose something that you are highly motivated to track and log it. I log that I've done my "daily" list, including blogging and household chores. It's a great trick for forcing yourself to use your planner.

*Schedule planner time.

Every morning when I first sit down to do work, I check my planner first. Before I go to bed? I check my planner. Pick a time when you are generally free and check your planner.

*Store your planner nearby.

I keep my planner next to the couch at home, in my purse on the go, and at my desk when I work.

If your planner is missing, you might not go looking for it.

*Use your planner.

If I treat my planner's task list as the actual plan, I get much more done than if I see it as a suggestion. I can decide to reschedule, but it is an active decision.

Try these 5 steps and see if they help you to develop the planner habit.

Follow Giftie Etcetera on Facebook and never miss a post again!


Linked at:

Busy Monday
Home Matters Linky Party - Grab Button

motivation-monday-6 hosts

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Teaching Kids to Be Organized

There is something in your house that needs organizing. Maybe your junk drawer or your ink pens are a mess. For me, it was the food storage area.

I was not about to waste an opportunity to teach my kid to organize. The free labor was just bonus. I solemnly swear it!

parenting, organize, organized, projects

Seriously, though, it's so important to teach kids to organize. (And it is not necessarily easier than organizing yourself.)

Just give them simple steps.

*Unload the tupperware. ("Mom, what's tupperwear?")
*Match up the same sizes.
*Make sure each has a top and a bottom piece.
*Store like sizes together, largest first and smallest last.
*Put extras on the counter.

My 9 year old did just fine, and the step-by-step instructions are teaching him to think in an orderly way.

Next time, I'll have him make the plan and I will approve it in advance.

Of course, he earned two hours of electronic time for taking care of this hot spot for me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Planner Possibilities: Using Any Planning System on Any Planner Page

There are so many planner page layouts available, from those from Filofax and Franklin Covey, to those like DIY Fish and The Happy Planner.

There are just as many planner systems. From my own Giftie Etcetera system to Getting Things Done to the 7 Habits, people are forever creating and tweaking methods for organizing our appointments, tasks, and goals.

planner, franklin covey

Newsflash - your system of choice does NOT have to match your planner pages perfectly.

I usually show examples of my own system, but for today's purposes, notice the standard Franklin Covey 2 pages per day format.

Instead of using the 7 Habits system (with priorities like 3A or 1B), I am using a combination of Getting Things Done (with context-based task lists and tasks written with a verb at the beginning word) and the Giftie Etcetera scheduling system. I'm using parts of the page to record calories and part to plan dinner.

The point is that your system does not have to match your pages. Decide which pages work for you. Decide which system, with adaptations as needed, works for you.

That is the way you should plan! It doesn't have to be all or nothing. In fact, if you stick to all or nothing, you'll soon find out that no one system works, even on its custom-made pages.


Join the conversation on Facebook.

Partied at:

Something to Talk About

A Little R & R Wednesdays - a linky party

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Case for Ignoring Your Kids

Yes, I've seen the parent sitting at the playground, looking at her cell phone and ignoring a child who is about to tackle a younger kid.

Yes, I've gotten angry at the mom who could not seem to look up from her conversation to take her screaming kid out of a restaurant.

Yes, I've watched a dad play with birthday presents that his 5 year old received, all the while ignoring the kidlet's protests and demands to play.

Since all these things leave me close to rage, it might seem weird that I believe ignoring my kids is a completely appropriate strategy in a lot of cases.

But I do. I ignore my kids like ignoring them is a contest with a million dollar prize at the end.

parenting, off topic

You see, I've noticed something. If I ignore them - or at least APPEAR to ignore them - they figure most of it out on their own, faster than they do with my intervention.

Riding bikes is a great example. I walk while my kids ride bikes. Sure, on the inside, I am 100% helicopter parenting. I never look away from them. But I pretend, under my dark sunglasses, to see nothing.

A fall? Mommy is way down the road and can't help, so The Loki better wipe away the scrapes and pick up his bike himself.

Three days of that technique, and the only time he didn't get back up was when he was truly bleeding and needed help cleaning up. Otherwise, he sees falling as an adventure. Excellent!

I also ignore them during time outs. Actually, I pointedly do something else that I enjoy, to show them that they can stay there as long as they want, until they are ready to make amends and change the behavior, and it doesn't matter to me, as I am in no rush at all. (Of course, internally, I'm all "hurry up and say sorry!" But they do not know that.)


They are free to ask questions. But by letting them only get help when they ask, they naturally do more by themselves and I get to see where the real struggles are happening.

And yes, sometimes I pretend to be looking at my cell phone to achieve this deception.

Try acting like you aren't hovering over your kids and see if it works for your family. I'm raising some pretty self-sufficient kids over here!


Partied with:

Mommy Moments,Good Tips TuesdaySunday's BestSharing TimeWeekend Wind DownFuntastic FridayFlash FridayThe Ethan ProjectPintastic PinterestWonderful WednesdayMommy Monday, Let Kids Be KidsSmall VictoriesClever ChicksSomething to Talk AboutShare the Wealth Sunday


The Evolution of Mom

Monday, July 13, 2015

Planners and Paperwork

I try to deal with paperwork as it comes into the house, but sometimes that just is not possible and I get slammed with paperwork.

I have a simple set of five steps to take care of those piles of paperwork.

1. Toss trash.

2. Distribute stuff for others.

TIP: Have a location set up for that purpose or put it on their kitchen chairs tucked under the table.

3. Put any information in my planner that I can.

4. If I cannot write all the information down, write the date/time specific stuff, the task, and WHERE the information is filed in the planner.

5. File anything I need to keep in my HOLD file, SHORT TERM file, or FILES in my home.


To join the conversation on Facebook, click here.

Linked at:

The Wednesday Showcase

Friday, July 10, 2015

3 Places to Put Task Lists in Planner

My task lists basically go in three places in my planner.

planner, tasks, to do, post-it

*Day or week-specific tasks go on my weekly pages.

*Someday/maybe tasks go on my Project section in a project called tasks.

*Tasks that I need to do soon, but not on a specific date (say, due within the next month) go on a hot list in my dashboard.

This week, my "tasks that I need to do soon" list is too long. So I culled it.

Tasks that really could be put off (maybe indefinitely) went on the someday/maybe list.

I circled tasks that needed to be scheduled this week or next and scheduled them.

Then I made a new dashboard list with whatever was left.

If I do this once a month or so (whenever my dashboard post-it gets full), I get a good balance of not recopying too often but getting to make good decisions on a regular basis and reassess my priorities.


To join the conversation on Facebook, click here.

Linked at:

Dolen Diaries

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Proper Order of Cleaning Up

I hear rumors of people who love housework. They patter around the house, singing along with the oldies station on the radio (which, let's face it, feature songs from when I was in college), and smile while mopping the floor.

Oh, wait...those are commercials!

productivity, cleaning, housework, time management

There is an easier way to clean up that saves so much time and effort. And I'm going to share it with you. (Hint: It does not involve tennis shoes or the kitchen sink!)

TIP: Set a timer and do as many steps as you can in that time.

I set mine for fifteen minutes a day (and move to other rooms if the kitchen/living room are clean or if other rooms need cleaning more). For your first time, you might want to put aside an hour. But maintenance shouldn't take more than 15 minutes in a single room, unless you fail to erase the evidence as you go!

There are five easy-to-remember steps: clear, spray, dry, wet, and mop.

1. CLEAR: Clear off flat surfaces.

I won't lie. You will HATE this part. But put on your Fit Bit and earn those steps! You won't regret it.

When I clear off, I don't just dump things into a basket. I actually take each item and put it away in its home. My hair ties go into a hanging organizer in the bathroom. My keys go in my purse, hanging for a hook on my desk. My kids' toys go in their seats at the kitchen table - for removal to their bedrooms before they get to eat again - tucked under the table so I don't have to look at it. Dirty dishes go in the dishwasher. Folded clothes goes to the closet.

PLANNER TIP: Have something with no home? Write a task to "find home" in your planner and put the something in your hold box.

Probably the most time consuming part of cleaning any room is clearing off surfaces. But if you do it daily (or almost daily) and as you go through your day, it's also the most rewarding part.

TIP: If you have hot spots, decide if that should be the new home of the item. Keys can be corralled in a $1 decorative bowl bought at any thrift store. Thrift store bags and baskets are great for holding library books or mail for your husband.

Clearing will have a greater impact than anything else you do, so if you only get to this step today, that is completely fine.

2. SPRAY: Spray and soak raised surfaces.

For the longest time, I would spray, wipe, respray, rewipe, spray, wait during soaking, and finally scrub off a spot.

What a waste of time and money!

Spray any dirty spots and walk away.

3. DRY: Dust/sweep.

Next do the dry stuff, while the wet stuff is soaking. Dust from top to bottom, then sweep the floor.

4. WET: Wipe surfaces, in this order: a) germ catchers, b) high impact, and c) everything else.

Germ catchers are places like handles and knobs. Cleaning them first saves you time in the form of not getting sick!

High impact areas should be cleaned next. Your house will simply look better. Wipe down that counter and that stove top.

Finally, time permitting, do everything else. Clean inside of the microwave and that area on the door that gets footprints on it. But if you don't, no worries. You'll probably be the only one who even notices.

5. MOP: Mop.

I always mop last. (Let's be frank. If I mop, I always mop last.) After all, my food is not eaten off the floor. Only my shoes touch the floor! And if I wait long enough, my 9 year old will beg to mop it for electronics time.

This system will take a while to learn, but logging the time in my planner helped me to be realistic about how long it takes to clean my house.

This sample Weekly Schedule (created in OneNote 2013 as a time log) is available in blank form at (not linked here as I didn't ask them first and don't want to presume).

cleaning, weekly

Notice that each room takes less and less time to clean as long as you keep it up! I clean the kitchen (at least through step 4) most days of the week.

This printable also is a great way to schedule out your week.

cleaning, housework, household, schedule

Want to chat about cleaning, organizing, and time management?

Click on Etcetera below to join our discussion on Facebook!

Hearts for Home Blog Hop

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Case for a Thin Page Marker

On my weekly pages, I write in three columns. Due dates go in the outside column, must do tasks in the middle, and should do tasks on the inside, near the rings.

planner, accessories, page marker, today marker, bookmark

I picked the area near the rings for the most minor priority tasks for two reasons.

1. My handwriting is not as nice near the rings.

2. My page marker, used to bookmark the current day, hides the part near the rings.

The second reason is the critical motivation for using a thinner page marker. I'm hiding items that can be done, but are not critical. When I open my planner to today's spread, I get to see the MUST DO and DUE tasks only.

Having a layout like that helps me focus on what must be done. A thicker page marker would hide the information that I need to see.

If your page marker is too thick, consider getting a thin one. (Mine comes from a Plan Ahead planner.) Or make your own out of thin plastic or a plastic file folder.


Linked at:

Happiness is Homemade

Awesome Life Friday

The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Daily Plan

Planners are a great way to record upcoming appointments and to list tasks, while keeping all of that information together.

But if you stop there, you aren't getting everything that you could out of your planner. There are so many other possibilities - filing information that you use on the go, project planning, a quick in-box.

My favorite possibility? Using a planner to create a daily docket (or daily plan). A daily docket lets you get through the day smoothly and accomplish most of your goals.

Here's a step-by-step guide to creating a daily docket that works!

(I use Quo Vadis Textagenda for my daily pages, but you could do this on a Franklin Covey daily page or even on blank paper.)

Step 1: Copy appointments from your monthly pages to your daily docket.

TIP: As you copy things to a daily docket, mark them off with a highlighter. I use the code "D" to show that I put appointments on my daily docket. That way, I still only have one page to check as I go through my day - since the monthly calendar stuff is on the daily docket - and I avoid duplicating or forgetting information.

daily, daily docket, daily plan, monthly, planner, weekly,

Step 2: Capture anything from yesterday on your daily docket or elsewhere in your planner.

In the example below, I had a couple of things that I need to do today (like unpack from vacation). Those go on my daily docket for today. But paying the lawn guy can wait until Monday, since it rained today so he won't come out.

daily, daily docket, daily plan, monthly, planner, weekly,

Step 3: Copy tasks from weekly pages onto your daily docket, both from today's entry and those things you will do today from your weekly list.

daily, daily docket, daily plan, monthly, planner, weekly,

TIP: Draw an arrow in today's entry on your weekly page so that you don't have information in two different places.

daily, daily docket, daily plan, monthly, planner, weekly,

Step 4: Add extras, like prep lists of stuff to bring out of the house tomorrow, menu plan, and notes for tomorrow.

daily, daily docket, daily plan, monthly, planner, weekly,

Step 5: Put your docket on the side of the planner that does NOT block tomorrow.

Note in the above picture that I have dedicated spaces on my daily docket for each grouping of items:

*am appointments
*pm appointments

*prep items (for leaving house, like an umbrella or work bag)
*must dos
*should dos
*must dos repeating tags
*should dos repeating tags

For more guidance in managing your time and your life, click on Etcetera below and join our Facebook group!


Linked at:

DIY Sunday Showcase
Kenarry: Ideas for the Home

DIY Vintage Chic