Planners – The Right One For You

February 12th, 2013 posted by Kelly Huckaby

agenda It’s that time of the year again: dinners to plan, gifts to buy, school plays to attend, vacation days to schedule. Mothers today are more than just “housewives.” The list of titles is long and varied, including: Stay-at-home Moms, Work-at-home Moms, Business Women, and Soccer Moms, to name just a few. Then there are the specific titles of the many hats we wear each day: Chauffeur, Doctor, Chef, Maid, Caregiver – this list is longer and more varied than the previous list! Keeping track of all our responsibilities can be challenging. Your time is valuable. A good daily planner can help you spend your time more wisely at home, at the office, or around town. While I realize that one planner doesn’t work for every mother, I’ve found two that will please the majority of the female population.

The Easy Organizer

The first planner I found, and loved, was the Easy Organizer, from Get Organized Now! (www.getorganizednow.com ). This planner, created by Professional Organizer Maria Gracia, is a full-sized, 3-ring binder with 8.5″ X 11″ pages. This is a fantastic reference tool for any home. I call it a reference tool because this planner is ideally suited to sit on the counter in your kitchen, on your desk, or wherever it can be easily accessed, much like an unabridged dictionary. It’s also a great reference tool because of the variety of pages you get. The Easy Organizer comes complete with over 60 different pages, or tools. These tools are separated by 31 tabbed dividers that come in a rainbow of colors. You get two of each tool, including an order blank for ordering more copies of the sheets you want (or you can make your own copies.) All the pages are one-sided making them crisp, clear and easy to read. An index is in the first section, along with instructions for using each of the tools. I really enjoyed reading this section. Maria kept the instructions short and to the point. No wasted words, yet still personal. I felt like she had written them directly to me as a friend, not just a customer.

As I mentioned, the tools are full-size, 8.5″ X 11″ pages, and they’re very specific. This is good for two reasons: more room and adaptability. Let’s look at some of the sheets so you’ll see what I mean. As with any good planner, you get an address book. With the Easy Organizer you also get an E-mail Log. This is especially helpful if you are part of an e-mail list. You’ll probably only have a name and e-mail address for many of the list members so a full address book isn’t needed. Besides the usual To-Do List, the Easy Organizer also has pages for Calls To Make, People To Visit Or Contact, Places To Go, Movies To See, Books To Read, and Restaurants To Visit. The Calls To Make page is just for phone calls: if you have business calls to make; if you need to contact other parents for a school or sport function; if you are part of a prayer chain.

The other five tools are set up in yearly formats. If you have an elderly relative you can schedule regular visits throughout the year. How about a New Year’s resolution to read a new book each month, or to visit six new restaurants next year? Schedule seasonal day-trips for your family on the Places To Go sheet – you’ll be prepared for birds migrating, flowers blooming, or opening day of your favorite amusement park.

–QUICK TIP–

Designate 10 minutes per day at first, to simply write things you have (and want) to do, inside your planner. Do this first thing in the morning, before you do everything else, and it will be easier for it to become a habit. Also, you may want to designate a nice reward for using your [planner]. For example, “If I use my [planner] for 7 days straight, I will . . .” This will also serve as motivation. — Maria Gracia, Get Organized Now! The Easy Organizer is unique in many of its tools, including the one for Doctor Visits. If you put all family members on the sheet each year, you’ll have a record for insurance purposes. Or, make a sheet for each family member and you’ll know their medical history at a glance. This planner is also well suited to business women. Besides tools for planning and taking notes at meetings, there are tools to assist you in training other people, and for delegating tasks. All of these tools I’ve told you about can be easily adapted to just about any lifestyle you may lead. As a homeschooling mom, I can see how the Major Goals tool can be made into a scope and sequence. The Decision Making tool can help you choose curriculum materials. The Presentation Outline can be used by older students who are giving speeches. The Contacts-Prospects tool is a great place to list potential field trips or curriculum vendors. Some of you are reading this and shaking your heads. You’re thinking, “Is she bonkers?! Lug that binder around with me all day? No, thank you!” I hear you, and I have a great planner for you as well!

The Busy Woman Time Management Strategies and Tools for Busy Women at The Busy Woman.com

The Busy Woman’s Daily Planner The second planner I found, and loved also, was The Busy Woman’s Daily Planner (www.thebusywoman.com ) by Susie Glennan. This planner comes in two sizes, both smaller than a full-size sheet of paper. You can also purchase various purses and bags from The Busy Woman, including a fantastic Carry-All. These bags come in a variety of styles, to compliment any woman’s lifestyle, and most come in classic and compact sizes. If you’re looking for a purse that will transport your planner pages neatly, as well as hold all your other necessities like credit cards, checkbook, cell phone, etc., then you need to check out the Carry-All! With The Busy Woman’s Daily Planner you choose everything from the type of binder to the type of pages you want. There is a Master Filler with 13 different page-types and tabs to get you started. You can also order pages individually to customize your planner to your needs. As I mentioned, the pages are smaller than a standard sheet of paper, but they’re two-sided. This is good for two reasons: less searching and portability. Let’s take a look at some of these pages. The Weekly pages are divided into 8 sections, one for each day of the week plus a Notes section. The Daily pages also hold a ton of information. There’s a place to list your things to do, a place to write down appointments, a place to note who needs to be called, a place to list chores to be done, a place to write up a menu, and a place to jot notes. All of this is on one side, making it easy to see at a glance what you need to do that day.

–QUICK TIP–

Here are a few tips to get you started using your planner: · Only put in what you absolutely need. Remember you are carrying this with you. · Monthly Tabs – Only put in up to six months at a time. · Daily Pages – Start off trying 7 pages behind only the month you are. · Weekly Pages – Start off trying 2 weekly pages in that first month as well. — Susie Glennan, The Busy Woman’s Daily Planner

The Busy Woman’s Daily Planner has many unique pages, including the Budget pages, which have plenty of room to write in your monthly bills. Other unique pages include Devotional and Lesson Planning pages. The Devotional pages have room for keeping track of scripture verses, noting prayer requests, and journaling your spiritual growth. The Lesson Planning pages are ideal for student use (for keeping track of assignments) or for homeschooling parents (list page numbers from books you’ll be using in each subject that day.) The Busy Woman’s Daily Planner makes a great gift for the woman who works from her home selling through party plans, or for the busy mom-on-the-go who needs a portable planner to keep up with her mobile family. Purchase a binder and a Master Filler and this system is all laid out for you – no copies to make! No matter which planner you choose, start out by implementing only one or two tools, or pages. Use them for two weeks, until they are part of your daily routine, then add more sections, one at a time, until you are using a full planner. With a little creativity, you should be able to use all the different pages in your planner. Also, write any changeable information in pencil, like your children’s clothing sizes. If you decide to use either of these planners I’ve told you about, just tell them you heard about them from The HOMEWriter – you can use the Special Instructions blank at either site for noting this when you order. And remember: any planner is a tool. It works for you, you don’t work for it!

Related Resources:

GO-MOM Inc Planner – Recent winner of the FamilyCorner.com Magazine Award For Design and Content Excellence

Kelly Huckaby (14 Posts)


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