How I Plan, For Right Now

tommy at the dentist

We’ve been wondering for several weeks now when our semi-annual dentist appointment might be. We usually have one in July, but then it was fair week, and they still hadn’t called, and we were all starting to get a little nervous. The days continued to tick by, through the end of July, into August, and still, no call. At the end of each day, I’d say, “I’m going to call them tomorrow!” And each day, it got pushed to the bottom of my to-do list.  Thankfully, they put us out of our misery on Monday morning, when they called to tell us our appointment was on Tuesday.  Good thing we didn’t have anything else going on!

So, maybe I’m not the best person to talk about planners. I’m going to do it anyway, though.

I’m always looking for the perfect planner. Haven’t found it yet! How about you?

I use the aqua planner and a notebook covered in a pretty fabric every day.
I use the aqua planner and a notebook covered in a pretty fabric every day.

I was pretty happy with my Catholic Daily Planner for many years.  It’s got a lot of space to write notes on the days, and you can have it bound with lesson planners or meal planners, too.  It also lists the Mass readings for the day, which mystery of the rosary to pray, and inspirational quotes from saints at the bottom.  All in all, very nice.

I really do love the way this one is laid out, and I just don't have another good resource for the information inside.  It really helps me to live the liturgy a little better.  At least I'm aware of what's going on in the Church.  :-)
I really do love the way this one is laid out, and I just don’t have another good resource for the information inside. It really helps me to live the liturgy a little better. At least I’m aware of what’s going on in the Church, even if I don’t do anything about it. 🙂

However, with our current activity level, I was finding it challenging to keep track of appointments.  I found this weekly appointment calendar at the bookstore, and it’s working perfectly for me.  I can write in David’s appointments, and it’s easy to schedule other things around the availability of the van.  I also make note of the girls’ work schedules and our dinner plans.  Toward the end of the day, I make little notes about how we spent our time.  It pleases me to do so.  I chose it partly for the layout and partly because I like the way the cover feels.

A random page of my planner, filled out with appointments, dinners actually eaten, and notes from the day.
A random page of my planner, filled out with appointments, dinners actually eaten, and notes from the day.

Neither one of these planners, though, works for me for keeping track of my to-do list or brainstorming ideas for the farm, the house, or the education of my beloved children.  For that, I like the bullet journal.  The index idea is fabulous, but I also use tabs to bookmark frequently turned to pages, like the one upon which I jotted our read-alouds, or the one that notes how many dollars in chicken feed our flock has eaten.

My first one, I followed the directions.  I didn’t date the pages in advance, just went with the flow.  This second one (for the second half of the year) I’m trying a dated page method.  If I want to make a list or jot a thought, I just turn to any previously barely used page and write.  Most pages get pretty well filled in, but it doesn’t matter where I put my chicken feed consumption chart.

I use these inexpensive grid lined notebooks, with a pretty fabric cover that I made myself.  (It’s easy to do.)  This journal has nearly eliminated the need for post-it notes for me, which is very handy, since Evie regularly raids my desk drawer and runs off with them.  Also, I used to end up with a lot of post-its stuck to my computer, my desk, the picture over my desk, the lamp…. After a while, I hardly notice them anymore!  So, post it notes are out, bullet journals are in.

Between these two little books, the weekly appointment planner and the bullet journal, nearly all of my planning needs are met.

Still, I missed all those wonderful saint quotes, and the reminders for upcoming holy days, and the beautiful Catholicness of my old planner.  So I bought one of those, too.  I had two sets of lesson planners bound in and I have some thoughts toward using it for our homeschool journey.  We shall see how that works out.

So how do you keep track of your life?

 

Here are a couple of other planning ideas from people I love:
No need to entirely remove post-it notes from our lives; my sister uses them for meal planning.
And Dawn from By Sun and Candlelight uses a weekly file system which is also extremely effective.

2 Comment

  1. I’m glad to see that your still young (er) brain needs to be reminded to do the little things, like wash the bath mats. I’m getting to the point that if I don’t write it down at the very moment it flits through my head, it’s gone. If I think of something while I’m in the shower — forget about it! I use TAN books Saints Calendar because it seemed the saints in the Catholic Daily Planner was never the saint I read about in my daily email, but then it often isn’t the same one in the Saints Calendar either. I guess there are just so many named saints…I use that planner mostly for meal planning. I use iCal on my iPad for appts. because I take it with me and it synchs with even my old phone (and the computer if I bother to synch it). I tried writing appts in my planner but that seemed to be a big waste of energy. I like your bullet lists. Might try that — this old brain needs something. Although just doing what I remember leaves less work. 😉

    1. I remember almost nothing! If I didn’t write it down, it doesn’t exist. The bullet journal is really great for those of us with Swiss cheese brains. Actually, that’s why I’m trying a predated version. I want to be able to write down the chores I want to do on Saturday when I think of them on Tuesday. 🙂

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