What’s In My Planner (And How To Keep Busy Life Organized)

October 30, 2018 at 4:33 pm (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Run here, scramble there. Pick up kids, make dinner, pack lunch, clean the house, an appointment, a sport, a meeting, go to work…

Mom life. Busy. Sometimes the never ending to do list gets confusing and the fog of mom brain doesn’t help. I know we’ve all been there. And I’m sure we have all forgotten something we were supposed to do.

So, I wanted to share a bit of my method for keeping it all together and not forgetting (or at least forgetting less!) what needs doing.

There are many systems for planning or organizing the family to-dos, but this is just an example and what works for me (for now).

First, I always need a paper planner. We also use a wall calendar and dry erase or chalk board. The wall calendar is just for date reference and I will write in anything someone else might need to know to do, such as Jaon’s dentist appointment he will need to go to. The dry erase board is to list things we need to remember, like to change a light bulb, and our grocery list so that anyone in the house can add to it.

For actual planning, I personally use a personal size ring binder, specifically a Filofax Malden, for planning. The type of planner does not matter nearly as much as finding a size that works for you. I need one big enough to have room to write, but also small enough to carry everywhere. I actually made my planner my wallet as well so that it has to be with me at all times. This system isn’t for everyone, but works wonderfully for me and has for several years. Choosing a planner can be a whole separate post because there is so much to talk about, so I will leave it at that for now, but if you need more suggestions or help feel free to comment, email, or message me!

Here is a glimpse inside my planner, where I house most of the “wallet” portion, money, cards, and a few photos.

I should also say that there are a lot of fun ways out there to decorate your planner or even your planner pages. I’ve tried it all. Its fun and gorgeous. But, at this time I am too busy for much of it, so some pretty clips and a few pretty embellishments inside are about all I do currently. I DO, however, use some icon stickers to show what I need to do in my weekly pages, which I will show in a bit.

Next I have an insert with some blank note paper to use and tear out. And of course some more pictures. One pen is gold currently, to help me color code tasks. The other is a Frixion pen which is erasable. This is amazing for planning on the go and ever changing schedules! Find them here. I’ve also added some of the ersable highlighters there too, which are also so handy!

Then I’ve got a yearly view calendar. My current one is a pullout version, but any type works. This is where I color code no school days for each child and weekends my step daughter is here. It makes seeing things I need to often look at easy to pick out at a glance. This calendar, along with my month and week views are from Sew Much Crafting.

Then I use a month on two pages insert set. Here is where I forward plan and schedule things. By this I mean, when you are at the dentist and need to schedule a follow up appointment for 6 months out, that can go in here. This is where I check for any conflicts when scheduling almost anything and also where I transfer birthdays, anniversaries, and other special dates from year to year.

I do have a very simple color coding system in this section. If I add something while out, such as at an appointment, I won’t worry about the color, but when adding dates to a new year’s calendar, colors help me keep it easy for at a glance. Each person in the house gets a color, work gets a color, red is for holidays and events and purple is for birthdays and anniversaries outside of the household. I don’t put every detail of the event in these tiny boxes, but some may be jotted on the back if the page to remember them, and them details can be added to the next section as well.

Which brings me to my weekly section. I’ve tried daily planning, and for work, a page for each day is helpful to be able to list appointments with clients by time. For personal use, it was too much. I’ve found my happy medium with a week on one page layout with a blank opposite page. I use the blank page for making the week’s to-do list, or grocery list, or not myself a note, etc. For these task lists I use a modified version of bullet journaling. Things done get a check mark, a dash means its started, and I transfer incomplete things to the next week each Sunday or so. The week page is where I add all events and appointments and some detail if needed, such as an address or time. Sometimes these pages get some fun decoration, but this is also where I add some icon stickers. Cub Scouts, wrestling, swimming, doctor and dentist appointments, school events, etc each have icons that I can use and show some examples below. Etsy is a great place for these, and my favorite icon shop is Planner Kate.

The next sections are always changing and evolving for what I need at the time. I will show you what things I have in there right now, which are mostly my essentials that stay in every setup. First is a passwords insert. These and the next few inserts came from 1407 Planners. I like to be able to look up a password while on the go, especially since I log in to everything from my phone and passwords are so darn complicated now!

Next I’ve got some lists. I keep some blank pages of this pretty cross paper too, for when I think of something I need to list. This is sometimes details of an event I might be planning, or right now I jot baby milestones and notes for his eventual baby album. So handy to do this on the run! My other lists include products I love (to buy again), products I want to try, Disney Classics movies (to mark off what we have to collect them), school info (also below) and kid info like sizes. Also shown below I’ve got some ToDo paper turned into a list of deposits by renter has made. Things like this help me jot and reference while out on the run. These lists change and get added to as needed as well.

Then I have a Purchases insert. Online shopping can get confusing sometimes, so I track what I’ve got coming here.

Next is a Bills insert. I put all budgeting stuff on here every few months just to see it on paper and get an idea for numbers. (I’m horrible at actually using a strict budget)

The Wish List insert is where I track things the kids and family members have asked for, said they liked, or gift ideas I’ve got for them. This way if I hear a Christmas idea in June, it’s still always with me come the time.

I have a printed off sheet from Simply Clean showing a cleaning schedule. I don’t stick to it, but at first when I started to do a cleaning schedule it helped to see it in front of me. Now it’s there to reference. This is the kind of thing you could always add or remove or change too!

Shopping List. A must have for me. Lists like this are why I love a ring bound planner system. I pull them out, punch new ones and stick them in, etc.

In the back, behind all of my inserts, I have some card sleeves. Here I use less used ID cards, reward cards, etc. I have two pages and try not to carry lire than that or it gets too fat and I’m sure they are just not needed.

In the back pockets I have the icon stickers, and some gift cards, stamps, and a bank punch card.

When I have a bill that needs to be paid, receipts I need to hold on to for a bit, or upcoming coupons, they get stuck in the cover temporarily.

I do have a card holder that attaches to my key ring that I keep in my purse for quick run ins where my whole wallet isn’t needed. I also have an envelope pouch that holds more coupons and a fee more membership cards, but are all less used.

This is my family planning system in a nutshell. Is there anything you would like more info on? Or maybe something else that works great for you?

Xx, Jess


  1. Rebecaj said,

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing! Really enjoyed seeing what you use in your planner. 💜💜💜

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