Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WFMW: One Stop Planning

I have always been a bit of a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to organizational systems. I have never found a commercial product that has all of the features I want in a size or price that I am comfortable with.

In college I photocopied a grid with my weekly class and work schedule drawn in, penciled in meetings as they were scheduled, and then planned homework and my social life around those parameters. I could see my entire week at a glance and know just where I needed to be when. I used some variation of this system for ten years. It was simple and flexible, but thorough. It really worked for me.

Then I became a stay-at-home mom, day care provider, and owner of a very high maintenance home. I had things to be done, but no set schedule -- my time-based organizational system fell apart. With all of the constant (blessed) interruptions, I could not keep track of all of the things I needed to remember and do. I could not remember what on earth I needed at the store, or when I had last vacuumed the playroom. With the help of Flylady, I got daily routines going, but still needed to make the system my own. This January, I finally sat down and made a planner that fits my life. The sheet has a box for everything I need in a week -- appointments, menu plans, preschool plans, shopping lists, and ongoing projects. I also have a checklist of all of the tasks I complete once per week. I even found room to record the kid's milestones and what books we have read together.

I print off a month's worth of sheets, pop them into a soft-covered binder, and keep it in the kitchen cabinet above the computer. The binder rolls up small enough to fit in my coat pocket, which allows me to bring it along to the grocery store and doctor's office even when my hands are busy. Here is what it looks like in use.
That is what works for me. To see what tips others have come up with, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

10 comments:

Robin said...

Way cool idea! I may have to borrow it and adapt it to my crazy life. Thanks for sharing what works for you.

CC said...

Cool!!! Can it be emailed to your adoring fans?? (hint hint) If so let me know!

infinitygoods said...

You're right, the commercial ones are never just right. Congrats on actually taking the time to make your own! I've often thought about it but never took the time. I'll bet it would work for all of us because it would be completely customized to our own families. Thanks for the inspiration.

Michie said...

I have a hard time with organization too. This looks like a good idea - thanks for sharing. I like the idea of having a space to track milestones and whatnot too - I never know where to put that stuff, and then I forget it.

Tiffany said...

That is a great idea! I would love to have the file, also if you care to share it. Let me know, also!

Heart of Wisdom said...

This looks very efficient. Personally made systems are bound to be better than a commercial "one size fits all " system. I have a notebook system I'm using I started with a commercial system for a plan an adapted to my needs. Maybe I'll post mine on a WW.

MY WW this week is what's on my frig--another system I use a lot.


You have been tagged for the "What’s On Your Refrigerator?" meme. It is a Meme and a contest! I'll be giving away two free home organization books. Read all about it at http://heartofwisdom.com/heartathome

Hadias said...

This is a great idea. I like the Blog Post section.

Sarah said...

That looks much more reliable than the scraps of paper I use to plan our lives...

Kate in NJ said...

As always B- great idea!!

Ann Kroeker said...

Clever girl...way to inspire and even empower us!

I remember years ago...years and years ago...making my own planners as well based on Anne Ortlund's _Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman_. The book is a bit outdated, but her planner was ahead of its time. It was very much like a Day-Timer or Dayrunner before those were marketed to everyday folks.