Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year, New Datebook

In Part 3 of the My Journey to Homemaking series I did last year, I sang the praises of this datebook. I loved it.I think last year was either the 3rd or 4th year I'd used a PlanAhead planner. I knew how it worked. I had everything figured out, I knew how I liked to fill it out and maximize it to fit my needs. I loved how each day had it's own space, and my daily lists fit each day almost perfectly. But there were a few things I didn't like, but I didn't realize it until almost the end of last year. When I needed to get a new planner for 2010, I "shopped around" a bit, keeping in mind what I liked about my old planner, and what I wanted in a new one.

Out with the old, in with the new!

I came up with this Mead Daily/Monthly Planner:I bought it at WalMart, I don't remember how much it cost, but it was more than the PlanAhead planner. I decided that having a good tool was worth the money.

It has monthly tabs! Not something that was on my "want" list, but I've been enjoying them!
Each month has month-at-a-glance pages. Love it! I can write or pencil in activities, and don't have to go flipping through the whole book to see what's scheduled on a certain day. I also have enjoyed using this to plan my menus - I can pencil them in here and easily rearrange or change it before I write it out for the week. It also makes it easy to see what meals we've had recently so I don't do repeats too often.With the 1 day per page format, yes, it is a little bigger and a little bulkier, but it just stays on the counter so size isn't a real issue. I wanted more space for each day, but I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking for. This format works perfectly!
In the old datebook, appointments and my to-do lists got all jumbled up together. I tried using different colors of pens, highlighters, etc, but that was just too much to keep track of. I specifically wanted something that with each day I had space for appointments, and space for my to-do list and notes. (And no, my social and Dr. visit lifestyle is not so massive that I have THAT many appointments! But I figured with a little person joining our family, we'll have more than the one annual poke'n'prod Dr. appointment to keep track of.)

With this format, the left side of the "day" has times printed in, where I can write in appointments. The right side is blank where I fill in my to-do list and notes. My to-do list starts at the top and works down, and little extra things I need or want to do (phone calls, projects, reminders) I start and the bottom and work my way up. That way I know what is "to-do list" and what is optional or really needs my attention. I also use the right side to remind me to pay bills. When a bill comes, I determine when I'm going to pay it, then I write it at the top of the "to-do list" side in red ink.

Across the very bottom of the page is a blank block. This is where I write the menu for the day and any notes that need to go along with it.

So far I am really liking this planner! If you're looking for something that will work for you, I hope this gives you some ideas. If you already have a system you really like, please share, either with a comment or a link in my comments. I love seeing what works for other people, and gleaning ideas :) Or if you just want to leave a comment saying that you stubbed your big toe or the kids are driving you crazy, that's fine, too!

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday


Janna said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for the inspiration. I've done this before but gotten away from it. was recommending one that you can get either once a week housecleaning shores or once a day chores listed in it to keep you on track that way for $8. I think I'm going to order and try that one.

Congrats on the baby coming soon! I'm starting to review "The Power of a Praying Parent" on my blog next Wed. I'd love for you to visit.

Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

I have the hardest time finding planners. I write BIG and they never fit my writing :( Ever.

Saving Our Way said... [Reply to comment]

Thats a great habit to have with the planner. You'll be thankful you've already developed it once your little one arrives! Mommy brain is rough!! I thought prego brain was bad but I had no idea!!! haha!

Planning ahead is the key to helping the household run when caring for little ones can blur hours, days.. weeks!


Jenny said... [Reply to comment]

I have something like that. But it's like... smaller. I love it.

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

Good idea. I keep our wall calender pretty filled up. Maybe I need a planner, but then it would be something else cluttering my counters. Hmmm....maybe I need to declutter some other things so I can have a planner. That will be a monster project for another week. Tonight is getting started on another monster project--Toys Out Of Control. I can't stand it any more.

Lori said... [Reply to comment]

Isn't it great when you find a planner that works for you!?!?
A few years ago I found MomAgenda and for me it. is. IT. It's a bit pricey, but I wait for a sale with free s/h and it's do-able.
Thanks for sharing.