I have five children, I work two part-time jobs while taking freelance gigs on the side, I have no “help,” and my husband is a doctoral candidate with a FULL-TIME job in addition to his university studies and writing. Still, we find the time for weekly Family Home Evenings, monthly home teaching and visiting teaching, and our children are active in weekly Young Women’s, the “Faith in God” program, and Cub Scouts.
How do we fit so many activities into our already busy lives?
I credit our planners. They are what keep us organized!
I should also credit our time-management strategies, but I’ll have to share those in another post.
Why Buy a Planner When Planning Apps are Free?
I don’t use an app or anything digital–I use a physical planner that goes with me everywhere.
- When I am at my desk, it lies open, showing me my daily tasks lists.
- When I am at church, it is open in my lap, so I can jot down upcoming activities or events.
- When I am in the kitchen cooking, it is on the counter with me, reminding me what is on the menu tonight.
- While I am cleaning, it goes from room to room with me, reminding me what needs cleaned first and foremost, with shopping lists inside that I can add to as I run out of furniture polish or paper towels.
- When I am on business calls, it is open to the “notes” section so that none of my work tasks or assignments are ever forgotten.
I cannot survive without my planner!
I tried the apps, but because I could never see them in front of me, they were quickly forgotten. Reminder alarms only got snoozed until I forgot them altogether.
Here is the planner I use:
Note how the photo above shows that I also buy calendar pages, shopping list pages, etc, to keep me organized.
This year, I am using an even better system of pages, called “Seven Habits,” because it is based on the time-management strategies from the famous book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:
Back when I was a young mother (translation: too busy nursing babies and chasing toddlers to make many appointments), I used this family planner instead, and I LOVED it:
Amy Knapp’s planners are larger than the purse-friendly compact planner I buy from Franklin Covey, so I used this purse/planner combo back then, which I really loved and could easily slip inside my diaper bag before outings to church or to the store:
Here is another homemaker’s planner that is similar to Amy Knapp’s, but much prettier (though less practical, because it has no pockets or spaces for me to store stuff). It is just so pretty that I want to buy one and keep it on my counter, even though I don’t need it! 🙂
My kids also use planners, as part of our family’s chores-for-privileges rule (something I’ll explain in a future post). Here are the planners they use:
I recommend these planners to my university students, to help them stay organized and not miss any assignments, because I do not accept late work:
Back when I was teaching my children at home, this was also my favorite homeschool planner:
For those who instead prefer to support cottage industries and local artisans with their purchases, here is a homemade planner for LDS moms, that is made and sold out of the homes of some very creative LDS moms:
As you can see, I am a massive planner enthusiast, so please let me know of any other planning products I should try! 🙂
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