So how do I manage my crazy life as homeschooling mom of 5, proofreader, wife, writer and blogger and stay
Well, I have to write everything down. I always have paper around me for various daily, weekly, monthly, someday, and will-probably-never-get-to lists. I write on napkins and Post-It notes.
This has always worked great for homeschooling, and I use this great one called A Simple Plan (you can see more about it on my homeschool blog and also how I am now using a separate one for my high schooler as well because he has so much going on). As for life and work, though, I have never been able to find one that works.
Back in the day, before kids, I loved my DayRunner ... the medium-sized one. It was perfection. Then I tried the huge 8 1/2" x 11" one that zips and everything, but it got too cumbersome. I couldn't drag that beast around with me AND make sure I kept track of my kids at the same time so the planner had to go.
I've tried legal pads, spiral notebooks in all sized, and Moleskine notebooks with a lovely elastic closure (bullet journaling). I do jump around from thing to thing and try to rebel against them all. After all, I SHOULD have a life I don't need to keep track of on paper, right? According to my dear husband, I should only have so many things to do in a day such that I can remember them all in my head.
Hold on a second while I try to stop laughing and wipe the laughing tears from my face.
Look, if I didn't write everything down, do you know how many appointments would get missed if they were only written on the big wall calendar I sometimes try to avoid? Doctor, dentist, orthodontist, eye doctor, hearing tests, payment deadlines, fundraiser deadlines, church stuff, homeschool stuff, homeschool co-op stuff, dates with the kids, dates with the husband, times the kids hang with their grandparents and friends, and about a million other things we do. I seriously also have to write SHOWER down on my planner. It's pretty bad.
Anyway, on a whim, I started checking out planners on YouTube ... lots of vloggers like to check out several different ones and open them up and show them off so you can see every page and make a good decision for your life.
When I saw the Ashley Shelly, I loved it. Here's how it saves my life:
1. It's pretty. Don't underestimate aesthetically pleasing.
2. It's sturdy. A must with my life. I don't treat things that aren't human very well.
3. It's affordable. Especially since I ordered in March and there was a 40% discount.
4. It's inspirational. It's more than a planner ... each month you can jot down what you want to say NO to and what you want to do more of. Monthly goals and a monthly word (which I turn into a weekly word at the start of each new week).
5. It's genius. I love that I can tear off each perforated tab as a week goes by so I can find my place quickly.
6. It's small enough that I can carry it in my purse when I know I'm going somewhere.
7. It has a pocket in the inside front cover that can hold my supplementals (invitations, things to mail, etc.).
8. One week is on two pages, and there is a spot for times and a spot for to-dos. There are only so many to do spots, which means I can't overfill the dang thing with too much stuff I will never get to. It forces me to put down only the most important things.
9. There is a see-through pocket in the front for things like post-its. It came with appointment and special occasion stickers, but I don't really need those. Some might find them incredibly cool, though.
10. It has a monthly view so I can see everything at once. It's small enough that it encourages me to not overbook our lives.
Okay, so I just got back from the orthodontist, who wanted to see my son in 8 weeks, then later I went to the dentist for my two youngest, where I had to schedule FIVE appointments for follow-up. Normally I would have to go home and then try to remember to call both of those places to set those things up, using up precious time because I always forget.
INSTEAD, I whipped out my planner both times, totally surprising myself with my efficiency, and was able to schedule what needed to be scheduled RIGHT AWAY.
This product saves my time and saves my memory! So far I have gotten rid of so many random pieces of paper all over the place by writing things down from the papers onto the planner! I'm excited for our summer and for the start of the new school year after that ... organization brings peace to me. How about you?