Let’s talk planning and lists and time blocking and organizing ALL the things. Because that will make me incredibly happy. You too? I knew we were friends. ;)
I use these labeled wooden trays pictured above in my office for all of my random loose papers I need. But I’m on the go so much driving my kids around that I like to have a planner with pockets to hold loose papers also so that if I find myself with extra time, I have my lists with me. I can be extremely productive filling out school forms or planning an upcoming blog project while I’m waiting at soccer practice, watching a dance competition or sitting in the school carpool line. Moms of school aged kids I know you feel me on this one! I also like large planners with more room to write (lists for days!) and I like to use my own printables. So.. after trying out a few different planners and notebooks lately, I’m happy to stay that I finally have a planning system I’m thrilled about!
This is my new planning system and it has been perfect for meeting all of my organizing needs. #happydance
I’ve used Discbound Arc notebooks in the past and have loved them so a few months ago I finally decided to go back to the discbound system again. It just works the best for me. I ordered this pretty navy Levenger Notebook.
LOVE the pockets on the inside flap! Then I also ordered some cute Martha Stewart Discbound Dividers (that have pockets for loose papers also.. second happy dance!). I also picked up these project packet folders for when I have a lot of paper I’m carrying around with me. Love the coordinating patterns on these that match my printables! But that’s beside the point. :)
I used my label maker to label the tabs To-Do’s, Blog, Projects, Kids and Christmas. Those are the five categories my to-do lists always fall in! Let’s look at what’s going on in each tab.. TO-DO’S –
This time blocking printable I designed last year is the one I use the most during the school year, but my schedule this year is so crazy I had to update it!
I have so much going on with my 3 kids in 3 different schools that I needed the times to be in half hour increments. This new updated version is available in my printable library if you want it too!
Every Friday when I’m doing my little “week ahead prep” for the next week I fill out five of these forms. (You could use one with a sheet protector and a dry erase marker too! I’ve done that before.) Ellie’s High School schedule this year drives me crazy! It’s on an every other day schedule so it’s always changing. None of the days ever look the same. Some days she’s out early and some days she goes late and some days she has a class she takes at a separate school down the street that I have to take her to and some days she has dance after school and most days she has seminary early before school (church class). (I never thought I’d be ready for my kids to drive.. but this year, I’m starting to feel ready!) Her schedule is literally all over the place so I just focus on one week at a time! We keep all of our kids’ activities scheduled on an app on our phones that our whole family uses, but with El’s schedule this year I have to write down her her drop offs and pick ups and then work in all of the other stuff around it on paper or I feel like I’m losing it every day trying to figure out where I need to be and when. So before the week starts I at least have my kids’ schedules written down! Then the night before each day I write my to-do’s for the following day and I write down what work I need to do in the small pockets of free time I have. You can see above it’s nothing fancy. I just wrote “to-do’s” in the free spots on the paper above that day, but most days I have specific things I try to focus on during my work time so that I don’t get distracted cleaning my house. (That’s my biggest problem working from home! I always want to be cleaning..) Writing out my daily schedule and to-do’s on this printable and then time blocking everything has been a huge help in keeping me focused and on track!
Ok.. next tab is BLOG. I keep my holiday calendar pages under this tab (they came in my holiday planner this year) and I use them for my post schedule. Showing you a blank one from the beginning of the month but now it’s full with all sorts of writing and arrows on it because I move posts around so much! After that I have another fun printable I made that helps me organize all of my blog/social media stuff. I can share that system on the blog at some point if any of you are interested? I’m not sure how many bloggers read this blog!? Speak up if you’re interested! :)
Next tab is PROJECTS and this is where I keep my “Current Projects” lists. (You can read about how I use this printable in this post.)
When I put together this new planning system, everything was so coordinated and cute that I decided my Current Projects page needed a little face lift too. ;) This is also in my printable library for you if you want it!
Ahhh.. much better! The reason I love the Arc system better than a typical 3 ring binder is because you can fold everything back like a notepad. I like to do this when I’m on the go and writing lists and things. It’s also flat and less cumbersome than a binder (easier to keep in my bag). You can also pull out pages and pop them back in and move everything around easily without messing with opening and closing rings. The only downside to this system..
is that you have to buy your own paper punch. I bought this Arc desktop paper punch and LOVE it! It punches quite a few papers at a time so nice and easy.
Done! Now I can pop in my own printables and pull them out and move things around so easily! I know this system isn’t for everyone (and a basic binder could easy hold the same things!) but I’m in planner heaven with all things discbound. :)
My KIDS tab just holds forms for the kids. It had hospital forms in it over the weekend. (Happy to say Kole is healing so well and doing great! Thanks again for all of your kind thoughts and prayers.)
Now for the CHRISTMAS tab! My favorite. :)
This discbound planning system is absolutely perfect for my Holiday Planner! Of course you could also put it in a 3 ring binder or have it bound at an office supply store, but I love having mine punched and ready to go right inside my planner.
Have you all been using the week at a time lists? They started last week! I love that I don’t have to even think about what I should be doing to get ready for the holidays. I just follow this list and do what it says each week!
I’m going to start filling out a few of these pages this week too. Yea for holiday entertaining! I have a few fun party ideas swirling around in my head and I need to just make a decision and get moving on it!
On a sidenote, I can’t thank you all enough for the sweet e-mails and messages you’ve been sending me about my Holiday Planner. I’m so excited that it’s going to help so many of you stay organized! To be honest, I was so nervous to introduce it to you all. Ha! I’ve never sold a product before and I kept thinking “what if they think it’s stupid!?” .. But then I reminded myself that I don’t think it’s stupid (I love that sort of thing!) and even if some people don’t love it, other people hopefully will. You just have to be brave and try new things. So phew!! Huge relief that so many of you love it like I do! You have no idea how happy your sweet messages make me.
And there’s a mini pep talk for any of you who are scared about trying something new. Just go for it! You’ll be glad you did. :)
I hope this post on my planning system was helpful and gave you a few ideas! When I have an organized system set up like this that holds all of my to-do’s and notes and papers I’ve found that I feel less scattered and I work harder to stay focused and make good use of my time. Bonus if my planning system is cute and color coordinated too. :)
(If you are already a Sunny Side Up subscriber just enter your info. again to get the printables.. it won’t add you twice! Also, if you sign up and don’t get an e-mail soon after check your junk mail! Once in a while it lands there first.)