Life as a mom of 3 I am still honestly learning how to manage it all. Adding a 3rd has thrown me for a loop a bit with balancing it all. Fall is always our busiest time because we have sports, church activities, and everything else. I don’t care how many kids you have or even if you don’t, using a planner is a necessity. It is something about using a planner that instantly makes you feel like you got it a little bit together. Trying to run a household, work full-time, grow a brand, have time for my marriage, and for myself can be tough!
I call myself the COO of Newton enterprises. I organize 95% of the operations of our family life. Whether it be from getting the kids enrolled in sports to scheduling our vacations. Rick and I both have our strengths and my is just being a planner. We always joke about this but Rick always says to the boys “You betta be thankful for your mother because you wouldn’t do half the things you do if it wasn’t for her.” We laugh but it really is true. I know it is a strength of mine, but it isn’t without a lot of planning.
I live by using a planner. I know many people use their phones and google calendar, but I am old school. If I don’t write it out, I don’t even remember it. I have used many planners, but the one of choice. What first made me love Erin Condren was the options to add many pieces to personalize my planner. I live by the dashboards insert. In my previous planners I had so many scratched out lists, and I like using these dashboards that I can erase and move to the applicable week. The ones I use the most is the meal planner dashboard.
Not to mention my first Erin Condren planner was Leopard, and my current one is white/gold. If you know me then you already know how I feel about my metallics and leopard.
I wanted to share a few ways that help me stay organized, as well as organize my family schedule and how to keep up with your planner. I know sometimes you will get a planner and won’t stay up with it (I used to be guilty of this!)
Set a time and day each week you can dedicate to sitting down and organize and updating your planner. Our schedules are always changing so it is important that I make any changes necessary. If I don’t carve out time my week will get away from me and I will end up not having an updated planner.
What I include in my planner – I put everything in my planner. From dr. appointments, personal activities, kids sports, basically everything. Another major thing is bill alerts. While we keep a family budget, I still like visually have it on my calendar to give an added reminder. I don’t personally have it but Erin Condren also has a bill planner dashboard to organize your monthly bills. I even add my goals to my planner to ensure I am staying on track with meeting them.
Do a daily or weekly review – Get prepared for the week or the day, and be in the know on what’s to come for the upcoming week/day.
Don’t be afraid of using stickers – As my husband says, my handwriting is chicken scratch. I don’t personally think it is that bad, but it isn’t the best. With that, I use stickers to cut down on writing whenever possible. Don’t be afraid to get a sticker pack. There a tons of options on planner stickers, so search one that has the most you can use.
Color coding is your friend – I don’t know about you but if I use the same color it can start to all clump together. I use a color coding system.
This is how I color code:
You can make your color coding with whatever works best for your, but I strongly recommend getting to a color coding system.
Write down it down right away – I’ve found to make your planner truly useful I write down any update in it right away. I used to schedule appointments without my planner in front of me, and tell myself I will go back and jot it down. Do you think I remembered to? Nope. I used to try to keep things to memory, and I can do it to a certain extent. However, when you are juggling a lot keeping everything down will only get you so far.
Keeping a planner for me is just comfort in the midst of chaos. Haha. It’s not always chaos, but life can get busy. And I am only 1 person, and without having a planner I would probably be showing up at wrong places and at the wrong times. My husband works late often, so it will be up to me to handle the PM activities. Another reason it’s to make sure my schedule is solid.
If you are not using a planner you need to start! It holds me accountable to everything in my life. Keeps me from over planning, and keeps this busy family of mine organized. The key to having your planner improve your life efficiency is truly making sure you put in the time to update it as life happens. It has helped me so much once I became diligent with using it.
So my challenge to if you are trying to juggle everything by memory or if you don’t have a system that works. Consider using a planner to organize your family schedule, I promise you it will make life a lot easier.
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