I’ve found myself struggling here lately with getting and being organized, which for a Type-A, routine-orientated person like myself, it’s really hard not being organized.
I kept trying planner after planner hoping for the system that would help me manage everything – my household, my family, my business, the kids’ school stuff, you know my life. But every time I tried a new planner it would last maybe a month (if I was lucky) and then I was spiraling out of control again.
To be honest, I was tried of spending money on planners that weren’t working. I knew I could create a planner that would work for me but I also knew that would cost me an arm and a leg because I’d have to 1) hire a designer 2) hire a printing company (which to have it printed in the United States is insanely expensive!) and 3) pay for it to be shipped to me.
Of course, I could sell that custom-made planner here on my site and maybe get back my investment but the problem is, that planner would be custom-made for me and no one else. Sure others would probably find it useful but they would end up with the same frustrations I have with other planners – it just doesn’t work for their actual life.
So what’s the solution?
Well, 6 years ago, I was a Project Manager at a large engineering firm in Atlanta and a full-time college student and an expectant 1st time mother. When I gave birth to my oldest child I had over 600 projects across the U.S. that I was managing and I never once felt this out-of-control.
So, I started reflecting back on that time and wondering how I made all of that work – managing multi-million dollar projects, full-time college class load, being a wife and soon-to-be mom – without losing my cool. I started thinking about to the planner I had and realized, that well the only planner I had was a cheapo academic planner.
The thing is, I used that academic planner just for school stuff and I used a simple notebook (which I guess would be called “bullet journaling” now) and Outlook calendar for all my work stuff.
That was it. So why the heck am I now so lost and confused with my life??
Here’s what I did
I decided to start using different planners that would meet different needs for my life and to stop expecting there to be an all-encompassing one-size-fits-all planner that would meet every need I had.
I started using this FREE (yes, this thing is FREE) household planner printable from The Confident Mom to manage my household. I kept using my iBloom planner for all my business stuff (there goals section is probably my favorite part of the whole planner). And I kept using my Budget Planner for our household finances.
I also use Google Calendar to keep all the kids’ school schedules and our social calendar in order. This way, my husband and I both know at all times what is going on and where we all have to be.
Is it working?
Yes! It’s actually becoming easier having two different planners than just having one. At first, I thought I was going to lose my mind because in a house with 3 small kids, things move around a lot. And since my desk is in the living room, things on my desk can go missing quite often.
But, after a couple of weeks, I noticed that is was actually easier to stay focused on what I was doing when I would only pull out my iBloom planner for work. I wouldn’t get so distracted by everything else that I have going on in my life.
Same with my budget planner, I can stay focused on managing our money well, when I’m not distracted by the 1,000’s of work things I need to do.
It is easier, but having more than one planner can be cumbersome at times, so keep in mind that it may take a few weeks to get this system really working well for your family.
I write down the day’s schedule in my iBloom planner since I work from home and therefore, I work around my family’s life. So, I write down what the day’s schedule involves – the kids drop up/pick up times for school and any appointments so I can plan around them.
The great thing about this, is that I can quickly realize that I won’t have enough time on one day while my boys are at school, due to early dismissal so I know that trying to cram in work isn’t going to be possible. I might be able to do something for work once they go to bed but chances are it’s not going to something that requires a lot of brain power because I know that I’m going to be spending the majority of the day running around.
When it comes to the household planner, I actually use the pre-filled version of Susan’s 2017 Household Planner (she has a blank one too) because honestly, I love the things she has listed and it helps me to remember that this planner is for our household – not my business.
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