Simple Day Planner

Does the ‘perfect planner’ exist? Every December, I begin my quest for the ‘perfect planner’ to get the new year off on a good start! I’ve yet to find one that I really truly loved so I customize simple day planners.

Even though I’m a stay at home mama, a day planner is necessary to keep up with appointments, events and my husband’s work schedule as well as my list of goals and a daily to do list. I like having everything in one spot, it makes me feel more organized.

The past two years, I’ve purchased an inexpensive (we’re talking less than $5) day planner and customized it to fit my needs.

My 2012 planner has a month at a glance page featuring a calendar of the entire month followed pages breaking the month down in weeks. On the first week of the year, I wrote my 2012 goals down so I’d have them at the very front of my planner. At the back, in the notes section, I wrote in:

  • Things to do at the beginning of each month. (Such as pay mortgage, change contacts and back up pictures.)
  • Chore schedule.
  • Donations list. (Keeping track of what we donate, when and where for tax purposes!)
  • Home to do list. (Those bigger projects I’d like to do such as a decor plan for the dining room!)
  • A list of books I’d like to read.

On the weekly planning pages, at the top, I write any events scheduled for the day and if I have a blog post scheduled (like the Minimal Child’s Wardrobe post on March 26.)

At the bottom of the day, I write my ‘six list’. (I was introduced to this by reading Sarah Mae’s 31 Days to Clean months ago.)The premise of the ‘six list’ is you write down the six things (no more!) you want to get done that day and then you go through the list in order completing each task. Honestly, this small to-do list has revolutionized my home and time management!

My planner was inexpensive, it’s small and contains all of the information that I need and keeps me organized.

Do you have small planner, an elaborate planner, a digital planner or no planner? What are the essentials for your ‘perfect planner’?

responses to “Simple Day Planner” 23

  1. I have no planner what-so-ever. It's awful. I just "wing it," which is pretty much the story of my life. This would be great for me for the cleaning. I cant stand cleaning. Maybe if I break it down along with a few other tasks for the day, it would be more managable! I may try it! Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. I can't imagine living without a planner! Of course 'winging it' just means your a free spirit and not as boring as a hyper-organized person like me! 🙂

      1. I finally got a planner…for the main purpose of keeping me on track and getting things done around the house. The planner was on clearance, so I couldnt pass it up. Today is the first day with my "six list." Lets see what gets accomplished! Thank you for bringing this to light!

  2. I was introduced to the whole planner thing last year and I am a total convert. I have a family planner, but I am not using it as intended. There is a week laid out with a column for each family member. I am not using it like that though. Instead I use each column for a different area of my life (e.g. work, home, things to buy etc). These column titles change from week to week depending on my priorities. I find this keeps me organised and it also means I don't focus on one part of my life and neglect the others. I think if I didn't have a planner it would be easy for the days just to fly by without me achieving anything.

  3. Ah, planners how I love thee! I'm obsessed with trying to find the perfect planner and calendar for me and our family every year. Like you, the search begins in December and sometimes in November. I've yet to find a planner that fits my needs but I have found a big family calendar. I found the calendar at Target for around $8 and it's perfect. It was totally blank for each month so I had to fill in everything. It has plenty of room on each day and a place of each person separately and even the dinner menu. I didn't think I'd use the slots for the girls this year since they're both babies, but I was wrong. Between all their doctor appointments and starting their medicines they get used all the time. I love that there's enough room for all our activities and then some. I have an extra slot I keep for when bills are due, etc.
    I LOVE the idea of the "six list." I definitely bog myself down with about 20 things a day and guess what? they never all get done and then I go to bed disappointed or feel like the last hour before I go to sleep is spent trying to get all of it done. And it rarely does! I like the idea of only six things. That is so manageable!!!
    Great first official post on your new blog. Congratulations again and looking forward to reading more!!

    1. Your planner sounds wonderful since its blank for you to customize! Obviously, I need to do more searching at the end of this year for something like that! And the 'six list' is great, it's pretty easy to knock out just six things during the day so I go to bed at night feeling accomplished and happy about what I did instead of focusing on what I didn't do.

    1. Honestly, I haven't done too good about following this chore chart since Weston was born but I do plan to get back on schedule very soon because it makes home management so much easier!

      My schedule is:
      Monday-Minimum Maintenance
      Tuesday-Vacuum/Clean Bathrooms
      Thursday-Focus on One Room
      Saturday/Sunday-Minimum Maintenance

      And minimum maintenance is an idea from Home Sanctuary <a href="http:// (” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( Basically, minimum maintenance, for me, is 15 minutes picking up the kitchen, 5 minute pick up in each room, a load of laundry (if there's enough for a load) and make dinner decision early. I do minimum maintenance daily but some days its all I do chore wise. This has made my life so much easier!

  4. WOW! Planners…nearly a love connection with them. hahaha! I remember in high school when I was introduced to one and had a total life changing experience!! Thanks for reminding me about this little nugget of gold. With early pregnancy falling during December this year I'm pretty sure I forgot to purchase one, guess I could start looking now with baby number two coming!

    1. Had to laugh at your 'love connection' comment…I understand!! When I was a State FFA Officer (right after graduating high school), our officer team received Franklin Coveys and it was like Christmas for me! {I loved that planner but it was really too much and too big for me to be practical…I really like portability so I prefer a smaller planner!} Good luck finding your 'perfect planner" {and I'm pretty sure you can find one super cheap this time of year!}

      1. Yay! A fellow nerdette! 🙂 Portability and mommyhood go hand-in-hand for sure.
        Yes – lol at "pretty sure you can find one super cheap this time of year!" Sometimes I marvel at God's creativeness – in myself! I have to laugh at how he wired my brain. Who buys a planner in May? This girl! I love this new "space" for you – it just feels tidier. I though I would miss F&S but I.S. is wonderful.

  5. My friends introduced me to the Time Keeper. It's pretty, feminine, and designed for sahms. I didn't think it was that great, but finally decided to try one. I just love it! There's a two-page spread for the week, with the second page having space for menu planning and a weekly to-do list. I put appointments on one side and the to-do's on the other and then I don't feel obligated to do everything on a certain day. The TK also has space in the back for notes, as well as tear-out grocery lists. Totally recommend it.

    1. Just looked up the Time Keeper, it looks like an amazing planner! I looked at the photos and love the menu and to-do list adjacent to the days. Thank you for sharing about this…I'll have to remember for 2013!

  6. I have this very same planner! I keep it in my purse so it's always handy when I may need it. One thing I do is on the month at-a-glance pages I write when our bills are due. As I pay them I check them off with a date. It is a nice way for me to see the progress in bill paying as well as keep track and make sure they all get paid on time! Other than that it holds any appointments, my work schedule and any other plans we may have!

    In the back I keep track of our paychecks and every 6 months I figure our average income to make sure we are staying on track. We want to budget but just haven't figured out the best way for us with our variable income. I haven't had the patience, or peace and quiet, to sit down and really figure it out. One of these day that will get done!

    1. What a great idea for keeping track of your bills, especially checking them off! Good luck coming up with a budget for your family…I understand needing and lacking the peace and quiet!

  7. I love the idea of the "Six List". I kinda do that mentally, but usually only 3 or 4 items (fold laundry, take out recycling, prep dinner). And I will be pleased as punch if I can get all the chores I've mentally laid out for myself done during the course of the day. As I'm sure you know, with two kids, the best laid plans…

    My planner is my iPhone and I couldn't live without it. That said, I'm thinking of starting a homemaking binder just to have something a little more tactile for the day-to-day stuff…

    1. Yes, the kids can have an impact on the daily to do. My husband has tried to get me to use an electronic planner (smartphone when I had one/google calendar) but I'm such a pen and paper girl still! I've read several blog posts about homemaking binders and they seem so useful but the thought of putting one together is quite daunting to me!

  8. I love this post! I love my planner. I am lost with out it. I use the same type of planner but I use a 8X10 planner with a weekly/ monthly view. I love the "six list" idea. I will start to use this to help get things done. Thanks again for sharing!

  9. I have tried for many years to use planners and it hasn't worked. I love the idea of them, but I never look at them. I need the items to pop up at me and remind me so that I don't have to remember to look at anything. I'm trying to get used to my new smartphone, but haven't found the perfect reminder system yet. I need to keep looking. Anyone have a suggestion?

    1. My husband uses google calendar and it helps keep him organized for work (he's absolutely not a traditional planner type!) He likes that he can use it on his computer or phone and can share information with me (but I love my paper planner so this doesn't quite work!) Anyways, look into that, I know he gets reminders with this.

  10. I love planners!!! I bought this year's planner, which is small enough to easily fit into a purse or diaper bag, at the Family Christian Bookstore (on sale, about $10) and it's by Helen Rice. This is by far the best planner I have used to date. In addition to the "month at a glance" it includes a page at the beginning of each month for "Goals for This Month"!!! This is great for me because I like to break my yearly goals down into monthly goals. It also includes motivational quotes and bible scriptures for each week as well as a to-do-list column. What has also kept me on track with planning and organization is dedicating each day to a part of the house or a major task, exactly like your chore / cleaning schedule. For example, Mondays are dedicated to the bathrooms. I really like the “six-list” idea as well. Happy planning!!!

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