Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Ultimate Planner

I am taking the Time Management course at Simplify 101. My session is nearly over--though there's another one starting soon.

This class has been challenging, to say the least. As a culmination of the course, as my graduation present, so to speak, I want to put together the ultimate Planner for myself, using what I've learned about time management in Aby's course.

There are many resources for a "Household command" book:

Organized Home has the Household Notebook: Planner for an Organized Home
Perhaps the most famous is Flylady's Control Journal

Then there are the "Mom Binders." These are mega Binders full of everything Mom might need for getting through her day. It is especially popular with homeschoolers.


But do I really need all that?
And if I do, do I really want it all in one place?

These binders above are mostly concerned with how to run the home. Nothing wrong with that. But I want my journal/notebook/binder to be focused on how I use my time.

There are essentially three things to capture when it comes to time:


1) Things to do at a certain specific time
  • These can be one time events, such as attending a Girl Guide meeting, or
  • they can be events for which you need to plan (like a Birthday bash).

2) Things to do later

3) Things someone else will do

4) Things to do regularly, over and over.



1) Tools to capture things to do at a specific time:

a) Calendar which everyone can use and see. This lives on the back of the door in the kitchen. Not too practical in the summer when the door is propped open: but it is BIG and everyone writes on it. Essential.




b) This, however, has a backup. It's something I put together in Aby's Paper Clutter course. (One of the best Simplify 101 classes offered.) It doesn't really have a name. It's a reference Binder: a place to hold Really Important Stuff. For example, my son's scout leader gave us an Agenda for the next few months--places and times they're meeting until Remembrance Day. After I enter all the info onto the wall calendar, I put the papers in this binder.

I could call it the "Ask Me" binder as it is used whenever someone want to double double check the info on the calendar, or someone says, "Hey, where's the soccer game this week?" Or, "When is the next PD day?" and even, "Where's that Scout Potluck this weekend?"

I also have a "Tickler." I use a binder. I put this together in the Time Management class as well.

Inside, I use tabbed dividers labeled 1-31, and monthly dividers, hole punched pockets to hold things like forms and envelopes I need to send in every month to our dental plan for reimbursement, and other things which can't be hole punched. I also use page protectors for smaller items like tickets.

As well, I also have a homeschool planner. That is a post in and of itself (and likely for another blog) but suffice it to say that I have plans in it for each and every subject we study, broken down. I make our plans weekly on a form I designed that captures six days on a two page spread. I love it.


2) Tools to capture things to do later:

In this category, I'm specifically thinking of things which you want to do, which you may need to do, but which do not have clear cut deadlines. For example, decorating the house for Fall. It sort of has a deadline, (I wouldn't want to procrastinate this and miss the season, for example) but whether I go get little gourds from Safeway this week or next doesn't really matter. More importantly, tracking what actions to take in order to move forward on my goals would fall into this category as well.

These are the worst things for me to capture and remember to do.

They need a system:
1) a place to capture these ideas and tasks, like a list in a binder or something
2) a dedicated time to plan when these items will be done

(These may also need boxes or bins to keep items related to the project at hand, for example, if I'm in the process of planning our vacation, I need something in which to capture the brochures, maps and lists of things to pack, for example.)

3) Tools to capture things someone else will do:

This is a toughie. My husband has his own list of things he wants to do in his head. This fall, for example, he wants to sand down one complete window and re-paint it (He wants to do one or two windows per spring and fall, every year), put up eavestroughing on one section of the roof and paint some house trim. I think. I don't know. I'm afraid if I kept track, I'd nag him, and that would NOT be good!

However, I have been wanting to train the children in household tasks and chores (as well as other practical things like teaching them how to change the furnace filter) for a long, long time. So, for now, this is a project. Once it is complete, then I'll have to have a place to keep track of their chores and responsibilities. It could be a clipboard on a wall, it could be a chart on the fridge. We'll have to see.

4) Tools to capture things to regularly, over and over:

The "Mom Notebooks" and "Home Companion" Journals excel at capturing this, I think.
I am in the process of making check lists for me (and my children) with the following headings:
  • Morning Routine

(this is posted with a bull clip on the wall in the kitchen at the moment. Clearly, I need a more attractive option!)
  • Afternoon Routine
  • (After school routine for my daughter who is in public school)
  • and Evening Routine.

I make supper every day, of course, and I have the menu planning and shopping thing worked out. The weekly shop for fresh food is being tweaked.

Other than that: what I need are planning sessions. I spoke about this before, but I didn't do it long enough for it to become a habit.

I'm really hung up, though, on whether I want to plan things for the week: or break it down by day. I'd rather do the former: but my "tickler" is set up for me to use every day which has its advantages. But it is a lot of writing and re-writing.

In either case, I need forms.

There are a kajillion at each of these sites:
Donna Young
D-I-Y Planner

How will it all come together?
I have no idea.
Stay tuned.....

2 comments :

scb said...

Wow! That's a lot of planning. You have a lot of things to keep track of. (I feel tired just *thinking* about it all!) Hope you find just the right thing to help all your categories to run smoothly!

LOJO said...

I used to teach time managment for Franklin Covey. For planning I taught that you would do both planning for the week and each day. On Sunday you would sit down and plan what you wanted to get accomplished for the week. Then, every day before you really get started you write down what you want to get done that day. Prioritized in order. Anything you don't get done you can then move to the next day. At the end of the week you can then make sure nothing fell through the cracks.

your plans sound excellent- anything that you can do and do consistantly will help!

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