How many of you absolutely LOVE getting a new calendar at the beginning of the year...fresh clean pages...its so pretty. FULL of possibilities...only to find that by mid March the binding is getting lose...there are coffee stains on the cover...and the edges are starting to bend. You hate to bring it out because it looks like you let your toddler drag it around the play ground so you resort to just keeping up with your engagements on a bunch of different note pads, post its and paper scraps. This eventually leads to you forgetting your daughters teachers birthday until the night before...forcing you to stay up sending frantic emails to find people to bring her breakfast, lunch and flowers....then swearing you will never put yourself in this position again. ALL BECAUSE YOU HAD AN UGLY BEAT UP PLANNER.................................ok so that general instance might be a little personal but I'm sure there are some of you out there that can relate on 1 level or another.
Through my trial and error I have found that Planning a full year at a time never works for me as the planner itself is too big and eventually wears out mid year... Planning only a month at a time works great, but I'll be the first to admit that I am TERRIBLE at knowing what the date is and I often find its the 3rd of May when I really thought we were still in late April.
I came up with my "Seasonal Planner" to remedy those issues. My current planner (Summer) runs from May-August and encompasses the last month of school and the 3 months of summer vacation. I will make another Planner sometime in August that will span September-December. (So its not exactly seasonal...but its the year broken down in to 4 month sections)
I just used a plain black folder with pockets and brads and a set of 8 tap dividers to create the sections
I like to set monthly goals rather than yearly resolutions...I like having something I can actually work towards and succeed at rather than a broad spectrum resolution. At the beginning of each month I mark each of the things I am working on/working towards and any details and deadlines that go along with it. Obviously for May I have things like moving, making summer plans and finishing out my PTA duties at school.
Each month has a 2 page spread and my weeks go from Monday-Sunday...that is just what makes the best sense to me. I use a color code system so I know which items belong to which person.
I know most of you are thinking "but what if you need to schedule something more than 4 months out!" or "what do you do in August when you need to start planning September" I have a full section dedicated to the Fall months, each month has a page with the days of the month listed down the side, I can use this to do any advanced planning that I need and can simply transfer the dates over to the new planner when I make it (you can call it redundant...I'll call it sanity)
The 7th tab is for my Finance Register...its not a typical check register that links to one central account...but more of a very broad view of where my money is going. I will later explain how we manage money in our family when I show you my Bill Paying System. This is just a register that shows me where my money is going. It keeps me accountable and I really like that (It makes me think twice about going to QT for the 3rd time in one day for another drink because that means I have to write it down again...oh the shame.) .... I also use highlighters for this to denote which account the money is being spent from because we have 4 different accounts plus a cash system that we use.
Next is my Master To Do list...this is what houses all of those nagging tasks that I find myself running through my head at midnight when I'm trying to fall asleep. Again...highlighters...Color Coding saves my life.
Lastly I have a section for notes. because I never know when I'm going to need to jot something down. This is just like my grocery list in my weekly folder...Plain white notebook paper with a label sticker on it.
So there you have it. This is the second piece of the planner system that I keep with me at all times. Next week I will show you my Ramblings book that is the final piece. I know it all seems like a lot of things but it really isn't...the size of each thing is so small that they take up less space than a normal planner or full home binder would.
Do you have a creative way of MOMaging? I'd love to hear it! Please leave me a comment or send me an email!