Amanda from Michigan, USA writes I love all your posts but I especially enjoy the ones about your planners/notebooks and how you organize them.
I'm secretly very glad Amanda wanted to know about the planning aspect since it is one thing that really works very well in my life.
First and most importantly, I do weekly planning - of our household, my business, socially, etc.
I firmly believe that doing only daily planning will drive you nuts - it certainly did for me - because you really feel the pressure of the to-do list every. single. day.
I do my business planning on Fridays because that's when my accountability partner and I chat. Household planning usually gets done before the grocery shop - these days that's a Thursday - but when I go back to work (I'm still on maternity leave), it'll also move to Fridays. And then, the social and personal stuff gets done on a Sunday late afternoon.
I use both a paper and an electronic (Outlook) planner. Outlook is mainly to remind me to pay bills and not miss appointments especially when I've had busy days where I haven't even opened my paper diary.
We also have a ginormous calendar in our kitchen where we mark off any socials but also things like when we need to phone in the electricity meter reading, when the gardener is due (we only get him in twice a month), when I start a new bottle of vitamins for the babies, etc, etc.
I get an immense sense of satisfaction when I can use up stuff in the freezer and pantry so I first have a look there before I do my menu plan for the week.
Usually after I see which basic items I have, I add to my grocery list. E.g. if I have chicken in the freezer and I want to make Apricot Chicken, I may have to add a can of apricots or a sachet of brown onion soup to the grocery list.
Then I do a quick check through the house to see if we have things like breakfast and lunch goodies, cleaning stuff, baby items like formula and nappies and personal items for D and me.
Quickly, in a nutshell, because I've written a whole system on organising your business, I review goals and set some action steps every week.
Personal and social
On Sunday nights I check all the calendars and see what's etched in stone (doctors' visits, supper with friends, etc.) and what still has to be done but can be moved around (gym!) depending on how busy we are. Also we don't like to be too busy in any one week, more so than ever now with the babies because sleep is our number 1 priority.
I then plan when I will work on which business tasks because I don't like feeling stressed out with too much to do. You see, I've realised my limitations :)
I usually coach clients on Mondays so I'll do a freezer meal (almost no kitchen time). Tuesdays I write my weekly newsletter so I won't make any social plans. And so on.
My other notebook
I also carry around a notebook to jot down basically anything that strikes my fancy:
- things to blog
- talk to nanny about ________
- things to buy
- website changes
- birthday cards to write out
Next year's planner
I've already seen the planner I want to get for next year - the only problem is it comes in two gorgeous colours - deep purple and deep red. Both delicious, yummy colours. Both are absolutely lovely to the touch (I'm a tactile person) and so, because I can't choose, I haven't bought mine yet.
Which colour do you think I should go for?
Have you bought your 2010 planner yet?
If you're undecided, here's a series of 5 posts I did to help you out (with pics)
Choose the perfect planner
P.S. I will write about the babies in another post - it takes military precision to organise those two :)