I have made no bones about the fact that my life is nothing but one event after another. Whether that event is a deadline or a practice or a party or a performance, there is always something on the calendar these days. One of the comments I hear all the time is, “I don’t know how you do it.” Truthfully, neither do I most days. What I do know is that without a detailed calendar and to-do list, I would never get anything done.
I have always been a planner girl. Back when my company paid for it, I was an advocate for Franklin Covey’s planners. I have always preferred the daily layout versus the weekly because I could write my daily to-do list right there next to my schedule. I used both the ring-bound and the wire-bound over the years, although I did end up using the ring-bound more often because of the adaptability and customization that it afforded.
Back when we moved from Ohio to Wisconsin, I made every effort to go paperless. I migrated everything into my Google calendar instituted a color-coding system so that it was easy to see at a glance who had what going on at what time. I tried multiple to-do list and productivity apps, but I never found one that clicked for me. I still found myself making daily to-do lists for work and for home. I was constantly checking my calendar on my phone for appointments. I was missing birthdays and events were sneaking up on me.
Last year, I splurged on a Day Designer planner and haven’t looked back. It was by far one of the best purchases I have ever made. I love everything about this planner. The categories, the daily breakout, the schedule. It makes me feel prepared and just a bit stylish carrying it around with me. I love decorating it and making it truly mine.
So, how do I use this fabulous planner to make sure I stay on top of things? Well, the first step is the Google calendar. Yep, everything still goes into that one very important bit of coding. It is my first point of staying organized because I can push out appointments to other family members and can set up audible reminders on my phone. I put in every single one of the kids’ appointments and practices, doctor’s appointments, due dates for bills, birthdays, pay days, holidays, Jim’s travel schedule, reminders, etc. I still keep things color-coded because I like the visual. Here is what my January month-at-a-glance looks like:
This is only the beginning. Next week, I will share how I use my Day Designer most effectively. (I was going to do it in this post, but I *may* have gotten a little wordy…)
What do you use to stay organized? Any helpful hints to share? How do you get shit done?