Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Planning Your Present
Recently posts from Motherese and Tenaciously Yours have gotten me thinking about time management and paper calendars.
Right now, I have three calendars. We have a family one, a wall calendar with important appointments and social events. Then I have a calendar on my phone that I sync with my work Outlook. And most recently, I moved to a paper planner-style calendar.
I've always adored daily planners. Really, I've just adored the act of planning, of imposing my organization on life. The idea that a post-it can mean the difference between my mortgage being paid and getting a rather unfriendly second notice.
I need to see my life in living color.
So I went through Amazon and got overwhelmed. Like Motherese, I am a tactile person. I need to see and feel something as intimate as a planner. So I decided instead to hit Office Max.
I immediately got overwhelmed. What did I want in a planner? What was I trying to accomplish? I knew I didn't need a full daily calendar because I wasn't going to plan life hourly. I still use Outlook for all of my work projects, a necessity. Most of my weekly hours are taken up with those meetings, and so there's no need for me to map that out.
But I wanted enough room to write my other appointments and notes, so a monthly calendar wouldn't do.
I narrowed it down to weekly planners, wire-bound because I like to lay it on my desk or coffee table when I'm working. And it's easier for me to write when it's perfectly flat.
Nobody was more shocked than what I came home with. It's sort of a running joke around these parts.
I picked The Day-Timer Mom Planner.
Yup, the Mom Planner.
I tried to avoid it. I did. I didn't want those calendars with color coded stickers identifying who is doing what. Honestly, Wee 'Burb's days are mostly as stable as mine. She's in daycare a good chunk of it. She's hardly filling a calendar full of Girl Scout meetings or anything at 21 months.
But this planner is simple. It's got enough room to write. It divides days into morning, noon, and night for better organization.
But my favorite part? The part that tickled my organizational fancy so deeply that I was able to look past the Mom moniker?
A MEAL PLANNER!
Okay, you can't see it that well, but on the top of the right page has space for meal planning.
I've gotten away from meal planning over the summer. It's just so damn hot, more often than not we do frozen meals on the stovetop or grill whatever we have laying around.
But imposing this level of organization was more than exciting for me. It inspired me to get back on the meal-planning bandwagon.
Also? For some reason this planner started in July! So I actually was paying for a calendar that wasn't half useless. Double score!
The official Daytimer site has the planners listed as $22 but I believe I payed about $15. Either way, it was worth it for me.
So spill it. How do you organize your life? Right now I color-code my calendar. Work deadlines (including freelance) are in blue with green highlighting, appointments (doctor, hair, etc) are in red, and fun social stuff is in purple with a pink highlighter. And it's already covered in post-it reminders. The only thing that makes me happier than color-coding is lots of post-its.