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?


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.


Missy said...

I love my momAgenda planner almost as much as my family members. Only kind of kidding.

The Woven Moments said...

I've got a color coordinated Outlook calendar at work. Oh! The things people could learn about me from my calendar!

Working Mommy said...

I love calendars like that where you can have a quick monthly view and then a weekly broken out area where you can write more details. Funny enough, the college calendars are actually quite good for having those features.


Mimi said...

sooo I went in the store the other day to get one because I desperately need to organize my life, my photog sessions, my children's activities, the days my husband works late, school activities etc...Yeah, so with all of that going on I still walked out of there overwhelmed and empty handed. I will go check this one out. I too love a Post it note. The problem is they are stuck in random places and I can't find them when I need them. Must.get.organizer!!

Mama Spaghetti said...

Haha! Nothing wrong with getting the mom planner. And, actually, I kind of want one now that I know it does meal planning!

Ameena said...

You are totally going to laugh at me but I have a planner from Target's $1 section. It shows me the entire month and I swear this thing is my savior. I use it to note everything from birthdays to appointments to work things...and I don't think anything electronic will every work as well!

Dvr Dame said...

I'm glad you found something that works for you. I usually over spend on planners and end up not using them. LOL

Kat said...

Oh, heavens. I haven't even gone near the idea of color-coding because I know that my goose will be cooked. I do like the idea of meal-planning in the calendar though.

I just added a binder clip to the cover to hold things, so I think that the show is officially on the road.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Organized? What's that! I only wish I had something to keep me more organized, but I have yet to do so! Right now I just have a calendar on my wall that looks like my toddler drew all over it with all the stuff I have on there!! LOL!

Aleta said...

I have a wall calendar at work and at home that I keep updated, but that's about it :)

Hungrigyrl said...

As much as everything is automated these days and people use electronic calendars...I still like having one up on my wall so I can see the whole month all at once. I use my iphone calendar, and also have a photo calendar from Snapfish on the wall. All my appointments are on my phone, but the wall calendar has other things on it pertaining to kids etc. I like having them both!

Mads said...

Is it terribly wrong that I'm not a mom, but yet I feel the need for the mommy planner?
Space for writing is Essential. And a meal planner? You can't really beat that!