Organization 101 Day 3- Day Planners & Journals: Utilizing the tool of list making!

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” ~ Anatole France

Welcome to Day 3 of my new Organization series! Today we’re going to discuss the importance of using a journal and day planner as well as calendars. I am also excited to provide information on a NEW tool I’ve been using to help keep me organized! Read on for more!

Many of the topics I discuss in this series I learned from an incredible lady named Marla Cilley, A.K.A. The Flylady. Her book, “Sink Relections” taught me how to incorporate all this lessons. It was from the inspirations from her book how I developed my P.M.S. concept! So now lets get into today’s topic!

Let’s recap the previous post. Now that you’ve created your lists of tasks, it’s time to put them down onto paper or a spreadsheet. I started using an incredible program called Trello. It is a functional program that grows with you and your projects. You can use it for both work and personal life. I have 2 accounts- one for my For Dragonflies And Me and one for my other business, Food Trucks To You. I’ll be sharing more on this in my next blog post, and providing you with information on an incredible course I used to learn this great time saver.

You should now be at the point where you’ve created and P.M.S.’ed your lists and routines. Now you need a place to keep them so they stay organized and are easily accessible.

This is where a journal, day planner and calendars come into play. Using these tools will help you keep on track with visual ease. I could never keep up with my many ‘hats’ without them.

What’s the difference?

My journal is primarily used for household tasks and responsibilities where my day planner and calendars keep my work related projects scheduled.

Your Journal

First lets look at the journal. It can be as complex or simple as you the designer want it to be.  Be aware that it’ll evolve and grow along with your children and as home renovations occur.

Day Planners & Paper Calendars

I purchase a new day planner along with a desk calendar every year. I live by my day planner and calendars because they allow me to visually see what I have going on and aid me in planning ahead through the year.

Google Calendars

I also utilize my Google calendar which aids me in scheduling personal & work appointments including Podcast & YouTube recording times with guests. I love that I can access my calendar from my phone for easy reference.

Incorporating the use of all these elements keeps me on task.

Let’s take a look at how I utilize my journal. Be aware you don’t have to have it set up like mine, It can be as complex or simple as you the designer wants it to be. The important thing is it fits your lifestyle and needs. It will evolve and grow with your family & as home renovations occur.

I thought it would be helpful if I explained how my journal is set up, so here we go.

I use a leather-bound 1 1/2 inch 3-ring binder for my journal. It’s filled with top loading plastic sleeves and side tabbed divider sheets. It’s broken down into the following Sections.

Zones refer to each room of your home and is where you’ll put your room-by-room detailed cleaning routine lists. With this concept of zone cleaning, spring and fall cleaning can almost be eliminated.

Daily Routines holds my morning, daily, after school and evening routine lists as well as each day of the week’s schedule of routines that get done. This is where the example of my morning routine I shared with you last time would be placed.

Here’s an example of my Monday Routine:
*Purge magazines and newspapers

*Fill bird feeders

*Bathroom (this is where you’ll go to your Bathroom Routine)- tub, sink, toilet, floor

*Wash all area rugs and throw blankets in the laundry

*Kitchen floor, sweep, dishes

The Daily Home Blessing is my Mission Statement. I’ll share this in an upcoming post!


My Sections are in this order:
Daily Routines
Daily Home Blessing
Menu Plans & Grocery Lists
Personal and Activity Frequency List

Pro Tip: Having a menu helps in grocery shopping and meal prep. I will go into detail on menu planning and grocery shopping in an upcoming post… so stay tuned.

Menus & Grocery lists. I like to spend about an hour once a month creating our monthly menu. I of course ask for input from Dave & the boys so everyone is happy! 

Generally I try to design the menus seasonally.

Spring & Summer menus focus on the fresh produce we’re growing and that’s available at our local farmers market.

The second is Fall & Winter which features what we’ve canned, frozen and what’s in the root cellar along with what we may have left in the garden & again what is available at the farmers market. 

…and now for your personal touch!

My Personal section holds things that inspire me. I have several poems on mothering, being a good wife & person in general, cartoons, drawings from the children and cards from friends and loved ones.

Frequency of Activities section simply holds a list of how often I want to do particular tasks.

*Each section has a Title Page. I have family photos, pictures the children have made, poems, cards and other special things to me.

As I said, your journal is exactly that- yours. Let it be a reflection of what you love, who you want to be, your faith and your passions!

Day Planners & how I use them!

As a writer, and now having both a Podcast & YouTube channel, I have multiple dead-lines for articles and projects which cannot be forgotten. I keep a list of the magazines, other blogs for inspiration in my day planner in the sidebar on the Month-at-a-glance page. I  write the topic for articles & when they need to be published along with the due date. Having these visible on this page makes it really easy to organize my writing time through the month.

All my appointments are kept in this part of the planner as well.

My newest tool is an online organizer called Trello!

“Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.

Imagine a white board, filled with lists of sticky notes, with each note as a task for you and your team. Now imagine that each of those sticky notes has photos, attachments from other data sources like Jira or Salesforce, documents, and a place to comment and collaborate with your teammates.

Now imagine that you can take that whiteboard anywhere you go on your smartphone, and can access it from any computer through the web. That’s Trello!” Source-

I use it both singly & collaboratively! Here is a screenshot of my home page. I will be devoting a blog on this! So keep posted!

More on Day Planners

I purchase a new day planner along with a desk & wall calendar every year. I live by my day planner and calendars because they allow me to visually see what I have going on and aid me in planning ahead through the year.

On the Daily Pages of my planner I keep more detailed information. Here are some examples

*On office/desk day I’ll jot down all my phone calls that need to be made.

*I put down what’s for supper if it requires something needing to come out of the freezer, like meat.

*I’ll add extra chores to be done that may not be on that day’s routine. For example, during the canning season my kitchen gets a bit more messy. The day we do apple sauce I may want the floor washed or the cupboards wiped down when we clean the following day.

*Errands, appointments, birthdays and anniversaries also go here.

This is my favorite spot because I love the feeling of accomplishing my tasks and seeing them be crossed off the list!

The Desk & Wall Calendars!

My desk & wall calendars are basically large visual aids at a glance. It is also where Dave & the kids can leave me notes of anything they have coming up including field trips, teacher notes, vacation dates, etc.  I then add those details to my planners.

Well… now you have some great ideas of how to create your own journal and an outline on what to include in your planners and calendars. Go ahead and start working on these until I get back with the next article in the series… How to utilize Trello and an incredible opportunity for a course I’ve taken! After that we will look at how-to do a ‘walk through’ and then the how-to on Zone Cleaning!

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Happy Day,

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