Tuesday, February 16, 2016

4 Things I Track In My Planner

I've learned so much in the past 18 months or so about using a planner.  While I once believed planners were nothing more than a glorified wall calendar, my opinion change after starting and putting my own into use.  I do keep up with appointments but there are many other areas I track as well.

1.  Medical
If you're familiar with my story, you know that in 2008 I went on dialysis and in 2010 I had a kidney transplant.  All of a sudden, especially after the surgery, I had many appointments to go to, many things I had to remember, and a ton of medications to take (at different times) and keep up with refills.  I wish I had been using a planner then!  The appointments are not as frequent but I do keep up with monthly blood work (locally) and tri-annual appointments with my nephrologist at Vanderbilt (3 hours from me).  The medication is never-ending and I rely on my planner to help me keep up with ordering and asking for refills.

2.  Finances
My husband and I both work together to keep up with our bills.  I write the due dates in my monthly calendar every month as well as my weekly spread.  I like to see them there as reminders so nothing is forgotten or looked over.  I pay a large majority of our bills online and keep a list of passwords in my planner in case I forget.  You would think after paying bills monthly I wouldn't forget - but I do.  If you are worried someone will see your passwords, try this hack I learned from Giftie:  write them in code.  If your password is TreeHugger167!, add or subtract a letter:  UsffIvhhf278!  That would be a lot of work to decode!  In my weekly spread, I mark through each paid bill with my highlighter.

3.  Daily Tasks (or To Do List)
Tasks that are day specific goes on my weekly spread, while others go on my to do list.  For instance, I take a Vitamin D pill once a month on the 17th and make a note of it on the day I take it.  Once I have done that, I mark through it with my highlighter.  Other tasks that can be moved to the next week if not finished, go on the to do list.  I am currently using this spread with the weekly calendar on the left and the to do list (and meal plan) on the right.

4.  Homeschooling Events
I started homeschooling in 2006 when my oldest son started Kindergarten, so it has been a huge part of my life ever since.  We are part our church's homeschool group that has been a great source of help, fun, socialization, and great memories.  I use my planner to keep up with weekly meetings (3 Fridays every month), report deadlines family events (Parents Dinner, Family Picnic, etc.), and activities to plan when it is my month to teach. My planner has been invaluable at keeping me organized with all these activities.

In addition to Friday School events, I am now using my planner to document my weekly lesson plans at home.  I've gone back and forth in the last couple of years with my plans.  Shortly after I started using a planner in 2014, I used a separate planner to keep up with my plans.  I didn't like having two different planners and moved it back to my notebook.  I didn't particularly like dealing with the big notebook every day when writing in my plans but it was what I was used to.  Now I am trying something different, I have put my current plans in my planner - right in there with my calendars and projects.  Having everything together works so much better for me, but there is an issue with space.  I have made room by culling out old projects and filing past calendar pages.

What do you track in your planner?


  1. I've been slacking in the planner world, as of late, simply because I have been having a lot of pain issues. And trying to make sure that the bathrooms are clean is the least of my worries. So, instead, last week and this week, I've just been writing out the things that need to be done, and getting to them when I can, and hoping for the best.
    What I cannot give up, though, is meal planning. I have to write out what we are going to eat for the week. If I don't, we'll go and eat Taco Bell or Carl's Jr and we just can't afford that any more.
    Another thing I must track, since I'm trying to build up the habits, is to do the dishes every night (silly, but I gotta start somewhere!) and that I'm doing my language-learning practice (I use the Duolingo and Memrise apps).

  2. At the start of January I moved the tracking for Pet Expenses to my planner. (dog, cat, 4 lovebirds). It gives me a better idea of how quickly the birds go through chew toys, and serves as a in your face notice for does my beloved dog really need another toy when I purchased one 2 weeks ago. So far it has been shockingly enlightening.

    Tracked symptoms of GI reflux to show the doctor. That actually helped me pinpoint the cause. Saved a trip to the doctor once I eliminated that particular food.

    I track my daily walking, water, and food since I started Atkins. Super helpful. Like Jessica, I added a "Plant Check" once a week to remember my houseplants. They are different watering schedules, but a once a week check ensures I remember to give them a special look. That is a habit now.

    I keep no passwords in my personal planner for security reasons, but I keep a master list on my computer and a hard copy on my desk. Computers are not infallible. I have 3 main passwords used in several different combinations for all accounts.

  3. I like that idea for encrypting the login credentials (Thanks Giftie!) And like Jaina, I have different combinations of the same password used for just about everything. I just either change a number, an upper/lower case or a character.

  4. I used to homeschool and I am considering pulling my son out of public school to resume. What inserts do you use? I like the format.

  5. My homeschool stuff goes in my planner (the lesson plans and notes, at least) but in a separate section.

  6. where is the weekly layout in the picture from?

    1. http://www.plannerfun.com/2016/01/week-on-2-pages-plus-printable.html

    2. Thank you! I just couldn't seem to find it.