Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

Week on 2 Pages with Time Block

From the archives:  once upon a time, I used daily pages only on occasion and did all of my planning using week on 2 page inserts.  The layout below is one that I liked a lot.  The image below shows how I used it.

4/26/16  This is practically identical to the layout I am using now with the exception of the schedule bar down the middle.  I'm not sure how this will work for everyone but in my head, it works.  I saw a layout on Pinterest with the time scheduling and thought I would like to try it since sometimes the tasks fill up the page, a schedule would block out my busy times.  Here's how I plan to use it:


Appointments or scheduled tasks are written on the appropriate time side and I circle the time.  I blocked the time two ways:  drew a box around the busy times (Tuesday) and I circled the time I would be busy and drew a line down when I would be through (Thursday)  Maybe this one would be a good one to send to Giftie so she could show us different ways to use it!

This layout is undated and formatted for a half-page insert.  Print on letter-size paper, flip and print the other side.  Cut down the middle and punch your holes!

Friday, December 7, 2018

18 Ways To Use A Daily Note Page



I am doing something totally new with my planner in 2019 (as mentioned in previous posts).  I'm using a 2 pagers per day layout with Franklin Covey inserts.  For the month of December, I am using free inserts that are very similar to the FC method.

While determining if I need 2 pages per day, I considered the different ways I might use a second page.  I did a lot of research and kept a running list of the ways other planners used a notes page, which I am sharing with you today.


  1. On church day, take notes in Sunday School and during the message.
  2. Instead of a separate Gratitude list, write your daily gratitude on your notes page.
  3. During your daily quiet time, take notes on the scripture you read.
  4. When someone asks for prayer, add them to a dedicated spot on your notes page.
  5. If you have a blank page from a previous day, use it to practice lettering or to improve your handwriting.
  6. Jot down your weekly menu on menu planning day.  Add a temporary page flag for quick accessibility.
  7. Use your notes page as a place to journal or write the day's events.
  8. Watching your weight?  Add your daily food journal for added accountability.
  9. Keep a log of your phone calls and details discussed.  Be sure to add this to your monthly index in case you need to find this information at a later date.
  10. Deal with medical issues?  As a transplant recipient, keeping up with health symptoms is important.  Use your notes as a place to write down unusual symptoms and how you're feeling.
  11. Jot down important information from emails you've received or at least directions on how to find that email if needed (and note it in your monthly index).
  12. Doodle!  I usually do that on a blank or hardly used page from a previous date.
  13. I have a friend who does a daily scripture writing challenge - your notes would be a perfect place for this.
  14. Are you a dreamer?  Jot down your dreams - it's a good idea to do that as soon as you remember them.  If you are like me, you forget the details quickly!
  15. Like quotes?  Write down your favorites in your notes.
  16. Meeting notes
  17. Shopping list - I do this when I have a small list.  If I am doing my weekly shopping, I use a dedicated list.
  18. Track expenses, water intake, daily exercise, medication, daily routines, mood, etc.  Track everything!
I went from thinking I would never be able to use a notes page, to wondering how in the world would I fit everything in!

How do you use your notes page?

Follow Friday

Do you have a planner blog, Instagram, or Facebook?  How about an Etsy shop?  Maybe you have a planning YouTube?

If so, please comment below with your usernames.  I'd like to follow more planner people and I'm sure my readers would as well.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Notepaper Wednesday {Freebie}

Bet you didn't know that Notepaper Wednesday was a thing, did you?  I saw this charming little elephant (Roll Tide!) blowing kisses and thought he would look cute on some notepaper!  You can download it below.

Monday, December 3, 2018

FREE 2019 Half Size Monthly Pages

Want to hear something funny?  After making my monthly pages for 2019 (Compact) and sharing them here with you, my Franklin daily pages arrived and I discovered they included monthly pages as well!

Anyway, I decided to go ahead and do the monthly pages in half-size as well.  If you can use them, download them here.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Free 2019 Compact Monthly Pages!

I finished my 2019 Monthly pages for next year and I'm sharing them with you. You will need to print them on paper that measures 4.25" x 6.75".

I have reasons for making the inserts this way.  I do not print the calendars back to back, but instead, print a monthly index on the back of the first page and a master task list on the back of the second (in keeping with the Franklin Covey method).

If you download and use these inserts, I would love it if you would leave a comment and let me know - sharing a picture on social media would be a huge bonus!  Let me know if you would like to see more inserts like this. To download, click the image below.


Planner Plans for 2019 (and This Week in my Planner)

This week I am using inserts that I created, but were inspired by Brandy Michelle Plans. The week after Thanksgiving is pretty slow, so I decided to use these instead of a DO2P layout that I had been using. 

Appointments are added at the top of the section for each day and daily tasks below that.  I also track exercise and water as a reminder.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Recent Plant-Based Food

I am still amazed at how delicious plant-based food can be, even made without oil!  My husband and two teen-aged boys are huge fans of this way of eating, so we're all fans!  If you're interested in learning more about this way of eating, Google Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Essylstyn, and Happy Herbivore. The McDougall Friends Facebook group is also a great resource.

Top:  Three Bean Salad (served with baked corn tortillas), Steamed Cabbage, Brown Rice Grapes, and Everyday Mushroom Gravy

Bottom:  Stuffed Peppers, Cabbage Rolls


Running Around Downtown 2017

My youngest, Jonathan, had his first run of the new year on Saturday and we were all very excited about how well he did.  He knocked about 2 minutes off his time from the same race last year and he came in first in his age division.  Let me brag a little more - he came in 15th out of 149 participants!  Run like the wind, Jonathan!


If I Could Turn Back Time

Sometimes posting a "Throw Back Thursday" seems like cheating, but this picture is something I wanted to share with all three of my readers.  My husband and I look happy, don't we?  After 7 years of trying to get pregnant, we were close to having our first son.  That son, William, is now over 16 years old.

When I was younger, I used to internally roll my eyes when someone started talking about how fast time was passing.  When I was younger.  Now, I am really feeling it.  My friend says when your little ones are young, the days are long but the years are short.  She got that right, but now the weeks feel like they are short. Seriously, where did the time go?

Menu Planning on a Monday

Menu planning has always been part of my weekly routine. I would be flabbergasted when friends would say, "It's 4 o'clock and I still have no idea what is for dinner!"  How could you not know what is for dinner?!  (smile)  What do you buy at the grocery store if you don't have a plan for the week?  That's how my thinking tends to go.

So, I always have at least a basic plan of the weekday meals when I go to the grocery store.  We live 20-ish minutes away from town so the hubby picks up anything that we might need during the week that we forgot on Saturday shopping day!  Here's what's on the menu for this week:

Baked Ziti, Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower

Large Dinner Salad and Chik Patties (for the guys)*

Spaghetti & Meatballs (the guys like these)*

BBQ Cabbage Sandwiches & potato wedges or fries

Split Pea Soup

* We don't buy meat, so everything we eat is vegetarian at the very least.  I try to follow Dr. McDougall's program and the quickest way to describe it is a whole food, plant-based, no oil, vegan diet.  Ingredients in the faux meat products are not vegan and often have added oil, so my guys eat them but I do not.


How to Keep Up with Small but Important Pieces of Information

My Amazon Prime pin number
The boys haircut guard size
My hair color name & number
My make up foundation color

These are all pieces of information that I need often but always seemed to forget until I discovered a simple system of keeping up with it.

The solution?  A-Z dividers!

I took the dividers from a set of address inserts that I didn't use and put them in my planner as a way to keep up with my notes, or "files" (more on them later).   The information in my files section often comes and goes but the dividers remain.  That is where the bits of information go - on the inside of the dividers.  Use them just like a filing cabinet!



Air Filter sizes, your hubby's debit number (develop a code if you don't want to put the actual number in your planner such as add +1 to the real number), door combination, frequently used account numbers, library number, small community post office hours, your wi-fi password, frequent take-out order - the list can go on and on!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Family

 We enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving this week with 13 members of our extended family. It was the perfect day in so many ways. The weather was perfect and we ended the day with a photo session just as the sun was setting. This picture is of my son’s and I - more after the jump.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Planner Hack for Functional Planning

 I use compact inserts in a personal-sized Malden, which also doubles as my wallet.  I don’t want to use up valuable real estate with sticky notes and page flags, so I came up with this little hack (which probably isn’t an original idea) to conserve space.

Pull off a small section of sticky notes and stick them on an infrequently used card, or even an empty gift card and slip it into your planner.

Easy peasy!

How do you manage sticky notes in your planner?



Saturday, November 17, 2018

Dam Bridge Run 10k - 2018

Today my youngest ran his fourth Dam Bridge run in Florence.  We were up bright and (too) early, but that's a runner's world for you!  I enjoy watching Jonathan in his element and talking to all the friends that he has made over the past several years.  He didn't meet the goal that he set for himself, but he did shave four minutes off his time for last year.  I know I'm the mom, but I think that's pretty darn good!  More pictures after the jump.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Using Your Planner to Plan Your Meals (plus a freebie!)

I finally gave in and created a dedicated section in my Malden (Ochre, personal size) for meal planning.  As a homemaker, it is a big part of my day-to-day.

Here is what I have included in my meal planning section:  a weekly meal planner, a list of my family's favorite meals, a list of new recipes I want to try, and customized grocery list.

Weekly Meal Planner - I use a meal planner to organize my menu for the week.  I homeschool so that means we eat a lot of lunches at home.  My boys are involved in a lot of youth activities with our church, plus they have other outside sports activities they participate.  Sometimes it is hard to know who is going to be home when!

My meal planner has areas to plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner (they basically eat all day long, ha!) and there's an extra line for whatever I need.  Currently, I have been writing appointments on that line - not to keep up with appointments, but to help me figure out what kind of meal to plan.  Sometimes they are both gone during dinner, so my husband and I might eat out or eat something simple.  There's another section for notes and I use that to plan what batch cooking I'm going to try for that week. You can download a Compact size version (4.25 x 6.75) of this planner here.

I haven't always had a list of favorite meals in my planner.  My recipe box serves the same purpose, but more and more I am finding myself meal planning on the go, and having it there with me saves me from wracking my brain on what to prepare.

My customized grocery list initially took a while to create, but it has saved me so much time in the grocery store.  It is arranged in the order that I walk through the store and it cuts down on forgetting an item.

Feel free share about your own meal planning setup - it would be fun seeing how others do it.

Thanksgiving Note Paper

Have you started making your endless Thanksgiving lists yet?  That is exactly what I will be doing this week - Thanksgiving will be here in just a little over 10 days!!

This note paper is perfect for your to-do's, sharing your Thanksgiving recipe or maybe even for sweet notes of thanks.

This note paper is formatted for planners that can use 8.5 x 5.5" inserts.  Please click here if you would like to download a copy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Homeschoolers - Free Academic Year At a Glance!

Speaking of school planning, I am knee deep!  Today I needed a year at a glance page for my attendance and threw this one together.  This freebie has two years at a glance calendar printed on letter-sized paper.  It starts on August 2018 with a Sunday start (I have to have my calendars start on Sunday, but not my week at a glance pages - weird!) and ends July 2019.  I printed the page and cut down the middle.  I have two students so it works perfectly.  Here's the link

PS - You might notice that October doesn't have the weekends highlighted - that has been corrected!





Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Health Section

I've mentioned before (probably several times, LOL), that I am a post kidney transplant patient.  Although I am definitely glad to be alive, I encounter a number of ailments and side effects from the drugs that I take.  I track unusual symptoms and change in my health to reference at my quarterly appointments with my nephrologist.  One of the biggest reasons I like using a planner is because I don't have to forget anything!


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Projects Divider

So, with GTD (Getting Things Done), I've learned that a project is considered to be any event or item that takes more than one task to complete it.

Cleaning Out The Basement:  Project
Throw away broken vacuum cleaner in the basement:  Task

As I do my daily and weekly reviews, I am often triggered to write down tasks that need doing.  Cleaning the basement is something that keeps rearing its ugly head!  I know that it is not going to get finished in a day, so I decided to make it a project.  The first thing I did was to write that down in my projects index so that I always have a short list of the projects I am working on.  I may actually do a projects page in the near future with detailed lists and instructions, but for now, I just added a next action to my projects to do list.  I'm not ready to jump into basement cleaning with both feet, but to get started I am having both of my teen boys to go downstairs with a trash bag and get them to try and fill it up with the stuff that they longer need or want.  If there's anything worth saving, maybe they'll have a giveaway bag to go along with their throw away bag.

Weekly & monthly reviews are key to always having things, such as projects, consistently before you.
 L



Saturday, July 14, 2018

Weekly Divider

There's not a LOT to say about the weekly pages.  Some planners put them behind their monthly spread but I like everything having their own divider because it makes it easier for me to find!  The weekly pages used to be planner central for me during the week - I kept my to-do list on the individual days, appointments, menu, bills, etc, but now most of that information is captured on my daily pages.  With the GTD method, it's broken down a little more.  Now I only have day and time specific items on the weekly insert, with the bills due along the right side.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Daily Divider

One thing I like about the GTD system in a planner is that I can follow the guidelines but still use my own personal taste as far as insert design goes.  Brandy Michelle Plans on YouTube uses the GTD system and vlogs extensively about it. I recommend checking out her channel.  Her style has changed over the years as far as her daily pages go, but as far as I can tell she is using 2 days on 1 page and while I am getting used to a new system, I'm trying to do things the way she does.  I made the inserts below, she has similar inserts available in her Etsy shop.

My usual daily pages (in my half size planner) usually has a lot going on - tracking water, meals, appointments, to do's - and it's all over the place.  I do like that, but for now, I like doing my pages bullet style and I still track all those things - just differently.  The circles down the side of Monday is how I tracked water, and the heart was to check off when I exercised.  I might write dinner down on one line or just refer to my inbox where I wrote the menu when I was planning my grocery list.

I made the today marker from some letter size dividers I bought at Target ($2.99 with plenty left over for more page markers, dividers, and even dashboards.  The brand is Yoobi.







Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dashboard

Since I have changed planner sizes, quite a bit has changed, so today I am going to show you how my planner is working for me this week.

We will start with the dashboard.  In the past I have just used the front of my first divider as my dashboard but decided to do something different this time so I could utilize both sides.  My husband tends to save birthday cards and I raided his stash for an appropriate size.  I cut front of the card to size, punched holes and that was it.  Instant dashboard!  I keep a little sticky note on it to jot down quick items that I know we need to buy.  I used to keep a note of outstanding checks and debits to cross of when they cleared the bank, but moved it to my money section.  It may come back - we'll see how that works.  The second side has more sticky notes, an adhesive pocket (stamps) and an orange page flag reminder (this one says "H20 jugs and Aldi bags" that I put on my grocery list because I often forget).







After the divider (you'll see it on the right in the above picture), I have a couple of reminder cards that I use with the GTD system:  my daily planner routine, my weekly planner review, and my weekly checklist).  There's also a couple of blank pages that serves as an "inbox".  That's where I jot down information that I don't have time to process but will get to when I go through my daily planner routine or my weekly review.

I keep a little notebook near my planner that I use to keep notes.  If I have a lot of going on, I will put inbox items in there.  Basically, it's a place to brain dump.

Tomorrow we'll talk about my daily section!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Adhesive Pockets, Ya'll!

I heard something somewhere (Instagram?  You Tube?) the other day about adhesive pockets at Target's Dollar Spot.  I had already been thinking about making some sort of pockets for one of my dividers but hadn't decided how to do it.

Today, after picking up my son at 9 am from his Cross Country Camp, I headed to Target to check out the Dollar Spot.  I was disappointed that there wasn't a

Monday, July 9, 2018

Switching Planner Sizes



This weekend, without much thought or notice, I switched from my long time shalf size planner to a smaller, personal size planner. Technically it is a Michaels Recollections binder in the size of 4 x 6 3/4”  which ends up being between a personal size and a personal wide size.

I am finding that I love the smaller binder and I never thought that would be possible. I felt like the inserts would be too small and I wouldn’t have enough room to write, but that hasn’t been the case at all. The smaller size has made it quite convenient to carry around, both around the house and in the car and everywhere  I go.

I am also trying a new planning system. Have you heard of the GTD system? It stands for “getting things done.”   A planner that I follow on YouTube uses this system and has a variety of videos with lots of information that is helping me set it all up. (Her YT username is Brandy Michelle Plans).

 Just in two days of trying to implement this new system I have found that I can’t just shove things in the pocket of my planner and procrastinate putting an action to it. I have been very productive!

Would using a new planner size or implementing a new system be something you would be willing to try?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

What Dividers Should I Use?

I am in a couple of planner Facebook groups and I see this question asked a lot.  Where in the world do I start?  I'll show you what my dividers have looked like over the past few years:













Unlabeled!


The dividers I have now are:  

Daily:  this is where I keep undated daily pages to use when my normal day gets too busy.  This tab also doubles as a place to keep random current projects (for example, when I was in charge of planning a cookout for my sisters and our families.  I kept the food list and to-do list here).

Weekly:  my week on 2 pages section is the workhorse of my planner as I use it the most often.  I am currently using an insert that has a notes section, a to-do list, a Monday thru Sunday layout, and a lined column where I am keeping up with my 31 Days schedule, bills due at a glance, my weekly menu, and a look at next week.

A-Z tabs:  this is my notes section that works as a filing cabinet.  Written on the inside of the tabs are random bits of information (I blogged about this on day 3) such as my hair color number or the air filter size.  I use this section to keep up with inserts that don't need their own tab, medication list, a frequently used take out order, 2019 future dates - etc.

January - December tabs:  Although I use a half size planner, these tabs are made for a Filofax - I think A5?  They stick out a little farther than the rest of my tabs and make them easier to see and get to.  I put them in the back so they don't cover my other tabs. I use month on 2 pages inserts

Use as many dividers as you want to, but I suggest using as few as necessary to make all the items in your planner easy to get to.  Using a combination of A5 and Half size dividers helped me to do this.  Be creative - it's your planner!  Custom make it to fit your own needs!



Posted on July 08, 2018 | Categories:

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Friday, July 6, 2018

Daily Page or Weekly Spread?

It took me a while to convince myself that I didn't have to use both, or one or the other.  From my perspective, it is all about figuring out what works best for the individual.  There are all sorts of planners:  single moms, stay at home moms, working moms, Moms with a home business, single or married women without children, single women with a home business...the list goes on and on.  Not every single woman will need the same layout or inserts.

I'm a homeschooling mom with teenagers.  We have a lot of activities going on, but not every day is busy enough to warrant a daily page, so this is how I set up my planner.  I regularly use a week on 2 pages layout with plenty of space to write.

If I have an appointment, I write it on the appropriate day like this:  2 - Ortho Jon, which means at 2 pm Jonathan has an orthodontist appointment.  I don't bother with am or pm unless I somehow end up with an appointment at 6 am and 6 pm.

I also write my to-do's on each day like this:  ○ Make ortho appointment  I can tell at a glance that a circle is a to-do item and a number is an appointment.  Typically I put the appointments at the top of the day.

If I have several appointments and many to-do's for a particular day, or if  I need some extra room to plan, that's when I will pull out a daily page.  I keep several undated daily pages printed so they are always ready.  If I am referring to both my weekly spread for the current day AND a daily page, something might get lost in the process so I always take a highlighter and write "Daily" in my weekly spread to remind me to refer to and write everything down on the daily page.  That might sound confusing - please feel free to ask questions.

That's how it works for me.  Do you use a daily page, weekly spread or both?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Double Punch Hack

I use the double punch hack often in my planner, especially with daily pages.  I do not like writing on the left side of the planner because I am left-handed and the rings get in my way.

To avoid this I simply fold my insert in half lengthwise, punch the holes down the unfolded edge, and open the insert.  You now have holes down both sides of your insert.

Use your insert as normal and when you are finished, take it out of your planner, flip it over and reinsert - it's a new day but you are still writing on the right side of the page.  To really enjoy this hack,  your desire to write on the right side has to be stronger than your perfectionist tendencies, ask me how I know!  :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

How to Add Color to Your Pages When You Are Not a Decorator (and you like simple pages)

Three Words:
1. Highlighters
2. Page Flags
3. Post -It Notes

I've included a few examples so you can see what I mean. When I complete an item on my to-do list, I highlight it so the undone items stand out.  I use colored page flags for repeating items such as "change air filter" or "trash day" and just move them forward when they are completed.  I also will put an item on a page flag that needs to get done but I know deep down that I'm not going to actually do it that day.  Putting it on a flag helps me remember.

I use a lot of small post-it notes in my planner - mainly for shopping lists and little reminders.  I also keep a post it note on my dashboard and record outstanding checks and debit purchases until they clear the bank.  It's all just the right amount of color.