Functional Planning: Making a Daily Page Work For You

 Whether your days are just as busy as they ever were before the pandemic, or if you find yourself looking for things to do, a daily page could be key to helping your day go smoother.

I look at my daily page not just as a list of reminders, but as a worksheet.  I'm a functional planner, so usually making my pages look pretty is not number one on my list.  It's okay for your page to be cluttered and even a little messy as long as it is helping you function.

Scenario One:  Today I need to make the 15 minute trip into town for a doctor's appointment, deposit a check, pick up some milk and eggs at the grocery, and I have tentative plans to drop by Hobby Lobby to check out their 50% off sale.

Let's see how that translates to a daily page. I'll need a schedule block to help manage my time and a to-do list.  What else?  If it was just a list I needed, I could write a list on a 3x3 and be done with it, but there are other things to consider, especially if you are somewhat forgetful.

Here's how I would mark up my daily page for my plans.

The doctor's appointment gets first priority.  At a glance, I see that my appointment is at 11:00 and my travel time begins at 10:30 (xxxx's), so I must walk out the door no later than that. Do I need to take anything with me?  Yes, and making a  "leave the house" list is vital.  It's a rainy day so I must remember my umbrella, make sure the HL coupon is in my planner, grab a water bottle, a book to read at the doctor's, and make sure I have the check in my planner.  It's not enough that I just record "doctor's appointment," I have to make a list of all the things I need.  I can't tell you how many times I have made the trek into town to discover I had forgotten something.  I hate a wasted trip!!

While I am in town I check my daily page often.  The items with circles are things I must (or want to do) in town and I check them off as I do them.  When I've finished at the grocery store (grocery list in notes) and the bank, I will check the time and decide if I have time to go to Hobby Lobby.  I see on my schedule that I had set up a time to chat with my mom so I need to start home by 2:00 pm (again, I've marked my travel time). 

By the time I am ready to start home, my daily page can look quite messy.  Sometimes I have nice little "done" checkmarks and sometimes I scribble through things when I've completed them.  Several items were added to the grocery list when I made a last-minute change in dinner plans.  Before I start home, I look at everything on the list and breathe a sigh of relief that I didn't forget anything!

The next day I may have nothing that needs doing and I'm back to my nice little bullet list of "trash to the street" and "start dinner by 5:30".

What does your daily page look like?

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  1. Mine is in a note book which I take with me and leave my planner at home, its not pretty but I look at several times during the day. Thank you for the tip of making a note of things you will need to take from home for you shopping trip.


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