Over the years I’ve tried so many different types of diary, planner, calendar and organiser to keep myself organised … but never really found the right fit. If I found the right sized book or organiser, it seemed that the diary layout was all wrong and vice-versa.
My favourite organiser turned out to be a desk-size Debden Dayplanner. It was large, but I could justify the size because it meant that there was room for everything – including my planner inserts, work notebook and a pen. On the downside, none of the diary inserts I tried with it seemed to work for me. There was either far too much room for each day, or not enough, and it was difficult to keep track of the family’s different schedules. Even the range of custom download & print pages available from sites such as D*I*Y Planner, Philofaxy and My Life All In One Place didn’t seem to match my needs.
So …. I “rolled my own”. Inspired by the layout of family organising calendars, I created an A4 sized week to a view page that included a space for each family member’s schedule (see Weekly Family Planner Printable Sheet). After a few weeks it was obvious the system was working – we’d found the right diary layout for us! You know there’s a “but” coming though – we’d found the right diary layout, but the A4 folder was impractical to cart around in a handbag.
Then I found the Inner-B Mum Organiser **. The bright planner colours caught my eye first, followed by the pleasant surprise of finding a diary layout very similar to what I’d created to fit our needs. After a week or so of um-ing and ah-ing over whether or not I should get one, and then um-ing and ah-ing over what colour I should pick, I ordered my very own, bluer than blue, organiser.
And I LOVE it!
I don’t think I’ve ever had a planner that has just fit my life so well. I’ve been using it non-stop since it arrived and have been raving about it to everyone I know. Stay tuned, I’ll post more about my experiences with it, how it differs from my old Debden planner and what I’ve done to customise it a little.
** Just a heads-up, this is an affiliate link.
After trying a number of different diary / planner layouts, this is the format our family has been using the last few months. It has a week to a page, with a space for each family member. It’s nothing fancy, but I’ve put it up here in case you find it useful.
Download PDF: Family Calendar Planner Week A4
Here is the previous iteration too, this one is just a simple two weeks to a page.
Download PDF: Calendar Planner Fortnight A4
Just print on to A4 paper, punch holes to fit your binder, write in the applicable dates and you’re ready to go!
So the first two weeks are over and we’re well into Week 3 of getting organised with the 20 Days to Organise Your Home Challenge. How am I doing? (or not doing!)
My cleaning kit
Well, I’ve (re)discovered something very important about myself – I can’t focus to save my life. On top of that, distractions are rife. When it comes to getting things done, my attention span peters out after 30 seconds or so, usually broken by the phone ringing or an insistent “Mum!” from the short man.
I made a good start but by Day 7 of the Challenge I was ready to throw my hands in the air and give it up as a bad idea. I was flitting from task to task as time permitted and felt like I was making no progress whatsoever.
Then I walked into my kitchen and realised that the bench was clean and clear. There was still clutter but the room felt a bit larger, emptier than it had a week ago. The living room was the same – there were still a few toys lying around, but the room itself looked better. The thought of heading down to the laundry didn’t fill me with dread. I flipped back through my Challenge folder and realised that many items could be ticked off, even if I hadn’t got them done on the set day.
Marla Cilley (FlyLady)’s, often repeated advice of “Housework done imperfectly still blesses your family” came to mind. Some effort was worth way more than none at all, and keeping up with some of the Challenge was better than not trying at all.
So I’m persevering with it, even if imperfectly! The task sheets are brilliant and I’m working through them bit by bit. I’m not stressing any more about getting the “right” task done on the “right” day, but focusing more on what tasks will fit around each days already busy timetable.