Keeping a busy family organized and on task is no small feat. There are a million apps and shared calendars and fancy techy ways to do this, but for me, I’m old school. I need to write things down to remember them. I like seeing our week and month come together. So for the last four years, I’ve used the Erin Condren Life Planner. It’s been crucial in keeping my sanity and our family to events on time – especially now that I’m back to work full time.
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Choosing the right planner
When I was shopping around for a planner to use to keep our family organized, I knew I wanted something that was paper and that I could customize in some way. The Erin Condren Life Planner allows me to structure my weeks either horizontally or vertically. The first two years, I used the horizontal layout and then switched to the vertical layout and it works so well for us.
I loved the variety of colors and choices and that I could customize it with our family name or the year or both. The spiral bound pages make it easy and durable to flip back and forth between weeks and months. The Life Planner comes with a few pages of fun and functional stickers but Erin Condren also offers additional accessories to make the planner even more effective.
This year I ordered the large sticky pocket and the additional sticker book. It’s so fun and festive.
Organizing your Life Planner
- The first thing I do each year I get my new Life Planner is to transfer all of our birthday’s and anniversaries – and any other date that don’t change each year.
- Then I’ll add stickers to each of my own payday’s as well as the day’s that we pay our nanny. This gives me a quick visual of some big ins and outs of our checking account.
- Next, I grab the school calendar and put in all the important dates and closures for the rest of the school year. Then I had a minor panic attack that my baby girl is starting Kindergarten this year and our worlds are going to change! Ah!
- Finally, I put in all of our goals for the year in the boxes at the front of the planner. This helps me keep them top of mind and also allows me to track my progress during the year. I make all of our goals SMART goals. You can read more about them in my goal setting post from last year.
Life Planner Weekly
Now that the months are set up with big dates, I start in on January and transfer those dates into the week view pages. Since I use the vertical layout, I use the first two boxes to keep track of day and evening events. In year’s past, I’ve used the last box to plan out our meals. This year, I’m using that space for our nanny to leave notes on activities and milestones each day.
For meal planning, I’ve started using the meal planner from Simple Purposeful Living. I’ve been using it for a month now and I love the organization and functionality of it.
I also go back and write down things that we did or milestones that happened in the week layout. It helps me remember things and it’s also fun to have a book to look back on and see all the fun things we did as a family.