*I’ve written an update with a few extra tweaks – you might be interested in that!
I know I’m not the only one who loves planners, lists, keeping organized, etc! Anyone else love changing out your planners regularly, hoping to find the system? I do! I do! (In fact, you may remember I purchased another planner back in the Spring… and it just didn’t work for me. I didn’t like how the monthly views were all together… kind of annoying.)
I frequently try different ways to keep to-do lists. But in early summer I noticed I was loosing track of tasks for the blog and for my consultant work (not good!). So it was time to rethink my strategy!
My last few months at my last job, just before leaving to stay home full time, I started (can I say invented????) a way to group to-dos by category. Instead of saying “these are the tasks I will accomplish today”, I wrote to-dos to accomplish by the week’s end.
So I modified this idea for my new home/mom life, and have been using it diligently for the last few months. It’s high time to show it off!
This custom planner is a home schedule, master calendar, work tracker, AND a blogging calendar, all in one 🙂
First up, here’s an over view of the notebook itself. It’s the Moleskine Classic Colored Notebook in the Large size. It’s big enough to hold all my musings, but small enough to toss in the diaper bag. I love the soft covers of Moleskines versus the hard covers.
The pages are covered with dots in a grid. How awesome is that? It’s like little polkadots everywhere 🙂 And like all Moleskines, it has a strap to keep it closed, a page marker ribbon thingy, and a pocket for things in the back. I love the quality of Moleskines!
So here’s how I have it organized! I created my own monthly views by just drawing lines in a grid pattern. Each box/day is an 8×8. I’ve combined Saturday and Sunday into one day.
I use the monthly view as a blog planner and mapping out posts. (It looks a little sparse for September, no? Don’t worry – I took these pictures a while back!) For our own personal calendar, I still use my weekly note pad from Target, as well as iCal to sync with our phones.
After a month, I then add the corresponding week’s week at a glance view, one week per page. I draw a 2×6 grid, with 6 13×14 rectangles. I label each box as a category.
As the week goes on, and a to-do pops up for a category, I add it in the category box with a small check box to the left.
When you get in close for a picture, you inevitably capture a shadow 🙂
Here are my categories I’m currently working with:
- Home – larger “deep clean” type tasks that aren’t a part of my usual daily or weekly cleaning schedule.
- Blog – the week’s posts, link ups to remember and then bigger projects I hope to tackle during the week
- Work – items that my clients have requested with deadlines
- Errands – sometimes errands, but sometimes also appointments or play dates!
- Church – I do A LOT of volunteer work for my church, and if I drop the ball, my volunteers I schedule don’t know what’s going on.
- Other – any miscellaneous tasks or to-dos that don’t necessarily fall into a category above
As the week goes on, I look at my tasks and try to tackle what I see. I love the flexibility of to-dos for the week, verses a list of tasks for the day. I have more productive days than others, so I like not being pressured to get certain things done on certain days.
In the back of the notebook, I’ve added some page tabs labeled with a few of my categories. This allows me space for note taking, jotting down ideas, or other schedules that are important. For example, I’ve got my monthly deep cleaning schedule jotted down in the Home section, as well as my yearly home tasks.
And finally, in the back pocket, I’ve got stored some spare page tabs.
So there you have it! I’m LOVING my Moleskine hack and have been using it for a few months now.
If you’re interested in seeing other Moleskine hacks out there or other planner inspiration, check out my Pinterest board on the topic: