Get Your Act Together with More Free Planner Pages

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I laughed when a reader commented about my OCD tendencies. She was speaking in reference to my planner pages. Yes, I have a lot of them.

Well, let me tell you a secret…..

It’s not because I have it together.

I don’t. Oh my, I woefully don’t. My default is to sit on the couch and read a good book. But, that, my friends does not get me very far.

I have had to set up systems to help me get my act even remotely together. Thus, my household notebook was born. And it is in a constant state of tweaking.

New tweaks to help my life as MOM

As I’ve mentioned before, this year I experimented in having my planner spiral bound. That was life changing. For five bucks I was able to make a highly customizable, highly portable planner to keep track of my goals, my household tasks, my calendar, as well as my writing business information.

When I first had my planner spiral bound, I made it “tester size,” large enough to last me about six months. I didn’t want to waste time and paper if it wasn’t going to work. But, it did. And it does. And so this month I put together a longer-term version which I hope will last me until this time next year.

One of the changes that I made was to laminate my daily to do list. For an extra $2 at FedEx Office, I now have a reusable page that will save me 182 pages of paper and space in my yearlong planner.

FishBoy9 pointed out how good it would feel at the end of the day to wipe the page clean, knowing I’d accomplished some things and that I get to start over fresh in the morning. He’s a genius, isn’t he? I was just being practical, but he thought of what an encouragement it would be.

New forms just for you!

Recently, I asked the girls on Facebook to tell me what forms would help “life as mom” at their houses. They were full of ideas.

Here are a few planner pages reflecting what they expressed would be helpful to them.

Team Sports Information – Where are the coaches’ phone numbers? Who’s the team mom? What equipment do we need to bring? Where are we supposed to go for practice? If your team doesn’t already hand you this information on a handy 8 1/2 x 11 sheet, you can gather it all yourself on this sheet.

School Contact List – Keep track of phone numbers and email addresses for principal, school nurse, counselor, and teachers.

Weekly Schedule by Hour – Know where your kids are every day of the week and every hour of the day so that you won’t forget to send PE clothes and so that you can meet up with them at lunchtime.

Do you have a planner?

How do you keep track of all you need to know?

Right now you can purchase my latest ebook, Organizing Life as MOM, which includes 125 pages of inspiration and planning ideas. 80+ pages are fillable planning sheets, meaning you can customize them to fit your life, your family, and YOU.

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  1. Yes I have a planner….My computer. I am very technical and put everything into my Outlook calendar which syncs with my Blackberry. I am currently looking at purchasing an Ipad or netbook as it is a lot more portable than my current laptop. My husband has agreed to a smart board for our kitchen (we are saving up for one) so that everyone can access my calendar/to do list.

  2. Thank you for sharing! I am such a hopeless perfectionist, that I fear I’ll never get my household binder thingy together so I can get things remotely together. I will say that since January, I have kept an address list of all our family/friends in my binder that has come in handy through the months. I know exactly where that info is instead of it being on multiple little scraps of paper all over my piled-too-high desk! I love the laminating idea! I did something similar in January with my version of zone cleaning. I printed up lists of everything that could be cleaned/done in two areas of our home and then stuck it in a sheet protector. The children and I worked together for an hour one day and had those two rooms spotless and they loved being able to mark off the jobs they did! Those papers are in my binder, too. Sadly, that’s as far as I got.

  3. LOVE the idea of laminating the key, oft-used pages! What a great way to save resources!
    I checked out your planner pages and saw that you have the 2010 calendar, any chance for 2011 any time soon? I tend to go from August (year 1) – December (year 2) and would love to get this all printed up and bound pretty soon! Thanks so much for all that you do!!

  4. I’m working on creating charts and things to post in our hall. I have a 2nd grader who is struggling with time management. She thrives off a list, but I don’t have time to make one every day. Tonight when I come home, Haileigh will be graced with her schedule, framed and all! 🙂

    Han’s schedule

    Hai’s schedule

  5. My planner is a huge, MEAD datebook. I love it! I do have to re-write each list every day, and when I *ahem* falloffthewagon *ahem* I feel like I’ve wasted pages, but I love having my calendar and daily schedule right there all in one place.

    1. @Miriam, Mariam perhaps you could make a laminated sheet like “life as mom” and just place it in the new day each day wiped clean? might save you some time/money/work?

  6. We have a binder–inside the clear front cover are all the important phone numbers of doctors, vets, schools, and carpools. Then, at the top is our phone and address in case there is a babysitter who needs to know in an emergency where she is. (I heard this can be a problem, as well as knowing children’s weight etc.)

    Inside I have a section for each family member with sheets from their schools, activities, etc. inside clear plastic sleeves.

    I havn’t used it for a calender–I keep that separately in a smaller 5×7 kind that I can throw in my tote when I am out and about. And the todo lists appear in the right sideof the calender date, while appointments go on the left.

    Works pretty well…

  7. I’ve always had planners when I worked outside the home. Everything was written down – using a different colored pen for each entity (home / church / school).

    Now that I work from home, but constantly on the go, I use my Google calendar which syncs with my phone and vice versa. No more having people call me for appointments and having to go upstairs and get my calendar to make sure I’m not double-booking or telling a church secretary to call me back or try to remember to call them back so I can check a date. I still have everything color coded, but this is the best idea I’ve done for myself in a LONG time!

  8. Oh this topic just hits the spot for me! I am an organized person and always have been. I think that so many of your strategies, lists, etc. I have had and used for years in some form or another. I have just never thought to put them in one spot. My useful lists, devices ect tend to go where they are used but this has inspired me to maybe round it all up for a bit and see if it improves my time management and might take a load off of my brain!

  9. I read an old post before reading this one. In the post you expressed that you felt as though your well oiled machine of a house had been slipping since the birth of FishBaby. I need to express a great big THANK YOU for saying that. My newest addition is 4 months old and I feel like any semblence of order in this house is shot!! It is driving me nutty that I can’t seem to get a good system going.

    I have printed the pages you offered us tonight and I am going to get this notebook thing off the ground. I am excited to have some direction! I am just hoping it works because I am soooo tired of feeling completely chaotic! Thank you for the help!

    1. @Kelley, I feel that way every day of my life. Don’t think I’ve got it together. I’m just trying desperately to get there — right alongside you.

      My recommendation right now? Sleep, food, and clothing. Once you get some of those systems running smoothly, work on the next thing. God bless you!

  10. i *love* your website. it’s my absolute favorite daily-go-to site. thanks for sharing your methods of organization/planning. would you share your entire daily to-do list? i’m trying to craft mine now and would love to know more about yours. thanks. =)

    1. Well, 365 days’ worth of sheets would be 182 dbl sided + 1 more. I kept the one by laminating it. Unless I did the math wrong??

      Mr. Pleta wasn’t very nice to me in highschool algebra. Neither was Mr. Jacobson in Geometry.

  11. I missed when you asked on facebook that question, i wished i didn’t. I have one that i cant figure out how to do. i am not a lister by nature but with 4 children need them. So the thing i have problem with as i’m sure you can understand when 1 gets sick they all end up sick. So i was looking for something to keep track of meds given and when and how much. Also like temps and what child is suffering with. My question is what do you do when this happens? do you have a paper that you pull out or do you just keep track in your head?

    1. @kathleen, I usually just slap a piece of paper on the fridge and keep track that way. But, I’ll keep it in mind when I go back to the drawing board. 😉

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this! A few months ago, we decided I would homeschool the girls. Our girls are 4 and 2, so it is just preschool type activites I am just starting, but I have started to feel overwhelmed with some things…keeping my household together is one! 🙂 So, I was so excited to see this post today! This is a great way to stay organized! I can’t wait to get my planner together!! You could probably laminate a few of those pages, couldn’t you? I was thinking the weekly ones maybe?

    1. Yes, I laminated the daily page. The weekly one would be a good one to laminate as well.

  13. I’ve been waiting for your updated 2011 2-page per month calendar. Since you made your new notebook for the year, I assume you made one… did I miss it somewhere? I’m using your 2010 template for Sept- Dec and would love Jan- May! And thanks again, FishMama, for all the great ideas & encouragement to improve ourselves daily.

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! This are wonderful!!! I’m trying so hard to stream line our life this year. 2 kids in school, 3 homeschooling and batteling a chronic illness, along with sports, dance, art, music and awana! I’m using a 3 ring binder with plastic sleeves. The kids can check off on the page with a dry erase marker! Perfect!

  15. Hello! I stumbled upon your blog site last night, I was searching for ideas for a household notebook, and I found some great ideas on your page…. I must admit, at any given time, I can probably find about 7 ”lists” around my home… I am trying to get things organized around our home, and I know that if I don’t centralize everything I will loose my mind! I am currently a mom of one 2 1/2 year old little girl, I am a stay at home mom (which seemingly entails so much more than I ever thought it would! But I LOVE IT! ) I am in school to be a medical transcriptionist, We’re super active in our church (in which we just made new commitments), and we’re just starting some remodeling on our house! Boy… now that I think about it, we sure have alot going on…haha! Sorry I guess I’m rambling… Thank you for sharing your tid-bits of info… I have wanted for a long time to start a blog, I have lots of thrifty organizing tips, and cheap meals, etc… but I am afraid that it would zap too much of my time… Maybe once I finish schooling I can! Have a tremendously blessed day!

  16. I love your planner pages… I was in the process of creating all of this from scratch when I found your site… I’ve since found several others, even ones I’d have to pay for and I find that yours fit our family the closest… I’d love to be able to tweak them without having to reinvent them from scratch myself. Is there anyway I could get a copy of the original that is not a .pdf. I don’t have a way of editing a .pdf (that I’m aware of). It would obviously be for my family personal use only..

    Thanks for sharing all of this with us!

  17. I just bought the notebook and LOVE it! Do you happen to have it in half size pages? I use an old planner binder cover that’s 5X8 to keep my daily notebook in and would love to add these pages!!!

    1. I don’t have it available in half size — yet. Hoping to roll out a half size version this fall.