“There is an app for that” has become common vernacular for working moms. Why not use an app that will keep a grocery list? Why not use an app that will tell you where to be and what to bring? Why not use an app that transforms ho-hum pictures into works of art? We cannot get away from apps, yet paper planners are still prominent in most mom totes! We see odes to Erin Condren all over pinterest. Erin, if you are somehow reading this, I would be more than happy to review a planner for you! [Symbol] So, why are planners still around? Because they work. They are easy to carry and easy to use. Here are some simple ideas to make your planner be more effective and work for you.
I use the MomAgenda (affiliate)and love it. I use their MyAgenda (affiliate)style because it is small, easy to fit into my bag and always available to take to meetings. MomAgenda does the hard part and splits up the day for you!
Now, I do not use my planner for work. Unfortunately, my work calendar and scheduling is all funneled through Outlook and to transfer my day to the planner would not be worth my time. So, my planner is for personal and family life. Outlook is for work life. I have tried apps that integrate both calendars and I was not impressed and eventually they became space holders on my phone.
What’s in a Day?
My planner starts on Sundays. There are multiple sections, one for each family member. I split my sections into my calendar, Josh’s calendar, Nugget’s calendar, Jethro’s calendar and a “to do” spot. Yes, Jethro has an active calendar. He was the first baby and has places to be. I designated their sections in the same spot every week at the beginning of the year. That allows a quick glance at the week and I know exactly who is busy and when.
At work, my planner is always open on my desk to the current week so as the day goes on and things come up it is easily accessible and I am able to update immediately.
- Make it your own. Make your planner something you WANT to bring everywhere. My planner is a pretty yet professional with my monogram. Don’t buy something you are not proud of, you will not use it. I am not personally a planner decorator with different color pins, stickers, etc. But, if that excites you and makes you more willing to consistently use a planner; go for it!
- Be realistic in sizing your planner. I thought the bigger the better in the planner world. I mean, more space to plan and organize the day? Yes, please. I quickly realized that large planners are hard to carry with you everywhere. My planner is compact. It fits in my tote but I can still fit everything I need without cramming the pages.
- Find balance with technology and planners. I use some apps still to keep me organized. I tried all or nothing both in apps and planners and I failed. I found that I need a paper planner for personal agendas, technology for work and apps for the in between. Do not let that overwhelm you. It is very manageable.
Paper IS better sometimes! Especially, when you are a busy working mom and are trying to keep everything organized and simple. Use them to your advantage and let them do the work for you. What about y’all? Paper or technology? Or both? What type of planner do you use to keep yourself on track and ready for the day/week/month/year?