Tips and Tricks Tuesday: How I use my agenda to be more organized

As we prepare to go back to school, I am trying to make sure I’m as organized as possible. There have been cooking days so the freezer will be stocked with healthy meals, there have been closet and dresser cleaning days, and now I’ve purchased a new planner as well. I was enjoying bullet journaling, but it wasn’t the best use of my time. 


I looked at pricier planners like those designed by Erin Condren and Emily Ley, and while I liked them, I wasn’t sure I could justify spending $60 on an agenda I’d only use for a year and a half. Enter the Day Designer by Blue Sky.


Cute, lightweight, and only $20. The front pages of the agenda contain spaces for setting goals and creating a plan for accomplishing those goals.



It also features both monthly spreads and weekly spreads. I have started color coding my calendar entries: one color for each family member and a separate color for church activities.

I use it to record activities and appointments for all four of us, plus work and blog stuff for me.


Each calendar has a space for a to do list, setting goals, and reflection.  


I use the weekly spread to track habits and set three main goals. There is also space to record things you’re grateful for.


I also track fitnesss plans, blog posts, and plan meals. A weekly to do list is included as well. 


There are also blank pages in the back where you can do whatever you like. I use them to make lists, plan blog posts and record important dates:




I like to use sticky note pads for my shopping lists and things that are subject to change, such as Christmas lists and thrift store shopping lists.


Each night before you go to bed, reflect on the day, but take a peek at tomorrow. What do you need to do? Where do you need to be? Looking at your agenda each day ensures that you remember what you’re supposed to do and where you’re supposed to be.

How do you use your agenda to simplify your life?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Using an agenda as a bullet journal…and being more organized as a result


I used to create and print this eleaborate calendar. It was great, but too big and too bulky, and it wasn’t very durable. It was also time consuming to design and assemble.

Enter this pretty little $14 agenda from Anthropologie.

It has whole month calendar pages

And weekly pages as well.

There are also blank pages in the back, which I’ve used for a number of things. Some of them I have used to paste in my own pages.

And on others, I draw or write in whatever I need it to be.

Now that I’m getting into bullet journaling, I can see how these boring, handwritten lists will be much more eye catching in the future.

I met a girl at a teaching workshop I attended earlier this year who had a gorgeous bullet journal. She graciously allowed me to photograph it.

I am learning to use my agenda to organize the things I am scheduled to do, the things I need to do, and the things I want to do. I am also using it to set some goals and keep track of other things.

Each evening, I look back over my day and I look to tomorrow to get a good idea of what I need to accomplish. I also make sure I’m ready for the next day.

I am encouraging my readers to share their agendas. How do you use your agenda? What does it look like? Do you make your own from scratch or customize a pre-made one like I do? Please comment and show me your agendas.

Have a wonderful Thursday.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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New banner June 2014

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An organized Christmas: planning binder

Every Christmas, I schlep my way to our shed and unpack all my Christmas Décor and get down to business.  While my ornaments and Décor are special and important to me, my  most valuable Christmas related item is my Holiday Planning Binder.

It’s a nondescript green polka dot binder, but I love it.

It’s not fancy in the least but it helps me so much.

When I find recipes and Décor Ideas in magazines , I rip them out and put them here for future reference.  I also made a few printables to help me get started.

For starters, a December calendar.

I use it to keep track of whom I’m sending Christmas cards.

There are checklists for party planning, decorating and traveling.

I use it to plan parties and celebrations.

I have included links to my free printables just for you. Enjoy, and have a Merry Christmas.  Just right click on the files below and save them to your computer to download. Thanks!

christmas-party-planner-sheet-copy christmas-party-planning-copy december-calendar recipe-card travel-checklist

christmas-checklist christmas-contacts-copy-2

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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New banner June 2014

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Command Centers

One key household management device I use is a command center.

It is here that we manage incoming bills and mail, monthly events, weekly schedules, cleaning chores for the week/month, grocery shopping, dinners for the week, and projects. We update the command center every Sunday, the same day we plan meals and grocery shop. The command center hangs on the wall above my sewing machine, which occasionally becomes an impromptu desk.

The large “bulletin board” on the left is not a bulletin board at all. When we moved, one of the large frames that held my bridal portrait was damaged. The glass broke and it was cheaper to buy a new frame than to cut a new glass pane. The frame itself was in good shape, and I really needed a bulletin board with a black frame. I opted to get a piece of foam poster board, which I covered in fabric I already owned. It made a nice bulletin board!

The whiteboard calendar was just a regular whiteboard and bulletin board combination that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I used line tape and washi tape to create a dry erase calendar.

I then bought inexpensive black 8×10 frames and printed a weekly chore list and a menu for the week. The weekly schedule is something I already had on hand, and the memo board, where we write what bills are due, is just a plain piece of paper. All are fully “dry erase” thanks to the glass.

The three mail bins actually aren’t bins at all. They are fabric covered cardboard boxes with letter plates attached. You can read more about those here.

This command center is then synced (by hand, you techies) with my home management binder. Think of the binder as a mobile command center, as it is with me always and includes the exact same info (monthly calendar, weekly calendar, weekly menu plan, project plans, blog plans, finance chart). I’ll post more about the binder soon.

I also employ this same tactic in my classroom. Here I manage weekly duties, monthly events, weekly events, and just general info that I need to remember. The wire rack is for items that need to be filed, taken to the office, or taken to the media center. I update this, you guessed it- every Friday.
                          

What household management ideas work for you?

Continue Reading

Command Centers

One key household management device I use is a command center.

It is here that we manage incoming bills and mail, monthly events, weekly schedules, cleaning chores for the week/month, grocery shopping, dinners for the week, and projects. We update the command center every Sunday, the same day we plan meals and grocery shop. The command center hangs on the wall above my sewing machine, which occasionally becomes an impromptu desk.

The large “bulletin board” on the left is not a bulletin board at all. When we moved, one of the large frames that held my bridal portrait was damaged. The glass broke and it was cheaper to buy a new frame than to cut a new glass pane. The frame itself was in good shape, and I really needed a bulletin board with a black frame. I opted to get a piece of foam poster board, which I covered in fabric I already owned. It made a nice bulletin board!

The whiteboard calendar was just a regular whiteboard and bulletin board combination that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I used line tape and washi tape to create a dry erase calendar.

I then bought inexpensive black 8×10 frames and printed a weekly chore list and a menu for the week. The weekly schedule is something I already had on hand, and the memo board, where we write what bills are due, is just a plain piece of paper. All are fully “dry erase” thanks to the glass.

The three mail bins actually aren’t bins at all. They are fabric covered cardboard boxes with letter plates attached. You can read more about those here.

This command center is then synced (by hand, you techies) with my home management binder. Think of the binder as a mobile command center, as it is with me always and includes the exact same info (monthly calendar, weekly calendar, weekly menu plan, project plans, blog plans, finance chart). I’ll post more about the binder soon.

I also employ this same tactic in my classroom. Here I manage weekly duties, monthly events, weekly events, and just general info that I need to remember. The wire rack is for items that need to be filed, taken to the office, or taken to the media center. I update this, you guessed it- every Friday.
                          

What household management ideas work for you?

Continue Reading

Command Centers

One key household management device I use is a command center.

It is here that we manage incoming bills and mail, monthly events, weekly schedules, cleaning chores for the week/month, grocery shopping, dinners for the week, and projects. We update the command center every Sunday, the same day we plan meals and grocery shop. The command center hangs on the wall above my sewing machine, which occasionally becomes an impromptu desk.

The large “bulletin board” on the left is not a bulletin board at all. When we moved, one of the large frames that held my bridal portrait was damaged. The glass broke and it was cheaper to buy a new frame than to cut a new glass pane. The frame itself was in good shape, and I really needed a bulletin board with a black frame. I opted to get a piece of foam poster board, which I covered in fabric I already owned. It made a nice bulletin board!

The whiteboard calendar was just a regular whiteboard and bulletin board combination that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I used line tape and washi tape to create a dry erase calendar.

I then bought inexpensive black 8×10 frames and printed a weekly chore list and a menu for the week. The weekly schedule is something I already had on hand, and the memo board, where we write what bills are due, is just a plain piece of paper. All are fully “dry erase” thanks to the glass.

The three mail bins actually aren’t bins at all. They are fabric covered cardboard boxes with letter plates attached. You can read more about those here.

This command center is then synced (by hand, you techies) with my home management binder. Think of the binder as a mobile command center, as it is with me always and includes the exact same info (monthly calendar, weekly calendar, weekly menu plan, project plans, blog plans, finance chart). I’ll post more about the binder soon.

I also employ this same tactic in my classroom. Here I manage weekly duties, monthly events, weekly events, and just general info that I need to remember. The wire rack is for items that need to be filed, taken to the office, or taken to the media center. I update this, you guessed it- every Friday.
                          

What household management ideas work for you?

Continue Reading