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Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Main Thing: Planner Part 4

After I've had my Morning Latte, I use that wonderful plastic bookmark to move on to the main page where I will spend most of my day.

Now my planner was very full last week when I took the photos of it as I had many things to get done so please don't pay my personal list much attention. Actually maybe before I post this I will update the photos.

Moving on: The page starts with a list in italics across the top with some suggestions for starting the day (bed made, dressed, quiet time etc.) which helps you start the day feeling like you've accomplished something already as you check them off (or maybe that's just me?) There is also a little saying along the bottom that I like to read/pray in the morning. I mention it in this post here. Anyway, from there I go to the appropriate box for the day and see what is in store. This is where there are a couple variations of the sheet (BLMS package comes with a sampling of all three). One option for the sheet is a character trait to work on for the day, another is a partial cleaning list, and the one I use is a full list of daily task suggestions. I use the full list format because it helps me to keep a balance in my housework - an area I struggle with! Housework is important but it isn't my first priority - or is shouldn't be! Each day I try to accomplish only what is in that little box, along with doing anything else on my Quick List. It helps me to avoid over-scheduling myself (usually!) with to-do tasks! I don't always get everything done, but it keeps me on a little bit of a schedule.
On this page there is also a small spot to record a blessing, memory or lesson (or something funny your children have said or done!). There is another spot to record what you're having for dinner, and a spot to plan your menu or schedule for the day. I use it to write down what I eat since that is another area that (post-baby) I am struggling with. There is also a spot to check off your water intake, exercise and vitamins etc.
This page is great because it encompasses everything that I need in a planner. There are more details that I haven't talked about but if you have any questions, ask them in the comments section below or contact Graceworks.
I was going to write a separate post on the Keeping in Mind page but I think we'll roll it into this post here and finish up our planner series. We may come back to it at some point but I know you are all anxious for the chance to win your own Beautiful Life Management System!

So, the other frequently used page in my planner is the "Keeping in Mind" page. It has a spot for errand lists, short and long term tasks, birthdays coming up etc. Things that maybe don't fit into your weeks planning but you don't want to forget. This post doesn't really do justice to the page but it will suffice.

In my planner I also have some other pages that don't necessarily come with the BLMS but I've felt were helpful:

Mountains of Success -It has been great for those long term tasks that have many parts - or that are ongoing. You start at the bottom of this page and fill it in upwards with the date and baby-step you took towards your final goal. My first Mountain of Success page I filled out was "order to my home before baby (John)". On that it I have written things like set up Chloe's big-girl room, clean out MB closet, organize nursery, wash and sort all baby clothes etc. It is so great for seeing progress on long-term tasks or even personal growth goals. It also has a work sheet on the back to really think things through!

Readers Journal - I know I bought this separately. I read a lot. Some books I keep, others I pass on, some I reread fully and others only partly. This page has been great for recording the important things that I gleaned from each book so that when I think"where did I read that" (which happens often) it is easier to figure it out. For books where there was only a handful of things that were beneficial, I can write them down and pass the book along.

Apples & Chalk Dust - I purchased this separately. Though my oldest only just turned two - we have a "learning poster" and I keep track of things that we have learned so far. There are a variety of pages designed for homeschooling moms to keep track of their lessons.
Address Book - which is so handy.
Monthly Calendar - Good for month at a glance!

I also have another binder which has my main menu plan (picture won't come up), an itemized shopping list and zippered vinyl pouches for my coupons (which are more organized than they look!). This is the binder that I take with me to the store etc.
So that sums it up for now. At some point we will probably come back to the planner/planning topic since it is something I am passionate about but for now I think we have covered enough.
If you have any questions, comments or tips to share - the comment section is there! (That rhymes! Maybe that will become my end of post tag-line LOL!)

Tomorrow's post will tell you how you can win your own Beautiful Life Management System, or some Planner Pages (if you have a planning system already).

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