Sunday, March 28, 2010

I'm a geek, and I don't care who knows it.

When I was in college, my life was held together by a little thing called a planner. Did you have one? They were kind of "in," which was a very good thing. Everything that needed remembering got scribbled into the planner.

Well. Not scribbled. More like entered meticulously in color-coded ink. I was a little infatuated with my planners. What a geek, right? But I would've failed miserably without them. And HEY, I was never surprised by a quiz or a test!

When I became a (REAL! LIVE!) teacher, my planners were even more crucial. You can't have the teacher forgetting about a quiz, after all! I had a job that was important, and I wanted to do it--all of it--well. (Plus, I could NOT have my parent-teacher conferences overlapping with my dates with Nate! Priorities, people!)

The point is this: The busier my life became, the more crucial it became to plan.

This job that I hold right now--that of wife, mother, and homekeeper--it's the most important job I'll ever have. I've been foolish to think I could do my job well by trying to keep track of everything in my head. I finally found myself running in circles, always busy but never feeling like I got anything done.

Then, I saw this post. And I knew I needed my planner back in my life.

Meet my new best friend:
Homekeeping Planner

WARNING: If you often find yourself laughing aloud at organized people, please turn away now. These photos are not for geekophobes. They're gruesome.

The cover

The first page: 2010 Goals. How can I improve myself, my home, and my relationships if I don't have goals? Keeping these in the forefront is important!

Schedules & Routines (on the left). My daily cleaning schedule, along with our basic daily routine. On the right are the week's lists...things to do, places to go, people to see/contact.

The week's menu plan and grocery list

A Monthly Plan, including health goals, monthly cleaning tasks, and birthdays & anniversaries for the month.

Freezer Cooking Day. I've yet to attempt one, but April 5th is the anticipated date of my first!

I've even got a page for blogging.

A projected reading list and some topics of interest that I'd like to pursue.

I can't tell you how much more efficient my days have been these last 3 weeks or so! What do you do to achieve maximum efficiency?


TwoMuths said...

I didn't have a planner in college - just a calendar, and while it worked for me then, it's not working so well for me now. I can't tell you how desperate I am for more efficiency, less chaos.

Do you do seminars? Because as much as I yearn for organization and color coded boxes, it's overwhelming to start. So overwhelming. Even step by step websites are challenging to me at times.

Maybe it is because I view it as restrictive instead of freeing, which I know it would be. Ah, well. One organizational task at a time. And your planner is my (eventual) goal. I think what I first need to tackle is FINISHING the things I start so enthusiastically!!

Mary Ann said...

Heehee, Karen! I am just like you. I have a binder with dividers & lots of paper to make lists - cleaning lists, house project lists, blogging lists, Christmas/Birthday shoppingl lists, sewing projects lists, etc. My husband laughs but I noticed he has started making lists on his iphone *grin* I say that we do whatever it takes to get it done! If geek = highly productive individual, then it's a club I'm happy to be in!

Amanda said...

I love organization too, Karen. Although, I have gone paperless with my planning now. I use google calendar since I already have gmail. It also syncs with my ipod touch too. And if I need to tweek my calendar then I just do it once and the rest of my calendar has the new addition to the schedule.
My calendar is always a work in progress...trying to figure out the best schedule especially with a little one running around.
Thanks for writing. I always enjoy reading your posts.

Carrie said...

Your binder looks great! Did you make up the different pages yourself or use printables from somewhere?

I've had a "control journal" (a la Flylady) for quite a few years, but I really need to re-vamp it. I think I put it together before kids, and it needs a lot of tweaking/updating to be useful at this stage of my life. Like Jenny, I want to get more organized, but the thought of sitting down and getting it done tends to overwhelm me. I just need to jump in and start. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

Karen said...

@Carrie--I made my own pages. I like that I can tailor-make them for my own needs.

@Jenny--HA! No seminars, but it really isn't a lot different than what I did before. I've always written stuff down, but now it's all contained in one neat & pretty place, instead of strewn all over my house. Do it! Even if it's just a page or two at a time.