As a work at home mom, I wear many hats. I’m the primary caregiver for our children and work as a freelance writer and social media consultant- my job can be done in the leftover moments of my day. Neither world can be ignored- there are errands to be ran, meals to plan, birthday parties to attend, and doctors appointments to keep track of. There are also deadlines to meet for clients, pieces I need to write or rework and yes, sometimes pinning on Pinterest is my job. Affiliate links present in this post.
I haven’t always had a love affair with my planner. For awhile, I tried keeping track of appointments on my phone or in a Google Calendar. After a random iPhone update accidentally wiped my calendar, I found out the hard way that what really works best for me is a combination of using a paper planner and digital planner (not my phone). Today, I’m going to share how I use my paper planner.
10 Reasons My Paper Planner Saves My Sanity, Marriage And Motherhood
- I can see our entire month at a glance. Having our month mapped out on pen and paper has really helped me prioritize activities and manage schedules.
- I can base our weekly meal plan around our schedule. Malone is only in a few activities, but on the nights we need to be at soccer practice at 6:00 pm instead of home eating dinner, I can have something quick and easy ready for the car ride to practice instead of hitting the drive through.
- I use my planner to help me to remember to check in on my friends. Each week, I pick three or four friends that I want to check in on. I have found that if I put their name in my planner, nine times out of ten I remember to reach out to them. It’s friendship – done with intention.
- My husband is never surprised by social events. We have a large friend circle and with that comes many invitations to birthday parties, potlucks, and family style movie nights. When the invitations come, I put them in my planner. My husband is an introvert who loves to hang out at home with his family. We’ve been able to come up with a good balance through evaluating our invitations on a week by week basis.
- I avoid late fees by making sure our bills are paid on time. I use my planner to write their due dates and check them off as they’re paid.
- My planner helps me keep my house clean. Monday through Friday, I schedule three to four cleaning tasks to complete. Then, on Saturdays my husband and I tag team to tackle whatever else needs to be done. By doing just a few things a day, my house is almost always “drop in” ready and I’m not left scrambling to hide things in closets when company drops by.
- I don’t miss work deadlines. I can see very quickly if I’ve got margin to take on more work. I’m a freelance writer, virtual assistant, and social media consultant. My reputation rides on meeting deadlines and delivering outstanding work. I’d rather say no to a project than pull an all-nighter.
- I use my planner to schedule self-care. There have been days where “Take a shower” has been the top event on my planner. I also use my planner to write down the dates and times I’d like to get a the gym or go out for a run, girls night out, or sneak away for a Target run by myself.
- It also use my planner to schedule date nights. 99% of our date nights are couch dates at home with popcorn and a movie from Netflix. We have small children and live in several hours away from our families. We typically have three or four a month.
- I use my planner to keep a running list of books I want to read. Gone are the luxurious days when I could sit down and devour a book in a day, but I typically try to read for 20 minutes before bed. One of the hardest things about finishing a good book is figuring out what to read next. I keep a running list of recommendations from friends in my planner and I take my planner with me when I go to the library.
Using my planner has saved my sanity, my wallet, and my marriage. I used to live with all of this just in my head. I went to bed at night worrying that I was going to forget something and make random 3:00 am bedside to do lists. These days, those thoughts live in my planner.
For those of you wondering, I really love my Day Designer from Whitney English but in the past I’ve used a BlueSky Planner.
What about you? Are you a paper or digital planner?
I love all the ways you use your planner. I’m obsessed with mine! I just went through a box tonight actually that had all my planners from every year since middle school. I know, I’m a nerd, I keep them. They just are such a part of me for a whole year. Almost like a journal. (I keep those, too) 🙂 also, loved getting to know you at Declare and over hummus and pita.