Wednesday, January 4, 2012

21 Days to a More Organized Home: Day 3

Welcome back to the "21 Days to a More Organized Home" challenge. Did you get a calendar or personal planner yesterday? If not, I found a great tutorial on how to make your own! One Tough Mother has a great post showing her readers how to make a personal planner and she even includes free printables. I'm not going to lie, I'm considering making a personal planner now. I'm sure I can figure out some great uses for it. Haha!

Now that you have a planner, you need to start using it!

DAY 3: Using Your Planner

If you have a planner but you don't use it, you're just wasting space and money, and missing out on a great organizational tool. So how can you change this behavior? Well, I have some tips for you!

1. Name your planner. it. Why? Because its harder to ignore something with a name. By naming objects in your life you give them a greater presence. Did you ever name your blanket or stuffed animal as a kid? I did and guess what? My velveteen rabbit, Bun Bun, is still an important object in my life and shares the bed with the Mortician and me every night. Name your planner something funny or sentimental. You don't have to tell anyone if you don't want too.

2. Always carry your planner. If you carry it with you, it is also hard to ignore. When an idea or event comes up you will be able to jot it down quickly. Check your planner every morning and every night. This will get you used to using it.

3. Use backward planning. What is backward planning? Well, when an important date comes up, write it down immediately, and back track 1 or 2 weeks and remind yourself of the upcoming event.

4. Color Code. This is a given. Use highlighters or different colored pens. Use green for personal, red of appointments and meetings, and other colors for each family member.

5. Put EVERYTHING in your planner. If you don't, you'll lose track of events, dates, assignments, etc. Sometimes a day is more packed than you realize if you don't write everything in, so write it down!

6. Use tabs. If you have a large project (such as a party you are planning), guests arriving, etc, mark the day of the event with a tab. This will flag it as important and help you plan for it ahead of time.

7. Don't discard old pages. We have a habit of jotting important notes on different days or in the margins. Don't throw away pages because you'll likely throw away these important notes.

8. Make lists and prioritize. Keep the lists short, however. Five to eight items is a good start. Be realistic about what you can do in a day. Be specific instead of using vague concepts. Writing "Be nice to my husband" is vague. Instead write something like, "Make my husband cookies." Congratulate yourself at the end of the day for the items you completed. If you didn't complete an item, ask yourself why and make sure you are being realistic.

9. Conduct daily planning sessions. At the beginning or end of the day, take 10-15 minutes to plan out the day or following day. Make lists, fill in dates, and read through your planner so you know what is happening or coming up. Reading up to a month in advance is best and will help you make your lists.

10. Have fun. Keeping your planner shouldn't be a chore. It should be a fun activity that will bring you peace of mind and help elevate stress.

Today I challenge you to spend 20 minutes with your planner. Give it a name. Fill out your planner with important dates, this months activities, blog posting dates, work schedule, etc. Make sure to color code. Add tabs. Just get to know your planner, its feel, and experience filling it out thoroughly.

<3The Mortician's Wife


Previous Posts:
Day 1: Welcome
Day 2: Time Management


  1. Named my Planner and my Family Notebook today... The Planner is Vesta & the Family Notebook Hestia. Figured the names of goddesses of hearth & home were appropriate. ^-^
    Yay for Day 2! =D


    1. Great names! My Heart and Home Journal is named Brigid for the same reason. Great minds think alike!


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