Plan Your Days {Get it Together ~ Day 17}

How do you schedule your days?  Do you have a system?  I am forever the mom who goes to appointments and is asked to schedule appointments, and just grins and says “whenever” because I never have the school schedule handy, never have our other commitments handy, pretty much never have anything handy.  So then I have to hang on to those silly appointment cards until I get everything written down and double check for overcommitment, but where do I do that?

For years my “system” was to jot notes on the school calendar, or the community calendar (you know, the calendar the Lion’s Club hands out that lists everyone’s and their grandchildren’s birthdays and anniversaries — oh, you don’t have one of those?  😉  ) or the dry erase calendar on the fridge.

I actually kind of like the calendar on the fridge method, but I can’t exactly take it with me.  I also can’t write things down months ahead or flip back to remember from previous months.

I’ve tried a few planners grabbed off the store shelves for their pretty covers, usually when I see them on clearance (yep, when half the year is already gone).  I’ve also tried a homemaking binder.  That lasted about as long as it took it to be buried under some desk clutter ~ I still can’t find that silly thing!

I’d truly love to be with it enough to create my own customized binder, but I know myself and I know that 1) I’d never be able to decide what to put in it and how to organize it, and 2) It would sit on my to-do list  Because I’m highly motivated like that.

An organizing system is only useful if you actually use it.  Profound, I know.  I do believe I’ve come across a system that works for me, though, as evidenced by the many notes and dates and torn out grocery lists in my new planner.  Yay!

Take a look inside.

Amy Knapp’s Family Organizer (maybe it’s her name that sold me! 😉  ) seems to be just what this scatter-brained mama needs, without all the extra fluff and stuff that makes a planner more work than it’s worth.  Perforated grocery list on the left; menu plan on the right.  The menu space is actually more than I need, so I also use it to keep track of my water intake and my supplements (when I remember ~ sigh).

The running to-do list on the left keeps me on track throughout the week.  Unfortunately, I somehow missed out on the Christian Family Organizer, so I don’t have the Prayer & Praise section.  It’s working out okay, though, because my to-do list is generally long enough to fill the page.  Oy!

In the back of this spiral-bound planner is a section for important information and addresses, and a brainstorming section.  So nice to have a brain dump area, because I think of the most brilliant things at the most inopportune times!  Its 8 3/8″ x 6″ size fits nicely into my diaper bag or purse, so I actually remember to take it with me when I go somewhere.  Another favorite feature is that the planner begins in August and runs through the next December.  Our planning year starts with the school year, so this works well for me.

*** Amy Knapp’s Christian Family Planner is now on sale for $10, reduced from $14.99. 

Check this out!  I’m loving the huge family calendar that fits perfectly inside a cabinet door right beside our fridge.  There’s a space for menu planning on here, too, which my kiddos appreciate.  This also gives them a “what’s going on today” place to check things out.  While the planner is my own personal brain, it’s important to have a command central for the family when we’re comparing schedules, recording birthdays, and such.  While our dry erase board does work, the calendar system provides a way to flip back and remember “what day was that?”

So, want to get organized?  Amy Knapp has generously offered a planner and a wall calendar for one of my readers!  To enter, simply leave a comment:  What is your biggest struggle when it comes to family scheduling?  Keeping it all together?  Overlapping?  If you’re a scheduling nerd and you have the perfect system, you can tell us that, too.  We’ll still love you!

As always, feel free to snag an extra entry or two by sharing this giveaway on twitter, facebook, or your own blog.  Be sure to leave a comment that you did!

Giveaway ends Sunday, October 23, at 11:59 pm, CST.  Winner will be randomly chosen and notified by email.

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  1. I would say my biggest scheduling issue is making sure everyone knows what everyone else is doing. Two people may know about an appointment but someone else doesn’t and commits to something else for the same time period.

  2. Judy Creel says:

    I love these calendars. I have a wall I want to make a communication wall. I wanted to do chalkboard paint but now I think I might do the chalk board sticky thing. I wanted to add hooks for my purse and sons bookbag etc. A calendar would be a perfect addition. Thanks for the opportunity.

  3. There never seems to be enough time.

  4. shared on fb

  5. Keeping in line with the To-Do’s!!! I’d much rather be playing with my 2yo than doing laundry or dishes!

  6. Christine says:

    I need to get organized! Starting a new full time job soon, hubby travels a bit for work, kids are always on the go…..oy. I use a lot of post-it notes in my home….a calendar system could possibly do the trick! 😉

  7. Keeping up on the small things!

  8. Cindy Ernst says:

    Staying organized takes time … but it’s so worth it!

  9. Mary Beth says:

    I do ok with the routine things but tend to forget things that are “out of the ordinary”. When I use a calendar it helps greatly.

  10. Goodness, while I was employed I had everything organized because I had all my planners online or a desktop planner. Now that I just became unemployed, I’m so busy to keep my calendars up to date. I’ve been using the post-it note system on the fridge so at least I know who is where and what time.

  11. I know my schedule, but I often forget my husbands…and since we are a one car family planning ahead is very important.

  12. I never have enough time to get to everything! With 5 kids we are just getting involved in sports, scouts, etc and it’s the juggling that’s hard!

  13. I am expecting a second baby .. Already foggy in remembering things. So would love to get this calendar.

  14. We’ve recently had some major life changes and my ordinary routine has become chaotic. A good organizer will help me get my new routine ordinary again!

  15. My biggest struggle when it comes to family scheduling is communication. If I am not present when plans are made the other people in my house forget to tell me what time something is happening. What usually happens is the day of whatever is happening I’ll get “why aren’t you ready?” “Mom I have to be there is 15 minutes”- it drives me absolutely nuts and I hate it. I have begged, I have cried, and I even yelled. I don’t know what to do. I have asked them to just let me know and I have tried a central calendar.

  16. This looks like a great calendar. I usually write everything on a wall calendar, but like you, don’t have access to that when I am out and about. I have tried electronic scheduling programs/gadgets. However, I am a pen and paper kind of gal. So, I guess my biggest struggle would be having easy access to our schedule.

  17. My biggest struggle has got to be my failing memory that is coming with age. I used to never forget things, but now I am forgetting lots of things — even written on the calendar. I forgot to take my boys to the dentist a couple of weeks ago. Missed appointment fees! Yikes!!! I will never get any younger so I really need help for my aging memory!

  18. I need to get it together! We are about to adopt a sibling group and I will have crazy amounts of appointments and activities. What a great way to keep track of everything.

  19. I find it hard to keep all the info in one place – a post-it here, white board there, notebook in my purse. It’d be great to have a place to ‘get it together’!! 🙂

  20. My biggest problem is my family not telling me of an appointment that needs to go on the calendar.

  21. My problem is making to-do lists with way too much on them and then misplacing them!

  22. My biggest trip up to being organized is having too many pieces of “paper”. I need to have one system, and not 20 sticky notes in my purse!

  23. My biggest struggle is remembering the important in all the busy.

  24. Amy Cribbs says:

    This planner sounds amazing – I have to-do lists, grocery lists & post-it’s with notes on them scattered throughout my purse, current calendar & home – having it all together in an organized fashion sounds wonderful!!

  25. Rachel Schmucker says:

    I’d love this! I’m a new mom that is now staying home with my daughter, after working full time for six years. I’ve been trying a bunch of different methods for organizing and nothing has “fit” yet. I use my phone for appointments, a one page printed calendar for meal planning and to-do’s, and sticky notes everywhere. One system for it all would be great and being able to take it on the go makes it perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  26. My biggest struggle is keeping up with what’s on my schedule.

  27. Biggest calendar problem? Just CANNOT figure out the best system for me. It’s the ongoing battle. Sigh. I’d love to try this! Love that it fits into a purse/diaper bag.

  28. I had the same problem until I created a personal planner. I printed out perfect sized calender pages, followed by two sheets of lined paper for to do’s and lists, bound them with my comb binder and tada! Keeps track of kids appointments, work schedules, my due assignmetns. Perfect!

  29. Tweeted it. 😉 @mamalaundry

  30. My biggest problem is actually looking at the calendar to see what’s going on each day!

  31. My biggest problem is keeping it all in one place! I seem to always have information scattered everywhere.

  32. Carrie Skiles says:

    I have a planner that I use for work and a calendar on the fridge for home, but it seems like I am always forgetting to update the calendar on the fridge. I also wish my planner had space for a to-do list and menu plan. My current one only has space for things happening each day.

  33. My biggest issue is finding a system that works for our family. Both kids are in new schools this year, the first year not having them both in the same school. The amount of paperwork is insane!! I would love to win this! 🙂

  34. I have a 3 part system it works but isn’t perfect. My husband is a techie and I prefer pen and paper so it can be difficult to get on the same page.

  35. Well, it’s just my husband and me now…he’s a pastor, so I find it hard to keep all of his church commitments straight!

  36. We use the picture calendars for important stuff and then my hubs(the tech guy does all of his tracking on his phone. I on the other hand jot notes or use a pocket calendar

  37. The easier question for me to answer would be: what isn’t my biggest issue? Well, nothing. I struggle with it all. Scatter brained!

  38. My biggest struggle is getting my husband to actually refer to the big giant up to date calendar we have hanging on our fridge. He claims he never knows what’s going on, but it’s because he never checks the calendar! Drives me nuts…

  39. My struggle is keeping all the commitments from various facets of our life straight. While a central system would be best, I have yet to make it all work.

  40. I have always been really good about putting stuff on our main calendar. Except I was running out of room trying to keep track of everyone’s stuff. I found a calendar at walmart that had 6 lines for every single day of the month. Now I have a line for each person and keeping track of who has what is so much easier now! The problem I have is remembering to look at the calendar.

  41. I used this planner a couple of years ago and really liked it. I think my biggest struggle is that my husband and I both schedule things assuming that the other is free or that there is no conflict…big mistake! This is where that wall calendar would come in handy!

  42. My biggest struggle is getting my husband on board. I feel like I’m the one holding the schedule, and he can’t make any decisions without me. It would be nice for him to be able to see what’s going on in our lives too!

  43. Consistency is a problem here. I do good planning out one week, and then drop the ball on the next 2.

  44. You are so right on time with this post. I was telling my friend the other day that i needed a new planner to write down appointments since my son destroyed my other one. I am becoming a bit forgetful as of late.

  45. It’s just that everyone has a different schedule. Both my kids are in college (although one attends out of state and is usually only home for holidays, the summer and breaks) and they both work….different hours. Plus work schedules change from week to week and my youngest doesn’t drive yet, so I have to drive him to work and his schedule changes weekly, as I said.

    My hubby has set hours, basically, but he is a pastor and so sometimes things come up and he misses dinner or has to leave or has something he needs me to do or pick up for him because he can’t, etc. My elderly mom lives with us and her needs sometimes throws my whole day and schedule out of whack.

    I always thought my schedule would get easier once the kids grew up, lol!

  46. I actually keep a small calendar in my purse and I keep them to help me with my scrapbooking later so I remember what happened when. I would love a small organizer with everything in one place 🙂

  47. My biggest struggle is that I don’t stick with a system for more than a few weeks…maybe I haven’t found the right one yet. I would love to try this, it seems very simple but efficient.

  48. My biggest scheduling struggle is remembering to jot stuff down on the calendar when I get home and then to look at it each morning to remind myself where we’re supposed to be that day.

  49. Have a calendar that is overloaded! I need to keep better track of it.

  50. Our scheduling has to be really organized right now because my mom, my husband, and I are all sharing one car. Fortunately the kids are young enough they don’t have too much going on!

  51. I struggle with lack of communication within the family. They don’t tell me about their upcoming activities.

  52. I struggle the most w/ having my calendar with me that I write everything on. I know I do need a planner to carry along and then MAYBE I wouldn’t forget things so much:)

  53. I would say my problem is forgetting to put my hubby’s commitments on the calendar. The second thing is forgetting to look at the calendar. LOL!

  54. My biggest struggle with family scheduling is having a schedule! I keep up with our appointments and commitments okay, but would like a better system to help with dumping all the “to do” lists in my brain somewhere and keeping up with the regular stuff that has to get done too.

  55. I shared this on facebook.

  56. Leslie M.P. says:

    Keeping us on track…that would be the biggest issue. I’m sure if my schedule needs to be tweaked or if we are just not as organized as I think we are :).
    Thanks for this giveaway!

  57. My biggest struggle right now is working around naptimes that aren’t yet on a reliable schedule.

  58. I need a system that’s easy to take along so I can keep up and don’t end up with a bunch of little scrap paper notes.

  59. Rebecca L. says:

    We homeschool so I am able to do appointments a little more freely. I do have a central calendar that I keep track of all appts. on We all know to look at that calendar before committing.

  60. Believe it or not, I like when we have 1 very busy night. Then our others can be open.

  61. I keep everything on my phone. It’s always with me but I think the world would end if I lost it! Once the kids are a little older I will need a central calendar and this looks great!

  62. My biggest struggle is honestly the meal planning…

  63. AllieZirkle says:

    Hi, I’m Allie, and I need to get it together. 🙂 I have something that works for us in the current weeks but doesn’t include forward planning…

  64. Keeping up with my four kids schedules.

  65. Thanks for your posts, I love your “real-ness” for it encourages me! I struggle with keeping field trips, doctor’s visits and family get togethers all in order, and this looks like a great solution!! creedamy [at] yahoo [dot] com

  66. My biggest struggle is using the systems I set up! Thanks for the chance to win!

  67. My biggest challenge is merging my work and home calenders, and then merging those with my husband’s. Luckily, my kids are still in preschool, so I have one more year to figure out how I’m going to keep track of all the kindergarten requirements.

  68. Keeping appointments, classes, just the overall schedule in line is my biggest problem. I have become so forgetful yet so busy lately that I have missed more than one important task. This would be a huge help to me. Thanks!

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