It’s a new year, and time for a fresh start. As I love to plan and organize, there is no better way to start a new year than a new notebook, and opening a blank day planner with a whole year of possibility. This year, I will be starting back to work in the spring after maternity leave, so being organized is going to be really important as I navigate the ropes of being a working mom.
I thought I’d share a few of the ways that I like to stay organized for those who may struggle with it themselves, or even for those just looking for some new ideas.
In our household, we are big lovers of Apple products. Two great features of these products are that you can access your apps and files on multiple devices (phone, tablet and laptop) and that you can family share programs and files with all the members of your family. One of our biggest successes in being organized has been using the Apple calendar via family sharing as our active family calendar. My husband and I both have access to the family calendar on our phones (as well as our home tablet and computer) and all devices update as soon as any changes have been made. We include everything from appointments, activities, vacations, reminders such as Garbage or Recycling days, monthly house maintenance activities (ie: change the furnace filter), birthdays and anniversaries. If one of us is out and needs to make an appointment or check availability, the most current schedule is always right there on our phone.
Piggybacking on the shared calendar, we also use shared notes on our devices in particular for grocery shopping. We both have access to the grocery list “note” and it continues to update as any changes are made. It is easy to add something to your list anytime, anywhere which is especially handy when you end up thinking of something at the most random time. It’s also super convenient for anyone in the family to access the list anytime they want to pick up groceries.
For those who just aren’t as into the tech organization, using a day planner is the next best thing. There are so many really adorable day planners out there as well. I purchased mine from Shopper Drugmart at 25% off! As much as I love technology, I still love putting pen to paper and seeing things written down. I like to use my day planner for blog/personal planning and brainstorming as most planners have lots of space for making notes.
I also always like to have a notebook around (whether it is in my living room or in my purse) to jot down ideas, plan or brainstorm. I also use it for taking notes if I am on the phone and it is easy to access when you need to refer to them as all of your notes are in one book in one place.
Another thing I need keep life on track is my “To Do” list. I made this DIY dry erase to do list frame using an 8×10 picture frame and some scrapbook paper from the dollar store that I cut to fit. I have the frame on my kitchen island so I can see it multiple times a day. A few tips for your to-do listing: throw in a few small win “to do’s” that you can easily check off and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Be realistic with your to-dos on what you can actually achieve within the day or week. On the top half of my list I have daily to do’s and at the bottom I have things that I want to accomplish by the end of the week.
Lastly, after making my dry erase to do list, I wanted a similar piece for my weekly menu/ dinner plan. I found this printable from Tatertots and Jello and bought another 8×10 picture frame to put it in. This looks really cute on my kitchen counter and encourages me to stay on track with meal planning as well as letting everyone in the house know what the dinner plan is for the day and the week.
Every Sunday or Monday morning, I sit down with my phone calendar, grocery list, and menu frame and plan out the week ahead. I plan easier meals for our busy nights and always add a fun night in for something to look forward to. I figure out what ingredients I need for the meals/recipes and add it right to my grocery list on my phone so I am ready for grocery shopping. I find that this method really reduces the amount of groceries I buy and food that gets wasted as I know exactly what items we need for the week.
Let me know if you have any great organizing tips or techniques that help you in your day-to-day!