As much as I have tried, I’ve never found a planner I could stick with. Some didn’t offer enough detail, and some overwhelmed with too much. I could never find the right “fit”. So, inspired by yet another Pinterest binge, I realized that it was time to make my own. Now I’d like to share my planner with you.
I had a couple of requirements before I started to develop my planner. I started off focusing on a daily sheet for the following reasons:
- It keeps me focused on a specific to-do list
- I can vary the sheet for work days and weekends
- I have room for all my scribbles and notes
- Every day feels like a fresh start
One of my biggest productivity problems is the never-ending to-do list (are you with me on this one?). Using the daily sheet, I limit my task list to only 3-5 slots per type (i.e. work, business, personal) plus separate items for chores and errands. I also automatically prioritize (yay color-coding!) and schedule my tasks on the adjacent calendar.
My planner seems complex at first, but it works for me because I can categorize all of my tasks and activities at a glance. It is also important for me to include information on meal planning, fitness, budget, and daily inspiration (typically Walt Disney or Henry Ford quotes). Even when I’ve had a rough day previously I can turn over a fresh page and start off new.
Here’s a breakdown of my planner:
- Date/Weekday – Each sheet has different task slots and chores, including “fun” categories for weekends
- Daily Activities – The “Pray/Read/Journal/Plan” section is for motivating activities I try to do every day
- Inspiration – I love inspiring quotes, and I try to find a new one each day
- Book – A reminder of which book I’m reading that day
- Challenge/Reward – I set a specific challenge each day tied to a reward (ex. completing 3 tasks = an episode of Gilmore Girls)
- Schedule – The shaded areas represent my non-work hours, and I block schedule tasks and activities throughout the day
- Tasks – I try to accomplish these in priority order (red-orange-yellow) and check them off when they’ve been completed
- Work – I’m a full-time engineer so this is where I track my assignments
- Business – I use this for blogging and organization (AIAA) tasks
- Personal – This one’s for everything else in my life
- 10 Minute Tasks – I like to write down a few mini tasks I can get done even if I don’t feel like I have time to check anything off my list (ex. shredding papers, clearing the dresser)
- Contacts – A list of people I need to contact (email/call/etc) for work and home
- Errands – A list of places to go and things to buy
- Chores – We have different chores assigned to each day, with room for items that need extra attention
- Nutrition – Here I track my meal plan for the day, preps I need to take care of for the next night’s dinner, and check box reminders for vitamins, health monitoring, and my food log. I also have 10 bullets at the bottom to track water intake.
- Fitness – I’m usually working with a 30-day challenge, and I like to write down options for physical activity I can do throughout the day. The total records the amount of time I spend exercising in a day. I also keep a reminder box for nightly stretches.
- Budget – I use this to try to stay accountable for any spending decisions throughout the day
- Notes – For any reminder or thought that doesn’t fit the sheet, I keep this open.
Here is the link to my daily planner. It includes all 7 days of the week in one file, so you can print a week at a time and get prepared each Sunday. Let me know if you like it!