Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Daily Planner Quest

I used to sit down every morning with a cup of tea, my prayer journal, and my day planner. It was a wonderful time to get a head start on what needed to be done that day as well as spending some time in prayer. I kept it up faithfully for a year, beginning in December, 2007 (kids were 9 months, 9 months, and 2.2 years); it all "fell apart" when the time change happened this past November because the kids got up earlier. I'm taking advantage of the recent time change to put that habit back into place--it's worth it!!!

I committed to getting up 15 minutes early every morning for the month of December. That time became so treasured that I stretched it to an hour. Since beginning my habit again, I've begun the hunt for the perfect daytimer.

What would my perfect daytimer look like and why is it important for my early morning routine? A dayplanner of some sort works like a "home management notebook," prayer journal, brain-on-paper, and mini-"Control Journal" all in one. Since I wanted a compact size (slightly smaller than half-notebook size), I decided to keep my full-size control journal already in existence (has cleaning charts/information, information on home improvement projects, etc.), and go from there in creating my smaller daytimer. (I need to come up with a name...I like Home Management Notebook, but it's more than that. Any suggestions?) So, before I committed to any one system, I bought an inexpensive FranklinCovey binder at Target; it's leather, the size I wanted, and zips (another feature I wanted). I "test drove" it for a few days, making copious notes in it as to what would improve it, what I liked/didn't like, and what other planners I'd seen that worked better. Here's what I came up with for my "needs" in this brain-binder of mine:

  • Compact size since I wanted to be able to carry it with me
  • Fits in the binder I bought because I like it
  • Daily sheets that include room for menu, prayer requests, to-do lists, and so forth (something just like Simple Mom's Daily Docket and Daily Docket Nano or my friend Megan's creation, but smaller and ready made)
  • Not an hourly schedule to fill in because my life doesn't look like that
  • Menu/grocery list section
  • Notes section
  • Tasks/Projects section
  • Addresses/Contacts Section (I plan to print my address book which I just typed onto little address labels and just stick them in the contacts section)

The Daily Page format I wanted was the hardest to find. I found lots of options in the other categories that I really like. Tomorrow I'll give a breakdown of the planners I looked at as well as describe the system that's working for me now! Stay tuned for the Daily Planner Round-up....

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