One of the first things that people ask me when they find out that I’m a mother of six kids is, “How do you DO it?!” There are a lot of fun responses to this question, but the reality is, with six kids, maintaining a strong hold on our schedule can be challenging.
While I do own an iPhone, I’m not the kind of person that works well off an electronic calendar or planner. I used to try and input dates and times into my phone, but then I’d forget to set an alarm and would never check it again… leading to a lot of confusion and scrambling.
For the past three years, I’ve been using the same yearly planner:
Mother’s Organizer by PlanAhead.
(I’m not affiliated with PlanAhead in any way; I just happened to find it on sale at a local CVS store a few years ago. I’ve enjoyed using this planner so much that I wanted to share it with those of you that could benefit from it as well.)
The first thing that caught my eye is the design; these planners are fun! They actually come in a variety of colors and patterns; mine is above. As seen above, there is a photo slot on the cover to personalize it as “your” planner The first page of the planner is a plastic photo insert that fits up to four 4×6 photographs.
Monthly & Weekly Planning
The planner consists of four separate sections: Monthly, Weekly, Resources, and Notes.
The planner covers 18 months (18 months! That’s two pregnancies’ worth of time! That’s A LOOONG TIME!), and gives you the option to list items on a monthly calendar page, or by each week. I like doing both so that I can look at the entire month in a glance, but also go into more detail on each day.
Here’s one of the features that I love most about this planner; it gives the option to list activities for up to FOUR kids! There are not a lot of planners out there that have this option. Granted, I have six kids, but since two are not full-time students yet, I don’t often need to make notes for them. It also has a section on the left-hand side to list your own “AM” and “PM” tasks (I’ll occasionally put items for #5 and #6 in this area).
On the right-hand side, there is a column labeled “Grocery List/Notes”. I use this section for any random things that I need to remember, buy, plan, sign, etc.
I also note bills to be paid and/or mailed in this column. I have a stack of neon Post-It arrows, and label them with the bill info, pointing to the date due.
There’s a note section in the very back of the planner with several lined pages, but I don’t use it too often. The resource section is really useful, however. This section allows you to list a variety of household contact info, such as housekeeper (hah!), plumber, cable company, etc.
There is also a section to include some of your financial info:
A section to organize your vacation planning details:
(again, not a section I use much… but cool nonetheless!)
There are also sections for party planning, gift records, and insurance info (no pictures available).
I seriously love my planner, because everything I need is kept in one place. I stick a pen into the plastic covering the planner’s rings, and jot down notes and dates whenever necessary. It’s large enough to have room to write, but small enough to be able to stick into my typical bag.
And it’s fun! Planners are usually boring. I got to the point where I HAD to have one, so I’m glad to have found one that is whimsical and gives you the option to personalize it.
To Buy: As I mentioned, I’ve been purchasing mine for three years in CVS Pharmacy, but you can order one online from Amazon.com for a much cheaper price of $10.99. Here’s the link:
If only this thing could do the food shopping and laundry for me!!
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