“What are your plans this week hon?”
That is a question you would often hear in our home. Compared to daily or monthly planning, I find that weekly planning best suits our family’s lifestyle. It has always been a bit of a challenge, however, especially with my husband Yuli’s ever-changing work schedule.
We would always adjust our things to do, be it chores or recreation, on whether when he would work day, mid, or night shift, and when his off would be. As a result, I am also finding it hard to set up routine schedule of activities for our five-year-old son Omer. ☹
That’s why I would rely my day’s activities so much on a number of planning resources available on and offline depending on my mood. I consider these resources as live-savers in that they help me to organize not just my day’s schedule but my husband’s and son’s as well. The ideas below are just three ways I’ve tried doing in the past which I think would work for a lot of busy moms out there who are having the same concern.
I love going to several bookstores during December because I know that a good number of notebook-planners are being released in preparation for the year ahead. I love looking at variety of quality notebook planners with a wide range of designs for every mood. I have always found a small executive notebook effective, with just the right amount of space for my notes and thoughts and of course, our week-to-week activities. If you are from the Philippines looking for good sources of these various planners, National Bookstore and Fully Booked are the first stores I would check. They have branches all over Metro Manila and have online shops too (never tried online shopping though).
I’ve been doing this practice for years and have always found it effective. On some years, I would choose fancy-looking notebooks over executive ones, and I found that it added to motivate me to become consistent.
Which is also the same problem I faced using this method. Sad to say I have never been 100% consistent in my planning using this method. There are weeks that I would just totally skip, until ultimately by the end of the year when I would just stop. Since I could not seem to overcome that, I decided to change my ways.
APP AND CLOUD-BASED PLANNING
Using apps to organize my to-do are still pretty new to me, but I found that they are really effective. In the past I have tried using My Effectiveness App and I liked that it has a space for you to track your progress on any goal that you set to do for the week and month. It really helped me become focused on productivity and effectiveness. I liked that it is easy to use in taking quick notes, and even audio notes if that’s preferred. How cool is that? The only problem I faced was accessibility, as it is only a mobile-based app (or at least that’s what I know).
That’s why I shifted to a cloud-based app that lets me access my schedule and things to do whether I’m on my laptop or mobile. That is Google Calendar, coupled with Google Keep for unlimited note-taking. I like Google’s color-coding feature that makes it easy for me to categorize my to-do/activities as personal, family, church, work, etc. Whenever I need to make a detailed note, such as grocery list, thoughts, etc, I use Google Keep. This is the system I continue to use this day, as it totally fits my busy schedule.
COMMAND CENTER PLANNING
I started using this method since Omer started schooling because I had to keep my nanny updated on our activities as well. I had to make some notes and pin it just outside our room. I found this simple but pretty template on Pinterest (see link below) which I found functional. There are lots of other free templates on Pinterest, even including daily meal planning, bills payment checklist, etc. They are all super helpful.
Now that we are moving, I plan to take a spot on our study room to make as our official family command center, where we could see all our activities for the week. I found this inspiration and decided to make one of my own, using a recycled board and a fancy stencil I found in my parent’s house. I topped the framing off with gold acrylic paint.
I was satisfied with how it turned out, and will certainly add this piece to our room while enjoying its functions.
What weekly planning methods are you most comfortable using for yourself and your family? Share them through a comment below!