The day planner series has generated simply scads of feedback—thanks! Here are some of the ideas you've shared in the comments:
I'm a geek too, but a cheap geek and lazy to boot. I found I just don't use the kind of planners meant to be toted around (I much prefer a huge central calendar in the kitchen for things like that -- and I love the "Family Organizer" from More Time Moms, which sacrifices pretty pictures for lots of spaces).
But I do like to keep a record of the kids' work for the day, as you do, Lissa, and I've found that a regular "student planner" at Staples for under $10 does the trick. There was a lovely supermarket-brand one a couple of years ago, but it seemed to be a one-off :(
Leslie recommended a planner I haven't seen yet:
Be sure to check out the Familytime.mine planner from Tanglewood Press. Border's Books sells it. It has sections for seasonal, monthly, and weekly views with large blocks for each day. It's a 17-month planner that begins in September and runs through December of the following year. It is an 8.5 x11" spiral bound size, though, so it won't fit in most purses. About 5-7 of the moms I know use it and love it. I just happen to be a PalmPilot kinda woman, myself.
And Ann came up with her own pretty and practical solution:
After reading your intriguing series of posts on Planners, Melissa, I bought my own pretty (because, yes, beauty is *essential* in a planner)hardback, spiral (it needed to lay open on the counter, if I was really going to use it) journal, with some adhesive tabs and made my own day planner based on the brilliant layout from the MomAgenda…with several caveats... (A Planner for UnPlanners):
1. I didn’t label the tabs with all kind of subjects–I am only labelling them as I actually find need to jot something down–that way it is just what I acutally need and *use* as opposed to some imposed, unecessary division I’ll never use. (So far, I have a tab for: Daily Schedules, Grocery Lists, Items needed for Children)
2. I am writing only a loose skeleton for the day’s outline…no tight schedule for me. And then as the day progresses, I write in (loosely, only what I want to make note of) what I actually *DID*—like **scheduling in reverse**. That is working for me. I can see what worked some days, what didn’t, what may have been a stumbling point and could be tweaked…and I feel a sense of accomplishment instead of discouragement. Seeing what I *did* on a day motivates me for the next day. And if I didn't get to "a bone on my skeleton" for the day, I just add it to the next day.
3. In the children’s squares, somedays I jot in what I’d like to do with each child that day so I remember…or again, I jot in what we actually did together. Nice to have a record of our days.
3. Finally, I am only making up one week layout at a time in the journal… that way, if I choose not to continue (I am on my third week), well…I still have a blank, pretty journal to write in instead of a whole planner of scheduled, useless pages! ~warm smile~ (And one can *always* use a journal!)
I am *most* grateful, Melissa, for this series...with some tweaking, I think this is a planner that works unplanners!
Anne-Marie prefers the high-tech version:
Me, I'm a computer gal, so Microsoft Outlook is the one way to go. I keep separate calendars for my work as an Usborne Books consultant, and a main one for daily appointments. Each family member has their own color and I also color code the different work things I do - MOMS Club, charter school, writing, Usborne, etc.
My problem with written calendars is that either I run out of room or they're a mess from the constant changes. With MS Outlook, I change everything online and just print out a new calendar to take with and post on the 'frige.
I'd love to hear from more folks about the planners you know and love. It's so nice to know I'm not t he only one with this obsession.