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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My daily planner

Happy New Year!   After a much-needed break, I'm back in the swing of things. 

I thought I'd start the year with a discussion of daily planners.  My daily planner is a crucial tool to accomplishing everything God asks of me.  It's taken me years of trial and error to find something that truly fits my needs. 

Part of the problem was I kept trying to keep it too simple.  I'd be shopping in Target or Staples and see a cute little calendar with a page for every day.  Based on how much I liked the cover, I'd pick it up.  Then I'd realize by February 1st, it really didn't meet my needs.

It wasn't until I read David Allen's book, "Getting Things Done" that I realized my life and responsibilities didn't fit on one-page-a-day.  The more I tried to make it fit, the more things spilled off the sides of my life.

Allen's philosophy is that we've got a lot going on in our lives, and we need to find "safe" places to keep all we have to do.  We have to get it out of the back of our minds, and capture it so we don't forget it ... and so it doesn't nag us constantly to DO SOMETHING!

Last year I made my own planner, with sections for current projects, future projects, devotion ideas and my to-do lists.  This year, I bit the bullet and invested in one of David Allen's planners.   It's not cheap.  But it's complete.  And it really is helping me get organized.   I also am deeply invested in Outlook for my calendar, so I'll just be putting basic appointments in my paper planner.

If you are looking for a new planner, my advice is to list everything you want to keep in one place.  It might be prayer requests, home remodeling ideas or books you want to read someday.  Then go shopping.  Pick what works best for you:  digital or paper.  Don't buy something because someone else said you should use it. 

If you've got a planner to recommend, please leave a comment.  I'd love to learn more.

Grace & Peace,



  1. Glynnis,, I have to do list at home, and I use my calendar on my phone to remind me of things. but my boss wants me to do a to do list by the "time" 9am *?*?*? 9:30 *?*?*? etc. and I feel defeeted by that cause if something takes longer or i get side tracked then I always feel "behind".. can you suggest a happy medium..

  2. Karen, Could you honor your boss's wishes and keep a to-do list at work?

    Here's how it could work: Keep a master list of work projects or tasks you need to do. If possible, on this same list, differentiate those tasks which will take under 15 minutes.

    Then, when you make your daily schedule, pull tasks from this master list.

    As you anticipate how much time something will take, can you schedule 50% more time to accomplish the task? Then, if you finish early, work on one of those under-15-minute jobs.

    I've sometimes scheduled my tasks like your boss is suggesting. And it can work when I over-estimate the time everything takes. The problem is I tend to be over-confident. :-)

    Hope that helps.

  3. I actually have a small day planner for my purse which I use for when i am needing to make appt's away from home. Then once a month (or more if needed) I transfer it to the big fridge planner that is for the whole family. then I co-ordinate THAT with my hubby's day planner and my own 'daily"planner that I buy each year. It is for mom's and has a weekly grocery list that is tear away (and helps to mark the week you are on for easy finding) and it has a large enough area for me to write daily appt's chores, meals, and kids activities on it. I believe it is called a "mom's plan-nit" it also has lots of areas to keep track of important dates, phone #'s, addresses,etc. I love it! It is a job to keep all 6 of us organized but with a bit of planning we manage to not miss much. I hope I will be able to stay this organized this year when I start working more on a photography business! ☺

  4. My life is on Outlook! I keep a basic daily planner in my purse for on-the-go. But at home - for my personal and professional, it's Outlook for me!! Happy New Year! :-)

  5. I love my Franklin Covey planner. I took their "Focus on Your Priorities" workshop and learned how to use their planning system. It's a total life system, so you plan for both professional and personal activities. Although their product is expensive, I think it's a worthwhile investment.

  6. I'm enjoying going through some of your older posts on organizing and decluttering. A planner that I have used for years is the Graceworks Purpose Planners. For four years I worked two jobs and went to school full time while managing my family of five. With God's help and my planner in hand, I made it through!