Monday 21 March 2016

Plan With Me Mondays #3 - how I get organised

For this week's #PlanWithMeMondays linky post, I thought I'd share the different ways I try and keep things organised.

Central to this, of course, is my planner. I really am using this as my go-to for all our family planning, be it my month to view diary to plan what we are doing, daily diary pages to organise each day in more detail and then sections for personal, work and blog planning.

Here's a few ideas for you...

DIARY I couldn't live without mine and I'm quite infamous for taking my time to find the 'right one' each new year. It has to be just so, as I use it every day and need to be able to organise things in a way that works with how my mind works. That's why my Kikki K time planner has come out on top for me this year.

Personally, I prefer a paper diary although I do also have Outlook for work purposes. With 'real' diaries, pick one that's the right size to suit your needs; small enough to fit in your handbag or large enough for you to plan out things in detail.

Use it to store important information and numbers, from doctors and dentists to national insurance, breakdown cover, road tax renewal dates - anything and everything you don't want to forget. You'll be glad to know you have all that information on hand, in one place, when the time comes you need it.

At the start of each new year, I transfer key dates across such as birthdays from my old diary to my 
new diary and I also remember to add things in like TV license payment dates, car service reminders and so on so that I always have a reminder ahead of time when something needs to be arranged or paid for.

NOTEBOOK My memory is a sieve if I don't write things down, particularly since having Ethan, so I always have a notebook on me. You can use your phone too if you're that way inclined but I like having a mini notepad to hand if I need to write off a quick shopping list or a reminder for later. A pen is also a must!

FAMILY CALENDAR We have a calendar in our dining room which we all add into as and when something new comes up and it has a column for each of us - Stephen, Ethan and myself - and even meals too. Little ones often have a busier calendar than we do, don't you think? There's always different appointments for them in the early days then parties as they get older.

We have The Gruffalo Family Planner and it's just brilliant. Colourful, spacious, with lots of stickers (great for giving rewards) and very good quality too, this is just the thing for us all to use.

You could also use a weekly plan, like this pad, and use it to write what everyone is doing or have a column for meals, chores and fun things. It may sound a bit extreme but it only take a couple of minutes to write and it helps you to sort out what needs to be done and when.

MEAL PLANNING This is something that can make a really big difference in terms of minimising wasted food and helping save some pennies too. It's also a great way to inspire yourself to try something new or give a new recipe a go without always relying on your usual go-to meals.

First of all, I'd recommend writing down a list of everything you already have in your cupboards, fridge and freezer. This will help you to use things up instead of always buying more than you need to doubling up on anything.

Then, you can take a look and see what meals you can already make from what you have, or what few things you need to get to make a complete meal.

If you've done your weekly plan, you can judge how many meals you need to account for so you don't buy too many fresh ingredients if you're only going to be eating at home five nights out of seven, or you can pick up enough if you need to take lunch to work with you.

I've been collecting recipes and keeping them in one place. I bought a recipe card box from Paperchase and whenever I see a recipe I want to try, I fill in a card and add it to my collection, when it comes to planning our food shop, I have a look through these cards and see what takes my fancy, then write a list of ingredients, thinking about where I can make the most of what I buy.

I then tend to use online shopping when planning a big shop or when it's a busy week. It's a great way to keep within your budget and to help you see what you've bought... and what you're missing. I like the fact you can save shopping lists to come back to, and how it remembers your favourites, which can make it a quick task.

EXPANDING FILE Although you can opt to go paperless with many bills, you will still have some paper copies and every house has documents that you need to keep safe.

I picked up an expanding file from Paperchase and keep all important documents at the front, such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate, paper driving license, insurance policies etc. then file any other letters in separate sections. If I need to find something, I know it's in there.

POST-ITS, LABELS, LISTS If you really want to get things in order, then you must get some post-it notes, list pads, labels and any other stationery bits and pieces that will help you to make notes, set reminders and generally keep tabs on things. Any excuse to buy stationery!

Lists are the only way I can feel calm as I know everything is written in one place, rather than having to remember everything. It's just not possible! It's also a great way to stay motivated as you tick things off.

Have lists for your shopping, your household tasks, your workload, your blog ideas... or keep one big list, whatever works with you. A handy notebook and pen in your handbag is always useful for jotting down something you think of on the go, or noting it on your phone works too.

Now, onto the linky...


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  1. Those post-its are super cute <3 I can't wait for a time when I'll be able to get one of those family planners, they look so cool and useful!

    1. They really are!

      Thank you again for joining in :)

  2. LOVE the sticky notes! Wow you are super organised Kelly, I love it :) xxx

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