I realize that we’re well into the age of digital planners and shared calendar apps (Brandon and I totally use one), but I still find a lot of value in a good ol’ fashioned pen-and-paper list. Typically, I sit down every Monday and plan out my week on paper, just so I can visualize it in its entirety and be aware of what the week will hold for our family. And, let’s be real, there’s something so vindicating in being able to check-off or cross-off from your list of to-dos. (You know you’re shaking your head in agreement!) It’s such a simple and effective way to stay on top of the week instead of getting burdened by unplanned or forgotten obligations.
Here’s how I plan my week on paper:
This is my priority list. The things that need to be accomplished before 5pm on Friday without question. Important emails/phone calls, work obligations, and time-sensitive matters all go in this category.
Who do I need to check in with this week? In our case, this week I need to follow-up with our county about Faith’s speech services and have a Google hang-out with my girl Cara about work-related matters. This list will likely grow as the week progresses or as I remember something or someone who I need to reach out to.
These are the little reminders I need to make sure I don’t forget something, be it grocery items, an upcoming research project for a kiddo, books to check out, something I need to be intentional about, etc. This list is ALWAYS full and always growing. The items on this list are important enough that I need to be aware of them, but the Mullins family won’t fall apart if one is overlooked at the same time.
I’m way way way more prepared for our week when I know what’s on the menu. It gives me a chance to peruse the pantry and fridge for items we have on hand, what needs to be used before expiration, and what I might need to purchase to make a meal happen. Otherwise, I’m SO tempted to default to eating out. Like, every night. Planning out our meals makes me a better saver – of our money and sanity!
This is where I can purge the miscellaneous – upcoming events that need to be added to next week’s list, a random phone number that needs to be jotted down mid-call, a quick reminder, ideas that pop into my head – basically anything that is of note and doesn’t fit into this week or another category.
Hopefully, this little tool is helpful to you! If you’d like to grab a free copy of This Week on Paper, subscribe to my mailing list using the form below. Once you’ve confirmed your subscription via email, it will download immediately! (PS. I only send good stuff – no spam!)