Friday, January 7, 2011

A New Planner

Organizing ... some of us like it, and some of us have very definite feelings of dislike for it. For me, give me a slot of time set apart for organizing, and I am at my best. I love organizing. And some may think that I have things quite organized already ... but those who are true organizers at heart, know that there is always room for more.

With six children (all grown), and nine grandchildren ... I have done a lot of organizing over the years. And now, I am finding that there are many things calling my name to be organized in these "empty nest" years. Still a busy life of family and helping my husband in full-time ministry to high school students, but maybe a little more time to take care of some of those things that have been put off for many years. And always ... the daily organizing of all that life brings us.

And at the start of the year, there is first of all, organizing of the notebook that keeps it all together. All the family stuff, the things to do, the birthdays, the gift lists, the daily priorities and lists, etc. Mom and Grama to 21 family members now. And always the need to keep my priorities before me.

This notebook has taken on various forms and sizes over the years. And this new year it is time for a change. I have been using a smaller size notebook for a number of years, and this year have the urge to go back to the bigger size ... 8.5 x 5.5 inch size. Fortunately, I had saved a zippered notebook that size that I had used earlier, still in good condition.

So, my main organizing project for this week has been to set up my new planner notebook for this New Year 2011.

On the left (photo above) a page for a compact overview of the month ... things to remember in each of the priorities I feel God has given me as a wife and mom (and now, grama). Something I started on as a young mom, to keep my priorities before me ... thanks to a great book I read many years ago ... Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow. (The subject of a future post.)

The page on the right (photo above) was printed out from a free download this week. So happy to find this, as many of the calendar pages are for full size notebooks. This one is perfect for my needs.  (Thanks, Mandi, and Sarah!) The lettering on the calendar pages are even in the red color of my notebook ...

Next after my calendar is a page where I jot down priority things I want to remember for the current week ... no need to write everything down, just some main things I want to remember. Things I don't want the urgent to crowd out. It doesn't always happen the way it's jotted down, but it helps me to keep it before me ... to plan for, pray for.

And the next page ... an important page taking it to the daily, where it happens. Or where hopefully, at least part of it can happen. Actually, I have learned (and continue to learn) to hold all my plans with an open hand, trusting God's direction for each day. It just helps me, and takes a burden off my shoulders and my mind, to write things down.

A new format for me this year with this new notebook (and one I will probably be tweaking a bit in the weeks ahead) ... but one I have been excited to start using each day this week already. (Thanks to Ann and a link on her blog to Tsh and a free download.) The free download was for a full size notebook, and so I remade it, fitting it more specifically to my life and my priorities.

This is just a start in transferring all my pages from a smaller notebook to this new planner. I'll continue with this fun job in the next few weeks, and maybe ... I might write a follow-up post about more of the pages?

And a very pleasant and fun surprise for me ... a blogger who I follow is hosting a weekly linkup post where we can share our organizing projects throughout the year. She is encouraging her readers to focus on one project each week ... 52 Weeks of Organizing. Great fun for those who love organizing! And a motivation for those who find it difficult, but yet necessary.

NOTE: Click here to see a follow-up to this post, published two years later, on January 4, 2013.

Linked to: 52 Weeks of Organizing


  1. Love the planner, I think I should add that to my list too to help me stay organized during the 52 week challenge!

  2. Awww...Cherry. I want you to come and help me. I am terrible at organizing and start with every sort of planner and can't keep up with it, looking, etc. Well, you may just have given me the encouragement to get going with something...pray for me:)

    p.s. love the 'priorities' and the 'First Love' page at the end!

  3. p.s. Would you send me the 'First Love' page?--I think it's perfect and dare I say a better fit than tsh's for me:)

  4. I really like that "first love" page too. I switched to a larger planner this year after using the Amy Knapp for many years. It does not fit into a new purse though and is really bugging me, but I thought I needed more space for Daughter #2's wedding planning.

  5. love your planner. i just got myself a new planner yesterday, hoping it helps me to get organized!

  6. I also read Creative Counterpart some 25plus years ago and found it to be a defining book for me in my early years of marriage and have recently picked it back up again. I loved reading your reflections and the way you have adapted the planner to your life and circumstance. As a mum of three teenage daughters and the wife of a pastor working in team with him, priority planning is a key!